Know Your Enemy: Oregon

I haven't been able to get to the site much this week but don't let that diminish the hype surrounding the game on Saturday.  I had an email exchange to try and see what Oregon is going to be up to on Saturday. For more news on the Ducks, check out www.addictedtoquack.com:

1. The Arizona vs. Oregon games in the last two years have been incredible.  What do you think about the current line having Oregon at -6 in Tucson?

On one hand, it seems very high. On the other hand, Oregon's offense has been pretty unstoppable in Pac-10 play. If Arizona can score along with the Ducks offense, it will be a very close game. However, the Ducks defense (minus the Stanford game) has been pretty spectacular all year long. Oregon's shown the ability to blow good teams out, so if Oregon gets a couple stops out of Arizona, things could get out of hand in a hurry.

2. Masoli is obviously having a banner year, what is the key to his success? OL? Receivers? His scrambling ability?

The key to Masoli's success has been his decision making, which has been impeccable. He has really let the game slow down, and is simply taking what the defense gives him. He has been finding holes in zones, getting it out on the edge to receivers, making great decisions on the spread option. He simply hasn't been making mistakes, and is getting the ball to those players that can do big things with it. The beauty of the Oregon offense is that you can't cheat towards the run or the pass, and Masoli has been excellent at finding the mismatches.

Masoli_medium
(Enemy of Arizona this week)

 

 

3. You guys did catch Stanford at the wrong time, but still lost on the road. Other than Stanford, your road games have been UCLA (14 point win) and Washington (24 point win).  Do you think Oregon may not be as strong on the road?

I think you're always a bit weaker on the road, but I think it may be a bit overstated in this case. When Oregon faced UW and UCLA, it was the popular choice to go against the Ducks, and they beat the spread in both cases, and against UCLA, without Masoli. While Stanford was on the road, I think the Ducks just got beat by a very good team that played a near perfect game.

I guess we'll find out very soon if the Ducks do play worse on the road, but the team is focused and I think they'll play very well this weekend.

4. Is Blount going to play again this year?

Well, he's gonna be traveling to Arizona, and it looks like he's moved up the depth chart a bit. As a Duck fan, I've learned to not care about the situation. One thing that Chip Kelly has shown during Blount's re-instatement is that no single player is bigger than the team. If he does play, then it's probably because he earned that playing time. And beyond that, we simply have no idea.

5. Did you happen to catch the Arizona vs. Cal game? Please don't tell your team about our OL. 

I did watch the Arizona/Cal game, and I must say, it made me very excited. Arizona definitely showed some weaknesses that they didn't show in previous games. Unfortunately, Oregon's defensive line is not as good as Cal's, but the Oregon's linebackers are far superior. I think that Arizona will do an adequate job rushing, but Oregon has done an excellent job at making big plays to put other teams in 2nd and 3rd and long situations.

6. How do you plan to put pressure on Foles and try to shut down our air attack?

I think that Oregon is going to make Foles throw deep if he wants to beat Oregon. I wrote about this more in depth on ATQ yesterday, but Oregon's defense is set up very well to disrupt Arizona's short passing game. If they can force Arizona to try and go down the field, then Foles will have to wait in the pocket long, which will give Oregon's quick line and linebackers a shot at reaching him. If Arizona can get a deep game going, things will get very interesting.

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