This Duck Defense Can Fly, Too!

Featured Photo-Defense, GB

Now that the regular season is over and Ducks fans are more than happy with the result, we look back on an incredible season. Heading into the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, and one of the most anticipated match-ups in modern history, what more can a Ducks fan want? This year’s Heisman-to-be, and last year’s Heisman will battle it out with a chance to take his respective team to the National Championship game in Dallas for a showdown with the winner of the Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Ohio State. The Ducks have the best player in the country on offense in Marcus Mariota, but what about the defense?

More great defense!

Gary Breedlove

More great defense!

“You’re not expecting it. Oregon puts up 40 points, 50 points a game, so you’re expecting offense. It doesn’t mean our defense isn’t good,” says first team All-American Oregon Cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

The Ducks, behind Mariota and freshman star Royce Freeman, average 46.3 points per game — good for third in the country. On the other side of the ball, the Ducks hold opponents to a respectable 22.5 points per game, coming in at a ranking of 29th in the country. Considering the Ducks hold their opponents, on average, to 24 fewer points per game then they put out, why are people so frustrated with the defense?

The game of football is so great because it is so unpredictable. The best team is rewarded week in and week out with a solid performance on both sides of the ball. In the case of the Oregon Ducks, it’s near impossible to comparatively match their offense to their defense, but people seem to try to do it anyway.

Erick Dargan

Gary Breedlove

Erick Dargan

People know who Ekpre-Olomu and Tony Washington Jr. are, but don’t forget about Joe Walker or Erick Dargan. Walker contributed 71 tackles of his own, and is considered to be one of the best run defenders the Ducks have (the fumble return against Utah will be played at Autzen before games for years to come). Dargan, who cemented himself as one of the best safeties in the country, contributed 82 tackles on the year and led the Ducks with six interceptions.

When asked after the Arizona game about his defense, Oregon Defensive Coordinator Don Pellum said, “Except for a couple of plays, we played as good as we can play.” As satisfied as Pellum seemed after this game, he knows he has a tough job in preparing for the Florida State Seminoles and Jameis Winston, who have not lost a game since dropping one against the Florida Gators on November 24, 2012.

News to some, but obvious to others; the Ducks have a good defense and they are looking to display that against a Florida State Seminoles team that has struggled on offense at times this year, behind Winston.  Big players make big plays in big games, and if the Ducks show up on defense like they are capable of doing, they might go on to play, and potentially win that so coveted National Championship trophy.

Top Photo by Gary Breedlove

Print Friendly

 Volunteer Position Openings:

--Media Management/Supervisor:  We are looking for someone beyond college age who can help manage students and mentor in a number of different departments. Expertise is not required as organizational skills and interest in guiding others.   --Assistant Football Analyst: Love college football and enjoy watching it for hours? We need associates to view games and find the techniques/teaching points we identify for them in advance.  You will be recognized in publications, and could have the opportunity to move to full Analyst.   --College Football Analyst: We are looking for Coaches, or retired coaches to help create analysis videos (we do the video part) that will be viewed by thousands, and will help young football players as well as fans understand the game much better. The national recognition will help your resume' as well as make an impact upon the game we all dearly love.   --Video Specialist: We are looking for help in the Eugene/Springfield area to assist with the shooting and editing of analysis videos.   All Positions: Send a resume' with full contact information and any writing samples you have to charles@fishduck.com  Again, these are volunteer positions donating five hours a week each.

Jason Selby

Jason Selby

Jason is a Junior at the University of Oregon, currently double majoring in Public Relations and Political Science. Jason has been an avid sports fan for his entire life, growing up playing Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Over the last year, Jason has found his love for sports reporting, and enjoys creating pieces that use his love and knowledge for sports to portray his message. In his spare time, Jason enjoys obsessing over Ducks sports, Scuba Diving around the world, and listening to music. Tweet at Jason…. @1seltank. He loves talking sports with other avid sports fans.