Oregon's defense looked slow, out of shape and unprepared. Oregon's big defensive line was unable to overpower the smaller Wake Forest offensive line, and they couldn't get to quarterback Jim McPherson. McPherson is not thought of as a passer but he must have studied the game tapes of Oregon. He passed 16 times completing nine attempts for 241 yards and two touchdowns - two big-play touchdowns over an Oregon secondary that was too slow and too out of position to make a difference. Geesh, I am now questioning if Oregon's secondary is really Division I potential talent. Nobody made a play.
Oregon's offensive line couldn't open any running holes for Onterrio Smith. One shudders to think what would have happened if Calvin Pace, the Demon Deacon's 1st Team All-American could have played on two healthy legs instead of one. Smith finished the day with 18 carries for 62 yards - and everyone was worried Onterrio would leave the Ducks after a big game! Seeing Oregon linemen get thrown to the turf by Wake Forest defenders must mean that the Ducks need more work in the weight room or someone to teach them how to lift weights so they can get stronger.
A myth was broken today being that if Mike Bellotti's coaching staff had a month to prepare for a game that they can beat anyone in the country. Obviously that is not true. Wonder what the coaching staff was doing between the time of the humiliating loss to Oregon State and the humiliating loss to Wake Forest? The defensive coordinator apparently was looking for a job at the Division II level, that must have taken up a lot of his time. This defensive effort today may cause even the most ardent Rich Stubler haters wish 'ol Rich was back preparing a defense that could stop a trick offense. As far as the rest of the staff goes, since no four or five-star high school or junior college offensive linemen have been breaking any speed records to give Oregon a verbal commitment for next year, recruiting must not be going all that great.
Lastly, the two players I feel most sorry for are Jason Fife and Kellen Clemens. They play a position that gets all the attention whether it is warranted or not. They tried to follow some game plan that didn't work. This is mind boggling considering the guys who make the game plan have lots of experience making quarterbacks into first round NFL draft picks. Sorry, no future Hall of Famers were on the field Thursday and frankly the same old problems that faced the Ducks all year long still exist.
I clearly recall having Kevin Mitchell tell me after the loss to Arizona State this fall that, "football is about someone having the heart and desire to make a play."
Ducks fans may start shuttering at what could happen next season when Michigan comes to Autzen Stadium. There are lots of problems with Oregon football right now and in the next few weeks the Ducks must search for someone to have that heart and desire to make plays. The Ducks must go back into the weight room and rediscover the magic of Oregon football that was lost somewhere along the way this season. They have to do this because as it stands right now the Ducks are a joke.