The Secret Formula: A Defensive Game Plan from Coach Don Pellum

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“It’s an awesome day because we have a wonderful opportunity to go out and play this weekend. There are a lot of people that are not playing, and we have the opportunity to play. So we’re really fired up about it,” said Coach Don Pellum, the Ducks defensive coordinator.

Insightful words of wisdom coming from a cool-handed Pellum in reference to this Friday’s game against the Arizona Wildcats. The Wildcats will look to strike down the Ducks for a third time in two years and ultimately eliminate any chance at a College Football Playoff game. reporter Tyler Robinson listened to Pellum’s game plan at a post-practice press conference held at the Hatfiled-Dowlin complex following practice this morning.

Coach Pellum entering Autzen with the Ducks against Arizona.

Kevin Cline

Coach Pellum entering Autzen with the Ducks against Arizona.

When the Wildcats came into Autzen on a chilly Thursday evening in October, they found a way to in the end defeat the Ducks 31-24. After studying film, making changes to practice plans and seeing vast improvements since then, Pellum and the Ducks’ defense have the answer to not letting the past repeat itself.

“Leverage the ball better and tackle better. Plain and simple,” said Pellum. “Overall defensively from the beginning of the season to now we have improved with leverage on the ball and we have improved on tackling. There have been a couple games where it wasn’t as good as it needed to be, but this game we will have to tackle extremely well and have great leverage on the ball. We are excited for the opportunity.”

Tough hit from Ekpre-Olomu, 14, and Troy Hill, 13, on the Arizona running back Jones-Grigsby.

Kevin Cline

Tough hit from Ekpre-Olomu, 14, and Troy Hill, 13, on the Arizona running back Jones-Grigsby.

The last time these two teams met, Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon threw for 302 passing yards while their group of running backs rushed for 144 yards, according to So how do the Ducks’ defense and Pellum plan to contain the run game while also keeping an eye on a versatile QB? A new attitude and a yearning for wanting more.

“Attitude and intensity. Those are the two things that changed. It’s been maturing every week. Practice is so much stronger now in those areas.”

Top Photo by Craig Strobeck

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