Mario Cristobal finished his run as the Oregon Ducks head football coach with a record of 35-14, including finishing 23-9 in the Pac-12. Under Cristobal, the Ducks were 2-2 in bowl games, including the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl.
This series titled, “Cristobal Film Review...” will cover a major win and loss from each season Coach Cristobal was in charge of the Ducks from 2018-2021. We’re going to look at data, quality of play, and situational performances in each.
Stanford 38 - Oregon 31 (OT)
In 2018, the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks faced off on September 23rd. Stanford was 3-0 and ranked 7th in the nation while Oregon was 3-0 and ranked 20th. The Cardinal beat the Ducks in overtime in Autzen Stadium after overcoming a 17 point deficit at halftime.
Stanford finished the game 5-of-10 on 3rd downs and 0-for-1 on 4th downs. Oregon was 9-of-16 on 3rd downs, and 1-of-2 on 4th downs. The Ducks won the time of possession battle but turned the ball over three times. Stanford committed five penalties while Oregon committed four.
The Oregon defense allowed KJ Costello to throw three touchdowns on 12.6 yards per pass attempt. Bryce Love ran for 4.7 yards per carry and a score. Five Cardinal receivers hit the double-digit yards per catch mark including 21ypc and two TD’s from JJ Arcega-Whiteside.
Stanford’s defense logged four sacks, seven tackles for loss, four PBU’s and a hurry.
The Ducks offense averaged 3.6 yards per carry with three TD’s on the ground. CJ Verdell averaged 5.8 yards per carry on his own. Justin Herbert threw a TD and an interception while averaging 10.5 yards per pass attempt. Only three Ducks receivers were in the double-digit yards per catch category.
The Ducks defense logged two sacks, five TFL’s, four PBU’s, and a hurry.
Cristobal is going to want to control the line of scrimmage, the clock, and win games 20-14. Oregon seriously won a bowl game 7-6 during the Mario Era in Eugene. Even with Herbert at QB, Cristobal let him do just enough to win 12 games in 2019.
Expect Tyler Van Dyke to have some of the same highs and lows depending on who the offensive coordinator hire is. Hebert was used in the run game as a threat to pull and run, I can see Van Dyke being used the same way. Ugly sacks because of a lack of internal clock hurt Herbert at times at Oregon.
Above- In the era of Stanford football where their 3-4 defense was a dominant force, Oregon was able to run the football on the Cardinal. It’s great to see an O-Line push the Stanford front seven around on 1st and goal.
Above- Oregon’s RB looks to have scored but it’s called down at the one. Now on 3rd and goal from the four, Oregon suffers a bad snap that is the momentum swinging play of the game for Stanford.
Above- All things you can sub out Ducks for and puts ‘Canes into in your mind. Van Dyke and Xavier Restrepo need to get in on this type of action.
Oregon’s defense was standing tall against Stanford until the 2nd half. Where Stanford adjusted, Oregon didn’t. The Ducks started giving up explosive plays.
Above- 9 1⁄2 Ducks are in the box but it’s no problem for Love. He squeezes through a small hole and goes nearly untouched for the TD.
Above- One thing you have to like about the Oregon defense is playing big in big situations. 4th and short they stuffed the Stanford attempt, which is huge considering the Cardinal were built for this exact situation in ‘18.
Above- Oregon DB’s have been getting worked for years. This clip will remind you of the ‘Canes cornerbacks and I hope that Mario will figure out an upgrade at CB coach in ‘22.
Oregon 30 - Washington 27 (OT)
In another overtime game, Oregon comes out on top of Washington 30-27. Unlike the Stanford game where the Ducks game up a big lead, this game was neck and neck all the way through.
Washington finished 6-of-13 on 3rd downs, and 1-of-2 on 4th downs. The Ducks finished 9-of-18 on 3rd and a ridiculous 3-of-3 on 4th down. Both teams turned the ball over one time, and Washington just edged Oregon on TOP by just over a minute. The Huskies committed five penalties to the Ducks seven.
UW QB Jake Browning averaged 9.7 yards per pass attempt with a TD and an INT. The Huskies offense ran for 4.3 yards per carry and two TD’s. Five Husky receivers hit double-digit yards per catch against the Ducks defense.
Washington’s defense logged only one sack, two TFL’s, four PBU’s and two hurries.
Herbert was held to only 6.3 yards per attempt but threw two TD’s with no INT’s. Oregon ran for 3.6 yards per carry and two scores. The Ducks had only two receivers hit double-digit yards per catch against UW.
Oregon’s defense had one sack, five TFL’s, two PBU’s and two hurries. Both teams missed a field goal in a three point ball game.
With future NFL star Justin Herbert at QB, the Ducks still couldn’t manage 9+ yards per pass attempt. Cristobal’s biggest knock in Eugene was not being able to get the most from Herbert, or develop a QB after his departure. Oregon relied on Tyler Shough and Anthony Brown, neither of which proved to be anything spectacular.
Above- Hard count prior to the GIF starting. I like it when in empty. Ducks motion to empty before the hard count, too. Knowing it’s empty that’s a 3-step protection, you can’t hold the ball. In order to make shallow cross work, Herbert hits the fade away jumper, almost the footwork you’d see on a screen pass.
Above- When the game is on the line Mario is going to rely on his run game. It’s 3rd and goal from the six and Oregon pounds one in on a standard man run scheme.
The Ducks defense was good but not great in ‘18.
Above- Play side edge rusher lost contain by chasing the run away, and the “CB” that was playing off should’ve been keeping outside leverage but wasn’t. He’s 21-man rule anyway (keep 21 men in front of you) so what he’s chasing I’m not sure.
Above- Oregon linebacker stuck on a TE after a double reverse pass. Like the effort from Hollins (# 11 for Oregon).
Above- RIP John Madden. Old school toss crack for a TD vs the Ducks defense.
Above- DJ Ivey just said “run it back”
The Ducks finished the 2018 season 9-4. The SP+ (called the S&P+ back then) had Oregon ranked 41st overall. The Ducks were ranked 31st on offense, 50th on defense and 59th in kicking. Coming off of the Mark Helfrich Era ending, which was 4-8, and then the one season of Willie Taggart, 9-4 really isn’t too shabby.
The Oregon culture had fallen apart. Taggart’s strength and conditioning coach was a ‘#GrindSZN’ guy who gave players rhabdo. Helfrich’s S&C coach wasn’t developing talent. Cristobal seems to be bringing in a lot of his Oregon staff that lost close and big games, and suffered through injuries to key players (Justin Flowe, Kayvon Thibodeaux, CJ Verdell).
Next time: Stop in next time as we examine the 2019 season opener against Auburn, and the Rose Bowl Championship victory over Wisconsin.