It would be wrong to say that the trying times of the Oregon offense is unprecedented, for Oregon’s offense has struggled like this before, but it is troublingly accurate to say that no current player suiting up in a Ducks uniform was alive to see the precedent.
In the past two weeks, Oregon has scored just 17 points. Ten of those came in a 33-10 loss at home to Washington State, while the only other touchdown was a relatively meaningless one, with Royce Freeman finding the end zone in a 49-7 pasting at the hands of Stanford. The last time Oregon had only managed 17 points in a span of two weeks was 1992, when coach Willie Taggart was leading Manatee High School to a state championship berth.
So yes, these are rare days indeed.
Taggart, though, who would go on to play quarterback for Western Kentucky and take a coaching job there upon graduation in 1998, has taken it in stride.
“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “We just got to be smart in what we ask them. We’re not asking [quarterback Braxton Burmeister] to be Tom Brady — I wish he was. We’re asking him to run our offense and, more importantly, take care of the football. We can’ turn the football over. You got to be smart with the football, take care of it, and get it to the guys that can make plays for you.”
If there is a defense against whom Burmeister could find his rhythm, it is UCLA’s. Taggart told reporters that he’s not asking much of Burmeister, though on Saturday, when the Ducks kick off against the Bruins in Pasadena, Calif., he might very well ask next to nothing of his quarterback.
The Bruins feature the second-worst rushing defense in college football, one that has allowed a 100-yard rusher in every single game thus far. With Royce Freeman appearing fully healthy, Burmeister’s main role is likely to turn and hand it to Freeman, who could break LaMichael James’ career record of 5,082 yards.
“We’re 4-3 with five games left,” Taggart said. “Five winnable games. We got to play better in order to win them, but they’re there. No need to get down and out. Let’s wake up, get excited, and go play some football.”
The post Oregon offense doesn’t have to ‘reinvent the wheel’ appeared first on Diehards.