Coyotes get all of Ducks attention for week 1

The clock is running down before Oregon takes the field Saturday and the Ducks are well on their way in their game preparation.

The tenor of practice has changed. Fall camp is just a memory now and Oregon turns their focus in whole towards the South Dakota Coyotes. Many are predicting a walkover victory for the Ducks and there is little reason to think otherwise. The Oregon coaches have been tasked with keeping the team focused with the Michigan State Spartans on the horizon. To Defensive Coordinator Don Pellum, this does not seem like much of an issue.

“All I know is that we have been working hard to get ready for this first game. Everything we have is on the first game. We better play well the first week or it’s not going to be off to the start we would like to have,” said Pellum.

It will be the debut of coach Pellum’s defense and according to the coach, not much will be changing. It will be interesting to see if Pellum decides to blitz more than his Nick Aliotti. According to Pellum, he likes the blitz but will be selective with how the blitz is used.

“I think there is a big role for blitzing. I think you have to be smart when you blitz because sometimes you want to blitz but and they are blocking eight guys and you are not going to get there, we are going to have a couple guys who are going to have to defend guys all over the field, so you have to be smart about it,” said Pellum

With the LA Times giving the Ducks the inaugural #1 ranking for the season, the Ducks’ expectations could not be higher coming into the year. It is a tall order for a team who will be breaking in a “new” defense and has 5 true freshmen throughout the two deep. For Coach Mark Helfrich, it all comes down to the first week for his expectations.

“I hope we run around really hard, play really hard and tackle well. I hope we communicate well and line up correctly. If those things happen along with all the other fundamentals everything else should take care of themselves,” said Helfrich.

With a team who has had a countdown clock to play the Ducks for the past several months, Oregon is going to get the ‘Yotes’ best shot Saturday night. Coach Helfrich illuminated what South Dakota does well and what he is expecting to see from them. “They are fundamentally sound, They play their tails off, they’re very well disciplined. They had Kansas on the ropes for a long time. They’re doing a good job of rebuilding that program,” said Helfrich.

All in all, Oregon is likely to win and win big. There are very few scenarios that show the Coyotes coming out of Autzen Stadium with a win but Oregon must remained focused and not let their minds wander as the clock to the Spartans’ visit begins to tick down.

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