Tuesday Two-Minute Drill: quick notes and observations on the Ducks after two games

Hollywood called. LaMichael James, De’Anthony Thomas and Amanda Pflugrad are going to star in a new movie. They’re going to call it “Gone in 6 seconds.”

Great to see the “Return of the Quack” on Saturday afternoon. I think the Ducks just scored again while I was pouring my cereal. Incredible to think how productive and explosive Duck offense was WITHOUT Barner and Huff. How many teams have that much depth and talent?

The receiver corps is coming together, and 6 td passes is a huge down payment on their potential. Love the way they are using the backs.  That used to be a great weapon in the Oregon offense, especially back in the day with Derek Loville, Dino Philyaw or Terrence Whitehead. By adding LaMichael James and De’ Anthony Thomas to the pattern, they get simple throws and great matchups.  It allows them to stretch the field vertically and sideline to sideline.
The Rams won a Super Bowl with a downfield passing attack that featured a elusive tailback with soft hands, Marshall Faulk. If you are a Duck opponent, these are the most terrifying words Jerry Allen could ever say, “LaMichael James (or De’Anthony Thomas) with the catch, has a block, one man to beat.”
In Huff, LT and Rahsaan Vaughn, they’d have a solid receiver unit that blocks well, creates matchup problems and gets open. Great to see the Ducks get Vaughn going with three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. He’s a good candidate to take over at the third wide receiver spot, more explosive and more of a playmaker than some of the other guys in the rotation. Eric Dungy also had a nifty catch late in the game, stretching out over the middle to nab the ball, thn tucking down to protect it, a smart receiver move that coaches will notice in grading the video.
The Ducks have to get David Paulson involved more. He’s not quite up to Ed Dickson milk carton status, but DT has to find him over the middle more often–it stretches the defense in one more way, and Paulson is one of the most reliable targets in anybody’s offense.
Is the defensive linea fatal weakness for the Oregon Ducks? After 2 games, UO d-line has no sacks and just 2.5 tackles for loss. Ricky Heimuli, counted on to be a force in the middle, has 2 tackles.
So far it looks like they miss senior leaders Kenny Rowe, Brandon Bair,  and Zac Clark more than planned. They haven’t reloaded. The Linebackers and defensive backs are making all the plays. The Ducks look soft in the middle, allowing Nevada 516 yards of offense and 5.5 yards per rush. They haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher, but Nevada tailback had 99 yards, Michael Ford of LSU 99, and Spencer Ware 92.
The PAC-12 season features some elite talent on offense, and the Ducks must improve up front to defend their title. Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, Andrew Luck, Stepfan Taylor, and Chris Polk will challenge any defense, and Oregon has to be ready.
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