With Sean Mannion at quarterback, the running back position does not often get a lot of love in Corvallis. They may see even less this week, considering they are potentially down to their fourth string running back if Storm Woods is unable to go on Saturday. Despite this, the Beaver run game still has the attention of defensive coordinator Don Pellum.
“We watched the film and all four of those running backs have played this year and they look like the same guy. So we don’t see it as the fourth guy, we see it as the next man up. I think that all those backs are very smart, shifty and they are tough to tackle,” said Pellum.
Oregon’s pass defense is certain to be tested against the Mannion, and the defense has shown vulnerability at times with defending the pass, but Pellum sees his defense evolving and getting better.
“I think we have gotten better. We still have left some plays on the field. To be successful this weekend we are going to have to do a nice job of rerouting, keeping leverage on deep balls. They do a great job making you defend the whole field so our spacing has to be good,” said Pellum.
Teams have tried to get to Mannion and fluster him, with some success. The Ducks may be looking to put the pressure on Mannion but they will have to be smart about it, due to his ability to throw the ball down the field.
“When you watch the film, you will see people get to him with pressure but then you look up and he is throwing the ball 50 or 60 yards down the field so you have to pick and choose when you pressure him. We’re going to need a combination of pressures and coverages and be smart about it,” said Pellum.
Today was the last media session before the game as Thanksgiving takes over what would normally be a Thursday availability. Media will not have the opportunity to speak with the coaches or players until after the game on Saturday.
Oregon Must Be Smart About Pressuring Mannion
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