“The only thing you can’t correct on Sunday is a loss.”- Oregon QB Dakota Prukop
The Oregon Football 2016 season opener is finally in the books and although it was far from perfect, the Ducks did come out with a 53-28 win over UC Davis.
Overall, this Oregon team answered a few questions, but it seems a few more remain.
The much-anticipated debut of starting quarterback, Dakota Prukop, showed he could manage the game and be fairly consistent. He also showed he can run and has a decent arm but fans will have to wait to see some of his big play capabilities.
Skill players all over the field including RB Royce Freeman, WR Charles Nelson and WR Darren Carrington were solid with the exception of fluke fumbles by Nelson, who redeemed himself with big plays throughout the game. Tight Ends Pharaoh Brown, who returned after a lengthy injury rehab and Johnny Mundt, who Coach Helfrich said has had his best Fall Camp since arriving at Oregon, were stand outs in this game.
Moving ahead, improvements will need to be made in several areas if the Ducks are going to compete well against Pac 12 competition.
For starters, the very young o-line will need to find a way to protect Prukop, perhaps without two veterans, including Tyrell Crosby who was injured in Fall Camp and Cameron Hunt, who left the game on Saturday.
Second of all, the defense, with the exception of true freshman phenom, Troy Dye who just earned a big name for himself, was spotty to say the least. To be fair, they too are a young group being led by a new coordinator who is implementing a new scheme. To expect things to run smoothly in game one would perhaps be unfair.
After the game, Head Coach, Mark Helfrich, offered some hope saying many of the mistakes were fairly simple to correct. He also said that things were solid from an effort standpoint.
Another positive is that the defense does seem to be playing more aggressively- something Coach Brady Hoke has been pushing for since his arrival at Oregon this Spring.
Looking ahead, Oregon will welcome Virginia Cavalier’s at Autzen Stadium for an evening kick-off before heading to Nebraska for what is likely to be its first big test on the road.
The jury is still out about how prepared this team is to go the distance but as quarterback, Dakota Prukop said after the game,
“The only thing you can’t correct on Sunday is a loss.”