During last Saturday’s game against Utah, the Ducks suffered some significant injuries to some key players. Cornerback Ifo-Ekpre Olomu left early in the game with a bad toe injury, while center Hroniss Grasu went down with a devastating knee injury late in the game. However, the most serious injury that occurred was that to tight end Pharaoh Brown, who was eventually carted off the field and will be out for the remainder of the season. Luckily, Ekpre-Olomu has confirmed he’ll play the Colorado game while Grasu will likely miss a couple of games.
Because of these injuries, questions have been coming up on whether the Ducks will still have the potential in performing against top caliber teams such as Florida State and Alabama. Plus, the fact that “the injury bug” has been biting the Ducks all season, results in Oregon placing an inexperienced front against these teams.
Throughout the season, the Ducks have figured out ways to make up for minor injuries that occurred to players such as kicker Matt Wogan and running back Thomas Tyner. However, it’s the final stretch now, and Oregon will need to develop a game plan that makes up for the injuries to these key players — and quickly.
When offensive tackle Jake Fisher went down early this season, the Ducks were substantially affected in terms of keeping pressure off quarterback Marcus Mariota. This was sadly evident in Oregon’s first loss of the season against Arizona, where the Wildcats were able to sack Mariota three times. This was mainly due to the lack of experience that Fisher’s replacement, Tyrell Crosby had against other teams. One of the biggest questions that Oregon faces is whether Brown and Grasu’s replacements will be able to have a high impact on the team.
At this stage of the season, the Ducks keeping their spot in the College Football Playoffs and pursuing the national championship is completely up in the air. One thing is for sure though, in order for the Ducks to continue performing at the strong level they do now, it’s “Next Man Up.”
Article referred to Justin Wise: http://dailyemerald.com/2014/11/13/injuries-continue-to-mount-as-season-progresses-can-oregon-withstand-it/
Top Photos by Craig Strobeck