Ashley Young of FishDuck.com interviewed Oregon defensive back Erick Dargan during Tuesday’s press conference at the University of Oregon’s Hatfield-Dowlin Complex.
The Ducks finally prospered against their Pac-12 rival this past Saturday. For the last two years Stanford was the itch that Oregon couldn’t reach; Stanford was the fly that Oregon couldn’t kill. But after two years of defeat and disappointment, the Ducks came out and showed the country that this Oregon team is legit and ready.
Whether it was the opening moments of the first drive or the last few minutes of the game, the Ducks showed no remorse for the Stanford Cardinal. Oregon displayed their dominance on both sides of the football by outworking and physically overmatching Stanford’s defensive and offensive lines.
The high flying Ducks amassed 525 total yards as Marcus Mariota led the way with 258 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. Unlike last year’s matchup against Stanford when Mariota had a bad knee, the Ducks’ standout quarterback demonstrated what he could do with two healthy legs: two rushing touchdowns and averaging 9.4 yards per carry. Stanford surrendered 45 points to the Ducks’ explosive offense which marked the first time in 31 games that the Cardinal had allowed over 30 points.
On the flip slide, Oregon’s defense displayed toughness and grit. They contained Stanford’s running game and although Kevin Hogan had a few big throws, the defense did a tremendous job of plugging up holes and finishing tackles. Oregon was led on the defensive side of the ball by Erick Dargan. The redshirt senior produced 12 total tackles and one interception.
Oregon’s schedule doesn’t get any easier this week. The Ducks will have a tough matchup against No. 17 Utah this Saturday. The Utes have steadily improved over the last few years and they have proved themselves a real threat in the Pac-12 South. Dargan says that Utah’s home-field, Rice-Eccles Stadium, will provide a tough challenge for the Ducks. He stated: “I’m excited to go up there. I heard it’s a good stadium to play in. The crowd is going to be an issue. I like playing in stadiums like that. It shows that you really have to lean on each-other and play together to get a win in front of a tough crowd.”
One of the main factors that has allowed Utah to play so well this season has been the success of their special teams. “They’re good on special teams just like us,” Dargan said. “That will play a huge part of the game but we just have to play together and keep fighting,”
Utah will look to give the Ducks a heavy dosage of their speedy running back Devontae Booker. The Ute’s tailback needs 10 more yards to reach 1,000 rushing yards for the season and his 5.4 yards per carry is very respectable.
Dargan says that they must shut him down if the Ducks hope to have success against Utah, but he also understands that you have to respect your opponent. “He’s a hard runner. You have to give credit when credit is due,” he said. “He’s a good running back. He’s playing well in their system.”
The Ducks will look to continue their winning ways this Saturday.
Top Photo by Kevin Cline