Heading into last Saturday's game at Autzen, I thought the Oregon Duck defense was a lot better than the performance they had against Arizona. They let Arizona RB Chris Henry rush for 199 yards. When The Wildcats played the Beavers, Henry was their leading rusher. He gained 19 total yards on the ground.
So what happened? Has Henry gotten better, or is the Ducks defense not very good?
The Ducks are the best Pac-10 team at defending the pass, but second worst at defending the run. They play two safties and a rover, Patrick Chung, who also -cough- handles some of the punt return duties.
The Ducks also just welcomed the return of linebacker Brent Haberly from a broken arm, which should of helped them against Arizona.
Will Yvenson Bernard be able to get past the Ducks as easily as Chris Henry did?
Another question will be how our O-Line matches up with Oregon's front. The guys are big, but hopefully our developed group of guys up front can at least open the holes for Yvenson to gain consistant yardage. Oregon's defense has another game like they did against Arizona, they're toast.
Not for a long time have I seen a team that has gone through so many guys and had so many mishaps returning punts in a season. When you're playing the Ducks, sometimes its your best offense to boot a punt 40 yards down the field, and recover the fumble. It's the same as a 40 yard competion. So I figure, if Loomis can just get the punt off. we're in good shape.
Kick returns are a different story. If I remember correctly, they drop Jonathan Steart and Jeremiah Johnson, who are both dangerous. But team-wide they average about 21 yards per kick return, so it shouldn't be they big of a problem.