What To Expect From The Oregon Ducks Defense In 2016 Could Be Unexpected


The Oregon Ducks Defense will have a makeover in 2016, and an early advantage since no one has seen what Brady Hoke has in mind.

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Last season, one thing was clear. After enduring a defeat not seen in a long time at Autzen Stadium to the Utah Utes, and the Oregon Ducks falling out of the National Championship hunt, something needed to change. The days of Nick Alliotti and a stubborn and tough Oregon Defense were gone, Don Pellum did the best he could at the helm, but giving up 28 points per game was clearly not the right direction.

Pellum remained with Oregon, but the Ducks and Head Coach Mark Helfrich went in a new direction. Brady Hoke, former Head Coach at Michigan, who had taken a year off from the game was brought in as Defensive Coordinator. He made immediate changes shifting from a 3-4 Defense to the 4-3.  What are the differences? Here’s the short version.

The 3-4 Defense begins with three down lineman and four linebackers. The lineman are there to push the Offensive Line. The Linebackers have dual roles of either falling back in coverage or making a move on the Quarterback.

The 4-3 Defense begins with four down lineman and three linebackers. The scheme has been used at the next level at the NFL for years. The Defensive End is free to go after the Quarterback. Of course, in the 4-3 you have to have good Defensive Ends.

The month of June has been good for Oregon and recruiting, picking up more than a handful for the Defense moving forward. Brady Hoke has already put his fingerprint on the program on his Recruiting ability. Perhaps even more so than Pellum over the last two seasons. So, what will things look like come September for Oregon on the Defensive side?

Expect, well something unexpected. The speed we are used to seeing on Defense will become ore physical. Expect more sacks, expect more hurries on the opposing Quarterback, which could lead to more mistakes and Turnovers. Offensively preparing for a 4-3 is no easy task, especially for 2016 and Oregon.

Next: Oregon Football Recruiting: Ducks Pick Up Tight End For 2017

It has not been seen on film. Hoke, although he has never been Defensive Coordinator, is a Defensive minded coach. Time will tell, but the start of what could be something special for the Oregon Defense begins with Fall Camp on August 8th.