Preview 2018: Oregon Ducks. The Powerhouse Might Be Back

Preview 2018: Oregon Ducks. The Powerhouse Might Be Back

2018 Preview

Preview 2018: Oregon Ducks. The Powerhouse Might Be Back

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What You Need To Know About The Oregon Defense

– Consider it a minor miracle that Jim Leavitt is still the Oregon defensive coordinator. A miracle worker for a defense that was a complete and total disaster in 2016, Leavitt turned the D into one of the best in the Pac-12.

He’s a head coaching talent working as a DC, and with him still around after the regime change, expect even more from the pass rush and a fantastic year from a run D that allowed just 128 yards per game.

– Two starters return up front in the 3-4 defense that’ll work around 333-pound Jordan Scott as a true anchor. Jalen Jelks is back on one end after leading the team with 6.5 sacks, and there’s more than enough talented depth to form a decent rotation.

The stars, though, are in the linebacking corps, with leading tackler Troy Dye along with outside playmakers Troy Dye and La’Mar Winston. Leavitt turned everyone loose, and they all turned into the catalysts for the D that came up with 94 tackles for loss. All of that pressure means …

– The secondary should be solid again. It had a few problems here and there against all of the amazing passing games and quarterbacks on the slate, but it only got gouged a few times – only Arizona State and Boise State hit the 300-yard mark.

Ugochukwu Amadi is versatile enough to play anywhere in the secondary, but he’ll be at his best as one of the Pac-12’s better safeties. Thomas Graham is a rising star at one corner gig.

Biggest Key To The Oregon Defense

The pressure has to be more consistent. The 33 sacks were great, but they also came in waves. The defense dominated against Southern Utah and Cal, and was nowhere to be found against Stanford and Washington – both ugly, blowout losses.

The other part of the puzzle? Those losses to the Cardinal and Huskies – the two teams that Ducks have to beat this year – were the only two games allowing more than 200 yards on the ground.

The Ducks came up with just one sack in four of the final seven games with 24 of the 33 coming in the first six games – the easy part of the slate.

NEXT: Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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