PAC-12 Preview Part II
The Oregon Ducks have not lost their swag over the last few season despite trying to find their mojo. If I had a crystal ball I would say the Ducks can hit the ground running with first three opponents not being major powerhouses.
First year head coach Mario Cristobal has had the opportunity to go through spring ball and fall camp to have his team ready to play. Their conference schedule sets up well for them playing PAC-12 opener at home verse Stanford, and also hosting Washington, UCLA, & ASU at home.
Justin Herbert will return as the Ducks signal caller with his strong arm and ability to scramble when needed. The offense returns seven starters, the most important three will be the interior line to slow down pressure.
The defense will run the same scheme for the second year lined up in 3-4 to allow the team to keep up with the fast paced PAC-12 offensives. The outside linebackers La’Mar Winston and Justin Hollins are two of the key seven returning starters for this unit. Not to be forgotten in captain defensive MVP at inside backer Troy Dye to fill the A & B gaps.
At the eleventh hour Oregon picked up a late signee 6-5 185 WR/DB Bryan Addison from Serra High School after UCLA gave him full release. We will have to wait and see how big was this late addition. The other 23 incoming freshman will have an opportunity to compete. Jalen Hall was also big pick up that didn’t leave with the coaching change.
The Oregon State Beavers bring home a proven winner to steer this program in the right direction. New head coach Jonathan Smith who knows how to win as player and coach. There is something special when a star comes home.
The Beavers seem to always find star power at the quarterback position, this season Jake Luton will run this pro style offense. With his 6’7 frame and strong arm returning from spine injury should be breeze.
The wide receivers will be the most experienced group out of the seven returning starters to assist Luton. Tightend Noah Togiai who caught 34 passes last year and played big at the point of attack.
The defense will need to step up this season with only five returning starters. Insiderback Jonathan Willis will be called upon to lead this team and help get the offense back on the field. As the last line of defense will be returning safeties Jalen Moore & David Morris who both were tied with 75 tackles a piece.
This year recruits 26 in all will be great additions to fill few holes Smith has to fill this opening season. Right out the gate the whole team will travel to Ohio State for the 2018 opening kickoff. This game will give the Beavers the opportunity to set the tone for the year and show that they are OSU.