The offense is continuing to evolve in front of our eyes. Today, we saw more two-back sets and even some three-back sets from Sturdy and the Cougar offense. Although it may not seem it from looking at the box score, the running game was improved. Logwone Mitz got a chance to shine and put in a great effort, running hard and working for every yard. Jeff Tuel had his usual quiet, yet outstanding, day, throwing for 245 yards and a touchdown.
- One bad throw. That's really all Tuel had today. He admitted he got greedy after the game, wanted to thread the ball in to the inside receiver and throwing into double coverage. Both he and Sturdy said the progression was inside-to-out, but he just locked-on a bit. Outside of that, Tuel had a heck of a day. How good has he been? After the game, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly pulled him aside and walked out of the stadium with him. Kelly told Tuel he's one of the best in the conference and he'll be singing Tuel's praises to anyone that listens. High praise from a very good coach.
- Only one turnover against a ball-hawking defense is something to be proud of. Tuel made good throws and the offense only let the ball hit the turf once, when Marquess Wilson fumbled on a screen. The ball security is also a big positive.
- The outside screen game just wasn't working well today. Receivers were missing blocks, leading to bubble screens and quick hitters getting blown up with regularity.
- Marquess Wilson made a heck of a grab down the left sideline in the second half. The play, according to Tuel, was a busted play, with receivers running the same route. Tuel kind of said "screw it" and threw it up for Wilson, who made a fantastic play on the ball. It's been a while since we've had that kind of receiver.
- Wilson was also a bit banged-up late in the game. He had one big drop, on a crossing route, that likely would've gone for a touchdown. It was the same play, according to Wulff, as the play against UCLA that almost scored. Tuel made an absolutely perfect throw, hitting Wilson just as he flashed free from the underneath coverage. The ball kind of ate Wilson up as he was shielded by the defender.
- I had five drops marked down and there was likely more than that. It just wasn't a good day for the receivers. There were also a few times receivers quit on routes, leading to throws that looked worse than they were or near-interceptions. These are simple mistakes that can be crippling.