Another first-year head coach for Ducks

For the second week in a row the Oregon Ducks will face a first-year head coach, this time Fresno State's Tim DeRuyter, who comes to the Bulldogs after stints as the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M and Air Force. DeRuyter replaces Pat Hill at the helm, who was a mainstay in Fresno for 15 years before his termination following last season.

EUGENE, Ore.- A week ago, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly discussed the difficulties of preparing for Gus Malzahn and the new-look Arkansas State Red Wolves. Kelly said preparation required watching film from numerous schools while trying to narrow down what they'd expect to see on game day.

"Schematically we've got an understanding of what he [DeRuyter] wants to be, but you don't really know how he's going to deploy everybody, because he's only one had game," Kelly said.

This week Kelly and staff have broken down Texas A&M and Utah (former home of offensive coordinator Dave Schramm) film, with the addition of the Bulldog's 37-10 victory over Weber State last Saturday.

"We're always looking at where these guys come from, get a history on them and then see if it matches with what they did in the first game," Kelly said.

What they have seen on tape has been a team with plenty of talent and upside on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs fell below expectations in Hill's final season winning just four games and failing to play in a bowl game for only the second time in 13 seasons. But if Saturday's win over Weber State is any indication of the program's direction it's heading in another upswing.

Offensively, the Bulldogs are led by junior quarterback Derek Carr, who started 13 games a year ago, completing 62.4% of his passes including 26 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. The brother of 2002 NFL 1st overall pick David Carr, the younger Carr has all of the tools to follow in his brother's footsteps as one of the Bulldogs all-time greats.

"He throws the ball extremely well. He's very accurate," Kelly said of Carr, who only threw five incompletions a week ago on 25 attempts. "He's going to beat you throwing the football."

Defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti says the speed is there for the Bulldogs to stretch the field in the vertical passing game more than Arkansas State did Saturday.

"Arkansas State was going to dink and dunk." Aliotti said. "Fresno may have the same plan, but they do have guys that can get down the field. The vertical passing game will be a big challenge for us."

One of those down the field options is redshirt freshman receiver Davante Adams, who caught seven balls in the season-opener including two for scores, each over 25 yards.

The Bulldogs will look to employ perhaps a more balanced attack than the Red Wolves did, in large part due to running back Robbie Rouse. Although small in height at just 5-7, Rouse has tremendous lower-body strength, which allowed him to rush for 1549 yards a year ago along with 13 touchdowns.

"They have a little--and I only say little because his stature is little--tough, hard-nosed very good quick running back," Aliotti said of Rouse.

On the other side of the ball Kelly and company expect to be tested up front, as DeRuyter and defensive coordinator Nick Toth have reputations as aggressive play-callers. That was certainly evident in their first game as the Bulldogs sacked Weber State quarterback Mike Hoke four times and hit him on three separate occasions.

"He runs a nice scheme, he's a 3-4 out scheme guy," Kelly said of DeRuyter. "He'll blitz you from a lot of different angles."

"It was a sack-fest when you watch their tape from last year," offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said of the Texas A&M front seven a year ago, who led the Big-12 in sacks with 51.

Whether or not DeRuyter will have the athletes to run the same aggressive scheme with the Bulldogs is still to be determined, but Helfrich isn't sleeping on the athletes lining up on Saturday.

"They're similar to ours in a number of ways, but different enough to give us some trouble.

"They're very talented. Coach [Pat] Hill always did a great job of evaluating tough guys and fast physical defensive players."

Oregon will have all of those questions answered Saturday, as the Ducks take on the Bulldogs at 3:30 at Autzen Stadium.


eDuck Top Stories