Quantcast

Oregon Football 2012: Over/Under – Defense

Oregon Football 2012: Over/Under – Defense

Josh White
Reported by Josh White on June 8, 2012
In ,
| 7 Comments

 

It’s time to take a look back at how the Oregon defense fared in 2011, and what to expect in the upcoming season. Will the defense hold up their end of the bargain, keeping up with the torrid pace of the Oregon offense? Will they be better or worse than the Rose Bowl Champion defense of last year? How many tackles will John Boyett have, and will he ever actualy step off the field for a single snap? Can the Ducks count on Boseko Lokombo to score a touchdown nearly every time he has the ball in his hands again?

Let’s jump right into it with an Over/Under projection based on last year’s benchmarks.


Touchdowns Allowed
2011: 43

UNDER

43 touchdowns may seem like a lot at first glance, until stacked against the 88 touchdowns scored by the Ducks. For perspective, Alabama and LSU combined yield 27 touchdowns, and neither team scored anywhere as close to as much as the Ducks.

I’m no math wiz, but if a team scores more than twice as often as their opponents, they are going to win a good majority of the time. But that is not good enough for these Ducks. The Oregon defense has elite front-line talent at every position, and the depth behind them is just as capable.

The unparalleled cohesiveness within the coaching staff is another extremely important, but far less mentioned, factor. With experienced and talented coaches and players, look for the defense as a whole to turn opponents away even more in 2012. A schedule that doesn’t include as many ranked foes as last season also adds to Oregon’s potential ability to exceed last year’s performance.


Rush Yards
2011: 2,401

UNDER

Gone are the days of really large and physical offensive lines getting the best of the Ducks. Sure, Stanford and USC both have some big-uglies up front, but there doesn’t appear to be an overly dominant front five in the conference this year. If football starts up front, then Oregon has an advantage over every team on the schedule next season.

Not only do the Ducks return plenty of bruising defenders from last year, but they also bring in a new wave of redshirt and true freshmen who are likely to find their way onto the field as well. The front-seven are absolutely loaded on this team, and the quality depth will provide insurance against player injuries over the grind of a full season.

The stats get further distorted because Oregon often plays with a lead, forcing teams to abandon the run and take to the air to try and stay in the game. If the ruthless Oregon offense is scoring at its familiar clip on offense this year, expect opponents to scrap the run plays even sooner.


Pass yards
2011: 3,462

UNDER

Oregon has all of the tools to completely shut down a passing game. While many opposing teams are usually passing 40 or more times a game against them, the Ducks are better suited this season for defending the aerial attack.

For starters, Oregon has been among the best in the country in sacks, and arrive packing even more heat in 2012. Pressure from Dion Jordan, Michael Clay & co. is sure to hurry some QB decisions, and the coverage on the back end should be able to capitalize in these situations.

In addition to pressuring opposing QBs, Oregon also has some extremely tall defenders that will make it interesting for a shorter QB to throw over. Even if they don’t get the sack, look for the tall and athletic line to knock down more than a few passes. Will other teams still get behind, and throw a lot? Yes, of course they will. But also expect that they will do so with far less efficiency.


Yards Per Play
2011: 5.1

UNDER
Many Oregon fans pointed to this statistic as a counter to ESPN pundits or delusional Husky fans claiming the Ducks don’t have a strong defense. It’s simple math, the odds of giving up yards is directly related to the number of plays an opponent is able to run.

The Ducks offense can score as fast as anyone in the country, often leaving the defense little time in between their reps. The Oregon defense was on the field for more plays than every other FBS team in 2011 except Oklahoma State, who run a pass-oriented spread (1,077 vs 1,084). However, the Ducks yards per play were better, resulting in a difference of 40 spots in the total defense national rankings (Oregon #67 OK St #107). Expect the defense to be even more tenacious in 2012.


Sacks
2011: 45

OVER

The Oregon Ducks absolutely dominated at getting to the quarterback last season. They swarmed to the ball, got off of blocks, and created havoc unlike any Duck defense we have seen before.

With improved and more seasoned personnel across the board, expect this year’s team to be even better. The talent especially at defensive line and linebacker is very deep, and has the ability to be one of the best units in school history. Not just the personnel, but with Nick Aliotti’s newly-found penchant for an attacking, aggressive scheme employing speed and deception will add to Oregon’s ability to crumple opposing quarterbacks that dare take a five-step drop. Sounds a lot like the Oregon offense…


Interceptions
2011: 17

OVER

The Ducks featured two steady leaders in the defensive backfield in John Boyett and Eddie Pleasant. They were supposed to be joined at corner by senior Anthony Gildon and preseason All-American Cliff Harris. Unfortunately injuries and off-field issues sidelined the two projected starters, forcing the Ducks into implementing young but gifted talent with freshmen cornerbacks Terrance Mitchell, Troy Hill, and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

Starting freshmen cornerbacks has backfired on Oregon in the past (see the 2nd half of the 2002 season…or perhaps better to not relive those bad memories), but Mitchell and Ekpre-Olomu in particular shined in their opportunities. The Pac-12 annually fields a glut of elite quarterbacks and skill position players, putting added pressure on the inexperienced young guns to deliver, and despite the occasional hiccup they performed astonishingly well.

