There’s not much need to dwell on the past, unless the past keeps coming up in the future. The Stanford Cardinal were hampered by a ton of mistakes and some player personnel missing on the field against the Oregon Ducks in their season-opening loss.
Oregon is still a mightily talented team and even though the box score total finished with a line of 35-14 in favor of the Ducks, there were still times that Stanford could’ve taken and held a lead, even as late as the third quarter.
While we prepare for the Colorado Buffaloes in Week 2, we take a look back at the good, the bad and the utter ugly from Week 1.
Levani Damuni. That’s it. That’s the best part from this game. He recorded both Stanford takeaways including an athletic, smart, savvy interception where he wasn’t tempted to retreat in shallow zone coverage and also pulled away a fumble recovery for the Cardinal. He logged just a handful of snaps, however, but was as impactful as any other player in this game when he was on the field.
Other candidate for ‘The Good’ was absolutely WR Simi Fehoko.
Simi Fehoko is a mismatch all over the field— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) November 8, 2020
4.3 speed at 6'4, 227 with routes & ball skills like these?! Sheesh
That inside release pic.twitter.com/0hYYwmvSuB
Fehoko also had a double-move, post-corner route later in the game that was overthrown but he was at least a step or two open from his defensive back.
Stanford’s run defense. As good as Austin Jones was at times for Stanford in this one, Oregon’s rushing attack averaged 7.6 yards per carry against the Cardinal. They scored four touchdowns on the ground, most of them relatively uncontested and needed only 4.3 yards after contact per carry, meaning they were ripping off 3.3 yards per carry before even being contacted. There weren’t very many missed tackles, but they were simply overpowered in this one against Oregon.
Another candidate here for ‘The Bad’ was replacement cornerback Ethan Bonner. Though he did his best, it was an all-around forgettable evening for Bonner who was playing in relief for Paulson Adebo (opt out) and Kyu Blu Kelly (undisclosed injuries). He was targeted on five different occasions and gave up five catches, though he was in relatively close coverage most of the night. He allowed 108 of the 227 total yards for the Cardinal’s pass defense.
Play-calling gets the nod here, not Jet Toner. Though Toner gets his own category of ‘ugly look in his eyes’ that even Kirk Herbstreit noticed on the broadcast. Play-calling was, at times, well past its prime against Oregon. Jumbo sets on long situations. Middle-of-field run attempts with more than two yards to gain. Field goals when you’re down three possessions.
I mean what good is a field goal going to do when you’re down 21 points? At best, you’re still down three possessions.
Toner is not to fault for the bad decisions, but he certainly is to fault for missing four field goals, even if he did get in his own head. Here’s hoping that can be fixed.
Ah, man, here’s hoping both items can be fixed moving forward.
It wasn’t all ugly and it wasn’t all bad. But it wasn’t all good either.
On to the next one. On to Colorado.
On to The Farm.