Big Rushing Game for Oregon?
The game against Cal could be a huge rushing game for the Oregon offense as former News Anchor in Eugene, Todd McKim, revealed yesterday in an interview with Steve Tannen at 953TheScore (Eugene local radio). Todd has served during the Rich Brooks and Mike Bellotti eras before working for Cal, and he explained how the Bears were pleased with the progress on offense as they have already scored more touchdowns this year than all of last.
He readily admits that they “give up a bunch, and massive rebuilding on defense, in particular the defensive line” needs to occur. Their best defensive lineman, Brendan Scarlett from Portland, is doubtful to play tonight, and his replacement is a freshman defensive end at only 235 pounds. Of further interest to Oregon fans is Todd Barr at the other defensive end position. Barr broke the hearts of Duck fans during recruiting years ago as he decided on signing with Cal at the last moment. How did THAT work out?
So “ground-and-pound” may be theme tonight, and I would not be surprised to see more of the Outside Zone Read or Sweep Read used as practice in this game. Neither play has been used much this year, thus the perfect opportunity to get the timing down with the new players at right tackle. This is a superb time for backup offensive linemen to get their feet wet in real game-time as well.
We should also be looking for more plays out of the new Pistol Formation for the Ducks, as the kinks in timing can be worked out with them. If Cal scores a bunch—we may have to pass to keep up, but I believe we will keep them less than 24 points, thus the bevy of running backs at Oregon will get their touches.
Mr. McKim also noted how the Oregon fans could make an impact upon home field, as many Cal fans have to drive an extra 50 miles from Berkeley, and are pulled away to watch the SF Giants in the World Series. Consider also the location of Levi stadium; picture placing a stadium in Oregon at the intersection of I-5 and I-205, and during commuting time on a Friday you schedule a 7:00 game! Geez…the traffic would be backed up to Walla-Walla! What a mess.
Bring on the Bears!
Top photo by Kevin Cline