Nevada’s demolishing at the hands of the Oregon Ducks last Saturday will be forever known as the Arroyo flex. Coming off a season-opening loss where Arroyo was criticized for conservative play calls, the Ducks unleashed their frustration on a motivated Wolfpack team. Now, as college football hits its stride and the 2019 Oregon Ducks football team enters week 3, Oregon is primed to have a special season. And with a calming breath in the Montana Grizzlies before the Pac-12 storm, now is the Ducks’ chance to focus and prepare.
The Arroyo — and Avalos — Flex
The 2019 Nevada vs. Oregon football matchup was one of contrast.
Nevada had just dispatched Purdue. They rode a surge of early season momentum into Autzen Stadium and had confidence aplenty. With an offense that could put up points and a defensive front seven who could present Oregon problems, some had this game marked as an upset special.
The Ducks, meanwhile, were coming off a tough week one loss to Auburn. They needed to get their offense firing on its proper cylinders and show the college football world they would not go silently into the night.
What happened was everything the 2019 Oregon Ducks football program needed.
Taking some time to get rolling against Nevada in their 2019 home opener, once Oregon got rolling they did not stop.
First scoring on a 66-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Justin Herbert to tight end Jacob Breeland with 3:56 to go in the first, the Ducks went on to outscore the Wolfpack 28-3 the rest of the half, and would not stop there.
Allowing Herbert to remain in the game for the opening drive of the second half, the Ducks put another 42 on the board in impressive fashion. 11 different players scored, redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Shough made an impressive debut, and the 2019 Oregon Ducks looked like the team they’re expected to be.
More impressive than the offense, however, was Oregon’s defense. Holding Nevada to just 6 points — all in the first half — the Andy Avalos led defense put consistent pressure on Nevada’s offense and forced four turnovers. It was an effort that will go down as one of Oregon’s best in recent years.
Nitpicking the Negatives for the 2019 Oregon Ducks Football team in week 3
Not much went wrong against Nevada. Oregon excelled and the score reflected such. There were, however, some issues of concern.
Oregon did not get off to the start it wanted. After an impressive start to the Auburn game, the Ducks opened the Nevada game with two non-scoring drives. This was concerning, especially for Marcus Arroyo. Against a team like Nevada the Ducks should have put points on the board fast. They should have had long drives that proved they were the better team. Starting the game with drives of 25 yards and 18 yards did not accomplish that. If Oregon is to be the team it’s supposed to be, they’ll have to be more consistent.
Sticking with the offense, Oregon’s running game didn’t really get on track against the Wolfpack. While the quarterbacks picked the Nevada secondary apart, Oregon’s once potent rushing attack was held in relative check. After a so-so performance against the Auburn Tigers, the 2019 Oregon Ducks football team still needs to solidify their running game entering week 3. And with the likes of Stanford and Cal looming, they’ll need to do so fast.
A Game Filled with Positives
What Oregon did to Nevada was outstanding. At least if you’re not a Wolfpack fan. The Ducks did what they needed to do to get back on the map. However they also showed the Pac-12 and college football that they may have one of their best defenses in recent memory. Yes, there is still a lot of football to play, but what the Ducks have done of defense in the first two weeks is not something to ignore. Oregon’s secondary is better-than-advertised and after some shaky play against Auburn, the defensive line looks impressive.
Furthermore, Oregon’s offense showed what it is capable of. It spread the ball to a long list of playmakers and got young talent fresh looks at college football. The wide receiver corps looks to be in great hands despite being depleted and Justin Herbert is a complete quarterback.
This shouldn’t all be news. Oregon was expected to be special this year, and a 77-6 win over Nevada helped prove why. Though they may have one loss to their name, it is a quality loss and one that won’t define their season. There’s plenty of football to play, and Oregon showed it is ready for a special season.
Moreover, they recaptured that special attitude and atmosphere the program had been searching for in the past few years. Autzen Stadium rocked, the fans were into the game and the players were having a blast on the sidelines. No moment was greater than when senior linebacker Troy Dye danced around the field while the sounds of “Shout” filled the air.
Moving Forward with 2019 Oregon Ducks Football Week 3
Montana has no chance against Oregon, it’s as simple as that. Coaches and players will want to give their respects but let’s not kid: Oregon should destroy the Grizzlies. Now, crazier things have happened in college football. Bigger upsets have happened and there is always the slim chance Montana could down the Ducks.
Montana has a good quarterback in UNLV transfer Dalton Sneed, and receivers Jerry Louie-McGee, Samori Toure and Samuel Akem are equally impressive. They spread the ball out and are somewhat of a FCS version of Washington State. For teams with shaky secondaries the Grizzlies present a problem. This is not the case with Oregon.
Though two games is a small sample size, Oregon’s secondary may be the defense’s forte. As such the Ducks matchup well against Montana’s offensive strengths and will have no problem putting up points against a smaller FCS-level defense. The keys for the 2019 Oregon Ducks football team in week 3 will be cleaning up minor errors, finding more reliable play from their running backs and staying healthy.
While it is never a good thing to look ahead, Oregon has two tough tests immediately following Montana. First they’ll travel to Stanford before a date with Pac-12 sleeper California. Look for the Ducks to make quick work of Montana and focus on the Pac-12 play ahead.