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OC Discussion Part II: How do Oregon Fans Feel About Andy Ludwig?

(via HawaiianBear)


After hearing a Ute weigh in on his feelings about his old offensive coordinator, we turn to Duck country. Addicted to Quack seemed a little too happy to voice their opinion of their experiences with Andy Ludwig from 2002-2004. Perhaps some residual bitterness? I didn't really know whether they were serious or not. Maybe they felt like they could rib us.

As it turns out, they were quite serious. Deadly serious. I guess when you follow up Jeff Tedford and Urban Meyer, that's how it goes.

The interview is below. Our questions are in bold.

1) You have said that Oregon played a very conservative, plodding form of football during Ludwig's tenure at Oregon. Do you believe this was prudent giving the talent level of the Ducks that season, or do you feel that he underachieved given the players he was playing with?

He definitely underachieved. He had Kellen Clemens as his QB, Demetrius Williams and Sammy Parker as receivers, Tim Day as TE, an underrated Terrence Whitehead at running back, and solid O-line. Unfortunately, his offenses just didn't produce. What's odd about Ludwig's time at Oregon, while his yards per game increased each year, his points per game plummeted.

2) What type of plays did Ludwig run at Oregon that might be new to the Golden Bears offense? What were your favorites, trick or otherwise, that utilized his players in the best ways? What plays did he run that made you tear your hair out?

Nothing really. Moving from Tedford to Ludwig was like having your playbook contract. One thing specifically I liked was getting tight ends involved, which seemed to be lacking quite a bit with the talent we had at the position, while we saw a great deal of runs up the middle, which was more than frustrating.

3) Ludwig was also the quarterbacks coach. How well did he develop QBs during his tenure with the Ducks, especially Kellen Clemens? What were the improvements you saw with Clemens during Ludwig's time there?

This was one problem, is that we really didn't see improvement in any of Ludwig's QBs. While completion percentages for QBs went up, that happened at a sacrifice to yards per attempt, which in my opinion led to the anemic 2004 results. Was this the QBs fault? I'm not really sure. The playbook became much more conservative in 2004, which is born out in the stats. Yards per attempt dropped by a almost a yard along, which led to less explosiveness, but with a slightly increased completion rate and a slight interception rate drop. In the move from 2004 to 2005, even with to sophomores taking the reigns near the end of the season, yards per attempt went up, INT rate dropped, touchdown rate increased, and completion rate as well.

I'm not exactly sure what to make out of all of this, and maybe we were simply spoiled by Tedford's magic, but Ludwig just didn't lead to the QB growth we had come to expect.

4) I recall watching one Ludwig-coached game in person, when a 5-6 Oregon squad challenged the 2004 Golden Bears for much of the game, arguably having a chance to win it if Keith Allen catches this ball and their kicker makes an extra point. I found Oregon's offense to be particularly strong in that game with Clemens peppering the Bears defense and finding the receivers in the right place. Was that just the best Ludwig had to offer that season?

That was one of the best quarterbacking games of the season. But looking a bit deeper into the numbers, we can see that it wasn't all that unusual. Though TD's were high, completion rate and yards per attempt were nothing to be too excited about. And in the 2nd half, Oregon managed a pathetic 44 yards, 36 of that on the final, futile drive. But in a lot of ways, that was indicative of the 2004 team. They were few games they were out of, but when it was really necessary, they had a tough time getting the ball in the end zone.