The First Look – Oregon Ducks
It sure is good to get back to talking about football. I’ve had about all the a capella music videos that I can take.
Oregon’s an Odd Bird
If you told me after the Clemson game that Auburn would be playing for the national championship at the end of the season, I don’t believe there are many people (except the ‘Blogler) that would have believed you. I know I wouldn’t have; however, here we are. 13-0 and SEC Champions playing for the national title. I must say that this is something I’ve spent my entire life waiting for. Also, I’m not feeling too bad about our matchup in the title game.
When it comes to competition, Oregon is a different bird (pun intended). Undersized and speedy is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the Ducks. Darron Thomas and LaMichael James (who reminds me more and more of #23 of AU) both have the legs to burn defenses, but Thomas isn’t afraid to air out the ball. There has also been more attention put on the Oregon defense that ranks 12th nationally in points against (18 point average per game).
What I find most interesting is that Oregon’s 12th ranked defense in points against has yielded 6 games in which their opponent has scored 20+ points, which have come from stout offensive juggernauts like Oregon State, Arizona, Washington Sta…wait, what? Okay, so this extremely “underrated” defense has given up at least 20 points to the 53rd, 82nd, and 106th scoring offenses in the country. Tell me Cam and Co. aren’t licking their chops right now, and I’ll call you a liar.
Rosters show that Oregon’s biggest linebacker weighs 15lbs less than Cam (Casey Matthews, 235). Auburn should be running Cam in every short yardage situation. Another eye-opening stat is that Auburn’s offensive line is much bigger than Oregon’s defensive line (Oregon average D-lineman 248 lbs, AU average O-lineman 302 lbs) .
Let’s just be honest, Auburn won’t keep Oregon from scoring which is why the talking heads have driven it into us that the team that plays better defense wins this game. I agree with them, but looking at the two teams the question shouldn’t be which defense steps up, but which defense has a harder time stopping the other team’s offense. Looking at the way Auburn’s offense stacks up against Oregon’s defense, and the 2nd half clutch play Auburn’s defense has exhibited all season, it’s hard not to see Auburn running all over the Ducks.
Will Oregon be able to put up numbers against Auburn? Of course, and it may happen early and often. But I don’t see Oregon slowing down Auburn, and I would not be surprised if Teddy’s defense was able to pull out some key stops.
My prediction: Auburn 42, Oregon 31.