Nick Cody has been an important part of the most powerful Oregon offense of any four year period at Oregon. He has made key blocks at big moments for us, and we are going to miss him in the Fiesta Bowl. We have heard how Everett Benyard will back up Ryan Clanton at right guard and he certainly is a big body who has played a ton for us in the last two years.
My favorite for the Cody replacement is Hamani Stevens, who has pulled and made some big blocks on the perimeter in our “Sweep Read” play and inside with our “Power Play.” Watching film for hours helps me know these players on a level that few do, hence my confidence in their ability to come in for Clanton on occasion to give him a rest.
This loss of Cody would have been crippling to us in other years. (See UCLA this year) For us old-timers as fans of Oregon football, we have watched for years as Neal Zomboukos and then Steve Greatwood struggled with only six or seven OL to work with through the year. An injury would hurt us badly, and and injury to two would almost bury us. Three injuries and we’re playing walk-ons or inexperienced RS Freshmen, and you can imagine the offensive output during those campaigns.
To lose Carson York and have Kyle Long step in, and to have the losses of Mana Greig and now Nick Cody replaced with smart experienced Offensive Linemen is a gift that few teams enjoy. Starter Tyler Johnstone goes down against the Beavers? Next man up-James Euscher comes in as a RS Freshman and makes a key block to pop a DeAnthony Thomas touchdown! My friends…this is an indicator that we are moving into the “elite” category when we have so many talented young players that step up and keep our offense humming. Enjoy the new normal and count our many “offensive” blessings in the New Year!
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