University of Oregon Ducks @ University of California (Berkeley) Bears
Friday, October 21, 2016
Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California
Score: Oregon (49), California (52)
Notable Prospects Entering the Contest
Royce Freeman, RB, Junior, #21: Freeman’s season continues to be a struggle. Freeman had a difficult time cutting with authority in this game and lacked the second gear that he’s been known to illustrate in open space. Freeman’s passiveness at the POA early in the game was quite evident and he eventually yielded time to others; who made much more of their reps. Freeman tallied just 10 total yards rushing on 15 carries a week after logging 50 on 11. Freeman is no lock to enter the 2017 NFL Draft and if he play does not increase, it may be wise for him to consider a return to Eugene. The Oregon passing offense got on track in the second half but did have to play catch up after falling behind big early to Cal.
Evan Baylis, TE, Senior, #81: Baylis logged just his fourth reception of the season on 1 yard touchdown reception. Between Baylis, Pharaoh Brown (below) and Johnny Mundt, the Ducks have an impressive trio of TEs. Unfortunately, the passing offense has gotten off the rails this season while transitioning to a freshman QB and the TEs have not seen a favorable amount of looks. In my opportunities to watch Baylis, he has struck me as a subtle athlete with length and size at the position. I don’t necessarily see a potential starter but this is a potential role player.
Pharaoh Brown, TE, RS Senior, #85: Brown has done well the past 3 weeks to separate and become an active part of the passing offense. He’s tallied 8 receptions for just under 100 yards and a touchdown in the past three contests and furthermore he’s looking a bit more like himself. Brown’s athleticism prior to his significant knee injury made him a potential star; he had size, explosiveness and hands. The size has stayed; the hands are still there (although he did drop a reception this weekend on a poorly thrown but still catchable football) and he’s looking like he has some of the burst back. Hopefully he continues to trend upwards athletically and can return to form.
Davis Webb, QB, RS Senior, #7: Webb thrashed the Ducks defense to the tune of 5 passing touchdowns and 325 yards on 61 attempts. It was the first time in a month Webb hasn’t thrown an interception; although there were certainly several poor throws. When Webb is flushed and on the move his accuracy and ball placement dip notably. Webb’s arm strength was in peak condition this weekend. He could press the ball with pace and one throw stood out: in which Webb extended and then reset his feet before uncorking a throw to the near sideline to move the sticks. It was one of the throws that simply makes you reach down and check the box next to “high end arm strength”. There’s little doubt in Webb’s arm ability but he’s a bit too free with the football, both in decision making and security. Webb’s season needs to level out to generate excitement, he still has not completed over 60% of his throws in consecutive weeks. Let’s see if he can change that next week.
Khalfani Muhammad, RB, Senior, #29: A fun sized back, Muhammad was a treat to watch pick his way through the secondary of Oregon. He is notably lacking in his leg drive, which is going to limit his ability to contribute on an every down basis. But teams could do much worse if they’re looking for a mid-late Day 3 player with the potential to contribute on third downs. Muhammad’s short area quickness and vision in open space are fun to watch; especially when he’s able to turn the corner and get square in the alley against defensive backs. Muhammad showed adequate patience behind the LOS but was not able to break big plays after slipping through late breaking creases.
Chad Hansen, WR, Junior, #6: Hansen was a late scratch in this contest after trying to rehab a leg injury from the previous week against Oregon State.
Best Players on the Field:
Khalfani Muhammad, RB; Davis Webb, QB
Royce Freeman, RB