Don Pellum, Oregon's defensive coordinator has talked a lot lately about the Duck defense taking advantage of the opportunity to make plays and this week they will need to do so against Georgia State.
In Oregon's first two games, Oregon has given up 73 points and just under 1,000 yards (928) of total offense. So heading into the GSU game giving up 36.5 ppg scoring average by the opponents is all the reason in the world for Pellum, his coaches, the Ducks and the fans to be concerned.
"We haven't had production," Pellum said of the Duck's first two games on defense. "Some of that maybe scheme, some of that maybe internal, maybe a variety of things, but we need better production. That's the bottom line."
What's the solution?
Pellum is still scratching his head on that question but there are indications that the Oregon coaches are running out of patience with players who fail to deliver. Defensive backs coach John Neal said on Wednesday that some changes could occur with personnel. If that happens some who had experienced the glory of a Pac-12 and Rose Bowl Championship might be destined to watch games from teh sidelines.
This week Oregon will face a team that throws quickly and often and can match the numbers put up on Oregon by both Eastern Washington and Michigan State.
This won't be a pushover contest if the Ducks enter the game thinking the Panthers will roll over and play dead. Poor tackling, missed assignments and lackadaisical effort will not cut it against quarterback Nick Arbuckle who threw two touchdowns last week against New Mexico State. Arbuckle is averaging 335.5 yards per game plus GSU have averaged 187 yards a game running the ball.
Neal thinks if the Duck defenders run to the ball, tackle well, do their jobs, that Oregon could be very successful. Both Pellum and Neal are encouraged by how practice goes on Saturday, but if that same intensity displayed in practice doesn’t carry over on Saturday, don’t be surprised to see some changes made quickly.