You would think that in a 44-point blowout victory at home, there wouldn’t be many things to nitpick, and very few stock down performances. That’s not how Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning felt after the game, though.
Rather, Lanning noted several things the team needed to improve on, and he was not satisfied with the performance in the slightest.
While it’s easy to see what he’s talking about, Oregon fans can also feel good about the way their team played, especially when it comes to performances by Bo Nix, Tez Johnson, Casey Rogers, Taki Taimani and many others.
So in our weekly stock report, let’s take a look at the guys who saw their stock rise the most, and a couple who have stuff to improve upon going forward.
Stock Up: Tez Johnson
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This was undoubtedly the best game of Tez Johnson’s Oregon career, and arguably the best game of his college career in general. With 12 catches for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns, Tez was the go-to guy for Bo Nix on Saturday evening, and he even pitched in on special teams, racking up 75 punt return yards as well.
After letting the first pass of the game go through his hands for a Bo Nix INT, it was the least he could do to step up and have a career performance. The Ducks have no doubt who their WR1 is, Troy Franklin, but having a WR2 who can put up these types of numbers is what sets you apart as an offense.
Stock Up: Casey Rogers
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It will not show up in the box score, but the impact that Casey Rogers had in this game should not get looked past. In the first quarter, Rogers was directly responsible for the interception Steve Stephens IV hauled. The defensive lineman pushed his blocker into the QB and forced an errant pass. Later in the first half, Rogers came smoking off the edge and produced a strip sack that Taki Taimani returned to the 1-yard line.
Rogers ended the game with 2 tackles and 1 sack, but his impact was far greater than what those numbers show.
Stock Down: Penalty Issues
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Another week, another performance with far too many penalty issues for Dan Lanning and the Ducks. While it looked like Oregon had things under control in this facet of the game for a few weeks, it became a problem once again on Saturday with nine flags for 99 yards, directly wiping a pair of touchdowns off the board.
“We’ve had games where we’ve played really clean ball,” Lanning said. “We’ve had games like this, and it’s certainly disappointing, so we have to figure out different ways to emphasize it. We have to eliminate some selfish play. Some of those are penalties that should never exist.”
I’m not sure what the Ducks do in order to change things going forward, but it’s clear that something needs to change and quickly.
Stock Up: Bo Nix
It may seem like six total touchdowns would get you into the “A Block” when it comes to the stock report, but that just shows how good Bo Nix truly is; this type of performance isn’t that massive when it comes to raising his already sky-high stock.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing to dislike in a six-TD, 386-yard performance, and Nix’s Heisman odds certainly benefited. At this point in his career, though, it’s become increasingly hard to improve the stock for Nix. Of course, a week from now after a game against the USC defense, there’s a good chance that we’ll be right back here once again, talking about how impressive Bo was on Saturday night.
Stock Up: Ross James
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If you didn’t know his name going into Saturday’s game, then I hope you know it by now.
Ross James has been an elite punter for Oregon this year, averaging 49.8 yards per punt which would lead the nation if he had enough attempts to qualify — credit to the offense.
On Saturday afternoon, James boomed a monster 64-yarder that went out at the 3-yard line for Cal, flipping the field perfectly for the defense. He may not be the most recognizable player on Oregon’s roster, but he is among the most important.
Stock Up: Ty Thompson
It’s been fun to watch over the past few months as the Oregon fan base warms back up to Ty Thompson. The Duck fans were high on him when the former five-star committed to Oregon years back, but they quickly cooled after some lackluster performances left a lot to be desired. The few times we’ve seen him this season in clean-up duties have been impressive, though.
You could argue he hasn’t looked better than he did on Saturday night, completing 6-of-8 passes for 58 yards and a TD, taking complete control of the offense, and displaying some real arm talent in the final quarter. The future of the QB position is unclear after Bo Nix leaves, but it’s becoming more and more likely that Thy Thompson is going to have a big leg up on that competition going forward.
Stock Up: Taki Taimani
There is a world where the touchdown count from Saturday’s game should have read Bo Nix: 5, Taki Taimani: 1.
After a beautiful strip sack from Casey Rogers, Taimani picked up a fumble in the second quarter and rumbled towards the end zone, getting tackled as he crossed the goal line. The refs ruled him down at the 1, allowing for Nix to punch it in for one of his two rushing TDs on the day. However, you could have easily given it to Taimani.
Taimani ended the day with 2 tackles, but he had one of the better tackling grades on the day, according to Pro Football Focus. He has been a very valuable member of the Oregon defensive line this season, and that showed on Saturday.