Three things that matter from from the 2019 Oregon spring football game.
Welcome to the fun, newbies
It’s not just that Oregon is returning almost everyone, but it’s all the new parts being added to the mix that’s making this the IT team of the offseason.
As is, the Ducks have the talent to get into the preseason top 15, but the boost from the recruiting class is making a big splash, too.
The star of recruiting class stars was DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, and he showed glimpses of potential greatness with a sack, another tackle, a broken up pass, and a little bit of pressure. He was good, but CB Mykael Wright was better.
Wright picked off a pass, broke up a few others, made five tackles, and was all over the field. He looked like more than the four-star talent who was a great get for the program.
For the offensive side, Florida native Josh Delgado caught two passes for 30 yards, and PK Camden Lewis nailed his attempts from 32 and 26 yards out.
There’s no quarterback controversy, and 2020 is looking promising
Justin Herbert has the talent and potential to be the best quarterback in college football. He delayed the NFL Draft for a year, and he’s a given.
On Saturday, he did a nice job, completing 17-of-32 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns, but whatever – he’s the No. 1. How about the No. 2?
Braxton Burmeister transferred to Virginia Tech, and now it’s up to redshirt freshman Tyler Shough to serve as the understudy. He wasn’t perfect, but considering – if all goes according to plan – he’ll get a year to get ready, completing 18-of-31 passes for 178 yards and a pick and running a bit was good enough.
After a great spring, he looked terrific at times, he spread the ball around, and he gave Oregon fans hope that there’s a good insurance policy.
It’s just a spring game, but …
– The passing game will get the press, but the ground attack will do enough to balance things out. There was flash – Travis Dye ran ten times for 44 yards, and CJ Verdell ran for 23 yards on just three carries for Herbert’s Mighty Oregon side – but it was the pounding of 216-pound Cyrus Habibi-Likio for 45 yards and a score on 12 carries that took over. He caught three passes for 24 yards, too.
– The fans are in. The Ducks got over 35,000 people to show up to see what all the buzz is about, and it was a decent all-around practice with plenty of entertaining moments. After a few okay years, the pieces are there to be in the College Football Playoff hunt.
– The kicking game was an issue. Adam Stack hit just 6-of-10 field goal tries, and Zach Emerson missed his one try. On Saturday, Emerson hit both of his short attempts, and Lewis made his kicks from 32 and 26 yards out. It might not seem like much, but it would’ve been a big deal if they struggled.