Finally, Oregon’s defense stopped an opponent for an entire 60 minutes.
The Ducks held Tennessee Tech to 177 total yards and just 14 points. Despite it being against weaker competition, the confidence that the Ducks can stop someone is there. It also boosts their total defense up dramatically – all the way to 53rd in the nation.
Now they face the 12th-ranked total offense, and fourth-ranked scoring offense in Arizona. How prepared is that Ducks defense for it?
Joe: I’ll admit that I am a little worried going into the matchup against the Arizona Wildcats, but I’m sure everyone is always a little worried when facing a top 25 team to open up conference play. The Ducks played very well on defense holding Tennessee Tech to 14 points, because the Ducks proved they can shut down a top wide receiver in Da’Rick Rodgers. Outside of a 23 yard touchdown reception, he didn’t really do much else besides two other receptions for a combined 15 yards. My main reason for concern stems from not having John Boyett patrolling the defensive backfield, but Avery Patterson is a solid replacement. The Ducks will be fine.
Ricky: I’m pretty confident that the Ducks defense can get the job done, but I once thought Oklahoma State could get the same job done. Arizona is a sleeper team in the Pac-12 this year. If Oregon prepares correctly and doesn’t take the Wildcats for granted, tthey’ll win. If that do not, they could lose.
Mike: I’m pretty confident in the Oregon defense at this point because even with inferior talent you still need to stop it. This weekend against the ‘Cats, I like the Ducks chances to keep it going even with the U of A’s non-conference success.
Brian: It remains to be seen how good that Wildcats offense really is. All three teams they’ve faced are not known for their defense, so statistically I believed their numbers are fluffed. Outside of their FCS opponent, Arizona could barely stop Toledo and Oklahoma State. Oregon needs to do what they’ve been doing – get out to an early lead fast, but then continue to play strong on the defense end, regardless of how much they’re up by.
The Autzen Zoo staff includes lead editor Brian Spaen along with staff writers Joe Soriano, Mike Vamosi, Raymond Mencke, Jr., and Ricky Widmer.