Bumped. There will be lot of reasonable disagreements re. the QB issue here on BN. Nothing wrong with that. Let's talk them out. I think what we saw from Richard Brehaut today was pretty encouraging. He certainly refuted the perception that he might have not been "ready" as a freshman. He looked as ready as Cade McNown or Drew Olson did as a true freshman. I think at this point both Prince and Brehaut should get equal shots to win the starting job by getting their chances to prove it on game days. Brehaut certainly won the duel today, IMHO earning PT for next Saturday. GO BRUINS. - N
I haven't had too much time to review any of the game film, but the in immediate aftermath of this game it's obvious the offense is holding this team back. Specifically at quarterback and offensive line. This shouldn't be news to anyone, but I would just like to emphasize it. The defense is not the problem, not to say that it doesn't have its own issues. Yet it cannot be primarily blamed whatsoever for this loss, nor the Stanford loss. Two long rushes inflated the stats. Of course they count, but they were bottled up and should have gone for nothing. It was a result of poor tackling, not gaping holes, and tackling issues are easier to fix than an inability to fill running lanes. One of the long runs was a result of Sheldon Price (who should not be playing) inexplicably losing contain. More on him later. Yes, there were too many missed tackles, but for some reason, there was only one offensive touchdown on a drive that started at the 50. If Oregon can't complete a forward pass, I'll take giving up 200 yards rushing and one offensive touchdown. Especially when half of those yards came on a true freshman losing contain, and one hell of a spin move at the one yard line. It was a good defensive performance. It certainly wasn't bad, but I look forward to debating with some who think otherwise.
This should be Brehaut's team. Prince's performance today was ugly. In his three games as the starter, he has shown little to place him over Brehaut considering the way Brehaut handled himself late in the game. He made crisp, strong throws when he was given enough time. It's also increasingly evident that this offensive line cannot handle the blitz, nor adequately pass protect against a 4 man rush. Run blocking has been very good, but the line (running backs included) still cannot protect the quarterback. Ramirez missed several pickups and Thigpen missed his fair share. I can't recall any missed blocks from Franklin and Coleman, correct me if I'm wrong. Yet time and again, the line could not hold its blocks, missed pass rushers altogether, and got our quarterbacks crushed in the process. However, it is clear to me that Brehaut needs to continue to play. What are we playing for right now? A bowl game? I think it has become increasingly clear that our chances of making a bowl are not decreased by having Brehaut behind center. His interception was a little behind Embree but the ball was entirely catchable. Our receivers should catch catchable balls, hence the term catchable.
Regarding the receivers, they're good but not great. They don't create good separation, except after bullshit offensive pass interference calls. Logan Paulsen has been a big disappointment this year. His penalties have killed us as much as his dropped passes. His catch and run on the screen late in the game does not redeem his previous poor play, but hopefully is a sign of getting his head back in it.
In all fairness, Neuheisel has really got to make a decision on the state of this football team and pursue the best course of action for the program. In my opinion, this means getting Sheldon Price off of the field and into the weight room and film room. He is lost and physically inadequate. The ONLY offensive touchdown for Oregon was a route that came across the formation, with Price in position to make the tackle but he does not. The wide receiver shakes him off his rear like no one is there. Do we have a better tackling cornerback on the bench? Yes. Courtney Viney needs to play. His performance against Tennessee has been better than any of Sheldon Price's games. I would like to think that Viney has turned it off in practice after being suspended and has shown he's not prepared to play for a coach that enforces a standard of discipline. Unless that is the case, Neuheisel/Bullough are blowing it by keeping Price on the field.
Lastly, the unspeakable self-destruction of our team at the beginning of the second half was disturbing. We've known the kick coverage is bad, but why? We've got athletes yet we can't shed blocks, get downfield, and make a tackle. It's probably the most baffling issue this team has. Can someone elaborate on the keys to effective kick coverage? I would love to hear more about it. Moreover, Prince's pick was awful. He didn't even make his first read. If he had, he would have gone away from the cornerback who was staring at Prince in his backpedal rather than focusing on the receiver. Prince's fumble was just the icing on the shit cake of a 3rd quarter.
But it has become all too clear that Brehaut needs to play. If we have a quarterback making elementary mistakes (like Prince and Craft) why not have the highly recruited, Elite 11 camper that has been bred to be a quarterback learning from them when he makes them? The fact that our quarterbacks are relatively even in terms of effectiveness right now should show that the one with the potential to turn this offense into one that can make plays downfield needs to play. We don't need a "game manager." That is coach-speak for "he sucks too much to make plays himself". We've got a young team with raw talent and the potential to go to a bowl game this year, as well as prepare for the ensuing dynasty over the coming years. Coach, stick with Brehaut. Please?