Thursday, September 24, 2009

Statesman Journal: Ducks in an offensive funk

Gary Horowitz

QB Jeremiah Masoli's struggles top Oregon's worries as Cal looms

If Jeremiah Masoli filled out a self-evaluation form for his performance thus far in 2009, the Ducks' quarterback would give himself a C. "That's about it," Masoli said. Some people might regard that assessment as generous. Through three games, Masoli has completed 29 of 64 passes (45.3 percent) for 379 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He's also lost three fumbles. In last week's 31-24 victory against No. 18 Utah that snapped the Utes' 16-game winning streak, Masoli was 4 of 16 for 95 yards and an interception, and one of his two fumbles was returned for a touchdown.  "If you look at the film, some of the receivers weren't coming back (on routes)," Masoli said. "Just little things here and there. We're getting on the same page now ... (but) 4 for 16 is never acceptable for a quarterback."

If those numbers don't improve, Oregon could be in for a long afternoon Saturday against No. 6 California.

Entering the season, Masoli was considered one of the top option quarterbacks in the country. He was especially strong in the Ducks' last three games of the 2008 campaign, completing 65.8 percent of his passes for 830 yards and six touchdowns with one pick, and running for 248 yards and seven touchdowns in victories against Arizona, Oregon State and Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl.

Overall in 2008, Masoli threw for 1,744 yards (56.9 percent) and 13 touchdowns with five interceptions, and set a single-season school rushing record for quarterbacks with 718 yards and 10 scores.

So where has the Masoli magic gone?  "He didn't start out guns blazing at the beginning of (last) year," offensive guard Mark Asper said. "A lot of people forget about that."

Link to rest of article.

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