Sep 14, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks players walk through the tunnel before the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
This week the Cougars head down to Eugene to take on the second ranked Oregon Ducks. The Ducks (6-0, 3-0) are coming into this match up after taking on the Washington Huskies in Seattle. Washington State (4-3, 2-2) is coming in after a disappointing 52-24 loss to Oregon State.
Oregon has been on a roll all season and scored their fewest points all season last weekend when they scored 45 points. Before last week their fewest points in a game was 57, which was mostly done in three quarters being that their starters don’t normally have to play the whole game. Oregon has the skills to score very quick and very often and utilizes them as much as possible.
There isn’t much to know about Oregon that everyone doesn’t all know, but I will say it anyways.
Heisman front-runner Marcus Mariota has been on fire all season. With 1724 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, 426 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, and 0 interceptions nobody has been able to stop Mariota and the Ducks. Running back De’Anthony Thomas has been out for the past few weeks. It was said last week that Thomas was going to play against Washington, but never played a snap.
Mariota has the ability to get outside of the pocket and either gain a big chunk of yards on the ground or let it fly, a trait not all quarterbacks have. When in the pocket he has the brains to know if he needs to get out or throw the ball down field.
The Ducks have two receivers over the 500 yard receiving mark, Josh Huff (552 yards and 5 touchdowns) and Bralon Addison (502 yards and 6 touchdowns) both have 27 receptions. As a team the Ducks average 16.7 yards per catch and 6 different players have a receiving touchdown.
On the ground, the Ducks have Thomas, Mariota, Byron Marshall, and Thomas Tyner carrying the ball the most. The Ducks have scored 18 touchdowns on the ground this season. Four of the five who have scored on the ground have at least 5 touchdowns.
The Ducks run a quick hurry up that will tire down the defense allowing them to score with ease. Every team has struggled with this up tempo offense the Ducks run.
With the quick offense that the Ducks run, their defense is on the field a lot of the time. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, their defense allows opposing offenses to only score 13.8 points per game. Allowing only 110 first downs this season it is hard to get the ball moving, Their offense has 168 first downs this season.
The defense allows 4.23 yards per play and has only allowed nine touchdowns this season. Three of those nine touchdowns came last week against Washington, their toughest and only ranked opponent so far this season.
Defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu has 36 tackles and is very dangerous on the defensive side. It was said by Washington head coach that he was their toughest defender they had played against, this says a lot especially since Washington had already played Stanford. Ekpre-Olomu will be someone the Cougars have to watch out for.
Linebacker Derrick Malone is another player to watch on the Ducks defense. Malone has totaled 52 tackles on the season, 23 solo and 29 assisted. Lineman Tony Washington and defensive back Terrance Mitchell both have 29 tackles.
The Ducks are very deep on defense with 10 different players having 20 or more total tackles. Four defensive backs, four linebackers, and two lineman round out that list of tackles. Nine different players also have a sack this season, Washington leads the list with 4.5 sacks. Washington also leads the team in tackles for loss with 7.
The Ducks are just as quick on defense as they are on offense and can easily compete with anyone on the opposing offense.