Oregon secondary must step up

By Marc Hudgens  |   Monday, November 24, 2008  |  Comments( 1 )

Oregon Ducks
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Oregon entered this college football season with not one, not two but three Jim Thorpe Award nominees in Patrick Chung, Walter Thurmond III and Jairus Byrd. Somehow, though, the Ducks' pass defense is 105th in the nation, ranked last in the Pac-10.

With all that supposed star power in the defensive backfield, how do you explain an average of one pick and 253 passing yards allowed per game?

Ironically, Oregon State has the best passing offense in the Pac-10 (No. 27 nationally). No brainer as far as what Beaver head coach Mike Riley’s gameplan will be. Or should be.

In Oregon’s three losses this season, opponents have netted an average of three touchdown passes a game. Oregon State, the Ducks' fiercest rival and their opponent this weekend, has averaged two passing scores a game in their seven wins.

Beaver quarterback Lyle Moevao has a bum shoulder, so maybe that’s in Oregon’s favor if he plays. If not, though, backup Sean Canfield has done well in Moevao’s absence; that means there isn't much of a drop-off from No. 1 to No. 2.

All this said, it’s difficult to imagine Mike Bellotti’s bunch leaving Reser Stadium with a win. If the Ducks can find a way to emerge triumphant, they’ll spoil their instate rival’s Pac-10 title chances, which is always a positive for Oregon.
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About Marc Hudgens

Marc Hudgens has been with RealFootball365 since 2007, covering college football, specifically Clemson and Oregon. He also writes for SouthernPigskin.com covering the ACC. He enjoys the acidic wit of Hunter S. Thompson, is a freelance graphic designer and has written several screenplays. He...
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