A Duck Fan's Response

Our defense is geared to stop the run. If the Avery/Harper tandem coupled with a line that has proven poor in rush blocking is a BSU advantage, then we are headed for a very long season. You see, the Pac-10 will be one of the best rushing conferences in the country with people like Best/Vereen, Gerhart/whoever his backup, McKnight/USC's stable, Quizz & James Rodgers/McCant and Grisby/Antolin.

In response to a Bleacher Report article, Ducks at Broncos: Preview, Part I that was republished on eDuck a die-hard Duck responds.

(Note: The views expressed are those of the author only and may not necessarily be shared by eDuck Sports, LLC)

Yikes, many of those backups would be 1,000-yard rushers, which makes the Pac-10 conference one of the most formidable, if not the best (can forget about our tandem of LeGarrette Blount and LaMichael James). That puts the Avery/Harper tandem around sixth best on our schedule. I pray to the heavens above that BSU doesn't have an advantage here.

The Oregon defensive line does return Will Tukuafu as the lone starter. However, Kenny Rowe has been long due for his coming out party. He has patiently waited behind Nick Reed, one of our most productive ends in school history. Rowe just might be better. He was our prized recruit out of high school with offers from 'SC and 4-star by all accounts. He is a lethal combination of speed and athleticism and is the perfect complement to Tukuafu as a DE/LB hybrid, ala Reed. If he has 1/10th of the heart of Reed, we are in for a treat.

The third DE in the rotation, Zac Clark, is a versatile and heady player from Butler Community College, the reining JUCO national champions. He has the proverbial motor that all coaches desire in an end. Throw in Terrell Turner and I am very excited about the end rotation. Our DT rotation with Brandon Bair (junior), Blake Ferras (senior), Simi Toeaina (senior), and Terrance Montgomery (junior) will make up a two-deep of upperclassmen defensive tackles. This group will be subbed in at a rapid pace by our defensive line coach, Jerry Azzinaro that brings a non-stop, swarming energy to the unit.

Of course, this is without mention of the deepest and most talented linebacker corps we've seen at Oregon.

BSU is going to have to prove that they can rush block against quality competition. Likewise, the offensive line is in disarray with starters Potter and Slater riddled with injury, which led to 10 different starting combinations on the line. Spring training was no different. Most of Bronco Nation concurs that all spots on the Oline are up for grabs, save Thomas Byrd at center. Continuity is a problem for the line and BSU will have to prove otherwise, especially with a downgrade in running backs from last year. I know BSU fans like to diminish Ian Johnson's ability by saying he's media darling that disappointed. I am not buying it though, as he clearly showed his talent in the combines. Advantage: Oregon.

The passing game is where BSU has the advantage albeit slight. The Oline can pass protect. However, I don't know if it's your offensive line that was talented or Moore just made them look like the iron curtain (leader in sacks allowed). His ability to read the field, make a decision and throw with accuracy is where you will give our pass defense a run for their money (that and Nick Aliotti's tendency to stop the run at all costs.) We placed two defensive backs in the second round of the draft, which will be replaced by upperclassmen, Talmadge Jackson III (intercepted Kellen Moore last year) and uber-talent, Willie Glasper. I'm hoping this unit is geared more towards the pass than the rush, as they were last year. The unit last year, dubbed the d-boyz, were rugged, run stuffing defensive backs and even ball-hawking at times. However, they suffered from mental lapses (or is this not so user-friendly defensive scheme too damn complicated!) and got caught badly out of position in play action, which, of course, led to some bad statistical performances.

We have to prove that tendency is gone. Advantage: BSU.

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