Justin Herbert, one of the most Oregonian players in the history of the Ducks football program finished on top. While the goal was to play for a chance at a National Championship, the Ducks still did enough for an 11-2 season. A big part of their success in defeating Wisconsin was due to Herbert’s skills. He’d been putting up big numbers all season through the air, but it was his legs that were on display at the Rose Bowl.
Mobility on Display
The Wisconsin Badgers possess one of the best defenses in the country. It was well known they’d be trying to make Herbert uncomfortable from his first snap. What better way for Herbert to end off his collegiate career than by shredding a premier defense? Well, that didn’t exactly happen with Wisconsin shutting down the passing game.
Herbert tends to be a one-dimensional quarterback, which is more helpful at the professional level. Coming into his finale, Herbert had amassed 21 yards on 49 carries and scored once on the ground. Wisconsin is too well-coached to not consider the possibility of Herbert scrambling, but he still beat them with it.
Three of the Ducks’ scores came from Herbert, two of the three making it in the end zone untouched. He finished the night with 29 yards on nine carries, the longest a 30-yard dash with solid blocks ahead.
Herbert had a valid choice in skipping his senior year and going pro or coming back and hoping to raise his stock more. He was already projected as a top-five quarterback and has climbed as high as the second or third best for the 2020 Draft (pending Tua Tagovailoa’s choice). Herbert also could’ve skipped the Rose Bowl altogether, considering the hype of Wisconsin’s defense, but he stuck with his team. In a day and age where star players forego bowl games, the option to play it out has to mean a little something to pro scouts.
Herbert’s finale wasn’t his best by far, but he did face one of the staunchest defenses in his career. The offense got help from their defense and special teams, but it was Herbert who directly scored three times. He finishes his career with over 10,000 passing yards, 22 interceptions and 108 scores (12 rushing).
Music, sports and family/friends fuel my life. Loyal son and forever true to ISU, but also go Ducks! College sports are better than the pros, but you’ll find me repping either Chicago or Denver based teams most of the time. Fingers crossed the Big 12 or PAC 12 breaks that Playoff barrier sooner rather than later.