With Florida State in the rearview, Oregon turns their attention toward another traditional power in the Ohio State Buckeyes. Oregon has championed the “Next man up” philosophy throughout the season, with the trials of the offensive line and the loss of Ifo Ekpre-Olomu they have had to focus on bringing up players who have to fill in and compete at a high level.
The Ducks are not alone in this as Ohio State has also had to deal with a fair share of attrition, particularly at the quarterback position. The Buckeyes looked primed to spiral out of control when they lost Braxton Miller and many buried them when J.T. Barrett went down to injuries. However, they have found a playmaker in Cardale Jones. Jones is a downfield threat who can also take off and run. However, the Ducks defenders do not plan to treat him differently than they did Jameis Winston.
“I have to keep watching more film, but he is a talented quarterback. He isn’t scared to run it but he can also deliver the throws. When you have a talented quarterback like that, you really have to study him. Not just him though, the whole team,” said Safety Erick Dargan.
One of the primary differences between Jones and his predecessors is his ability to throw the ball down the field. Dargan leads the team with 7 interceptions, one of them coming in the Rose Bowl after a deflection and a tip drill play. With him being a downfield threat, defenders are looking at being in the spotlight a little more than they have been in recent weeks.
“Your number is going to be called a lot more. I take it as a challenge. I’m just going to try to accept it and excel in it, honestly. His arm strength is what separates him from all these other quarter backs,” said Troy Hill.
Hill is a bit of an interesting story. Not only did he grow up in Youngstown, Ohio, but he grew up rooting for Michigan. As another aside, Hill’s collegiate career began and will end in the same stadium. His first appearance was against LSU in Dallas and remembers getting taken to task by Odell Beckham Jr. who is now tearing up the NFL.
Jones Has Ducks Attention
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