With the added experience, physical, and mental maturity; on paper the Ducks look to be a speedy, aggressive, ball hawking bunch that will force even the best signal callers into mistakes. Talented linebackers Boseko Lokombo, Michael Clay, Kiko Alonso have all shown their abilities in pass coverage as well, their versatility allowing Nick Aliotti to open the entire playbook.


John Boyett tackles
2011: 108

UNDER

“Under, you say? John Boyett is going to explode next year!” Very likely, but be happy if Boyett is under in this category next year.

Don’t get me wrong, he is easily one of the best players on the team, and should be all over the field in 2012. But, don’t be surprised if the rest of the defense is so solid, that less plays will actually make it far enough for Boyett to get involved. For the opponents who are foolish enough to reach his level of the defense, good luck. Wisconsin runningback Montee Ball will be permanently singing a few octaves higher as a result of one particular hit by Boyett in the Rose Bowl.


Boseko Lokombo TD’s
2011: 3

OVER

It could definitely be said that Boseko Lokombo has a nose for the end zone. Forget the fact that he plays on defense, Lokombo has scored more often than many great offensive players in Oregon history.

While scoring touchdowns isn’t a requirement to be a good outside linebacker, it sure helps. Seemingly Oregon’s biggest scoring threat on defense, Bo-Lo scored three times last year to push his career total to 4–and all this while playing in a reserve role. Boseko Lokombo burst onto the scene in 2010, scoring on a fumble recovery against Arizona State, and tied for most fumble recoveries in the Pac-12 as a redshirt freshman. Last season he scored on a blocked kick, and two interceptions both returned for touchdowns, with an almost De’Anthony-esque 53.5 yard average.

Following the pattern:

2010: 1 TD (RS Freshman)

2011: 3 TDs (Top reserve LB)

2012: 5 TDs? (As Projected starter)

So, fellow Duck Fans, how do you see it?

Here some detailed defensive highlight videos for your viewing pleasure, brought to you by the incomparable Mike Wines.

 

 

 

About Author
Josh White

Josh WhiteJosh White has been a dedicated Duck fan since the Bill Musgrave days. He has attended (and lost his voice at) virtually every home game and many away games since the late 1980's, including 96 of the current 97 game sellout streak at Autzen Stadium. A Eugene native, Josh works full time in Eugene area real estate, helping people buy and sell residential and commercial properties, and also volunteers with Habitat For Humanity, Kidsports and Food For Lane County. He welcomes your feedback.Twitter: @WhiteHouseJosh Facebook: EugenesBestRealtorView all posts by Josh White →


 

 

This article is published and edited by:

Editor

FishDuck Staff

Editor In Chief

Dano Dunn

Dano Dunn

 

  • Dwayne

    Under sacks it’s penchant, not pension.

    • http://www.FiShDuck.com Kurt Liedtke

       Damn you auto-correct!
      Thanks for the heads up, fixed.

  • Bradypatton

    Josh:

    Nice article.

    Good read.

    Thanks

  • Abc 123

    Josh,

    Good article, but tons of typos. Proofread, my man.

    And keep up the good work!

  • Rpmiller1987

    Even though I do think that this years defense could be the best we have seen in the last decade, I don’t think our “front seven is absolutely loaded.” Not to take anything away from our players because I am really excited to see them play, but there is still decent gap between our defense and LSU’s or Bama’s. This article is so biased that if an outsider were to read this, they would just laugh. And by outsider I mean a legit college football analyst with no ties to the PAC12 or SEC.

    • Douglasmai

      Soory buddy but what Teams have you been watching. this front 7 will be the BEST ever at OREGON and could definetly stand up to Alabama or LSU hell the only reason we lost that 1st Game last year is cause DAT fumbled the ball what 3 times and 2 were inside the our own 30 other than that we held up just fine against them and Auburn we win that Game if DT reads the run option right, cause there were way to many times he gave it to lamike if he just keeps itimself I know for a fact one time he scores and were up by 2, so sorry u need to watch the Games a little more closely.

  • Douglasmai

    Hey guys I believe with Bennett or Mariota playing under center this year this Team will break all Oregons offensive records as well as 50 points a Game, its a great chance to happen and I’m not blowing SMOKE up anybody’s U know what. DT not taking anything away from him did some pretty awsome stuff while he played, but lets be HONEST he left because he probably was not going to win the job this year and thats just a fact. These 2 kids run the option read to perfection and thats just what were gonna see this year fake handoffs AKA Dennis Dixon days all over again, this Team is finally gonna have an ABUNDANCE at reciever this year and thats why, CHIP came back because seriously he was probably so close to signing that contract with TB and then he realized like Barkly is he not Barkly had unfinnished business at the latter’s behalf I mean does anyone really think were not gonna beat sc this year if not twice if you’ve even been watching this Team grow well then you know that answer, were finally gonna have that crystal in the case and thats comin from me a fan clear back from the Reggie Ogburn Vince Goldsmith days, wow what a difference a few years and the right Coach can do .