4. College Football News Preview 2020: Oregon Ducks Defense 3 Things To Know
– The defense became a killer last year, leading the Pac-12 in sacks, doing a great job in forcing takeaways, and finishing second overall and in scoring defense, allowing 329 yards and 16.5 points per game.
Leading tackler and heart-and-soul linebacker Troy Dye is gone, but 11 of the top 13 tacklers are expected to be back with a lot more talent on the way, especially for the …
– The linebacking corps gets back Isaac Slade-Matautia on the inside after making 62 tackles last year, and 6-2, 260-pound sophomore Mase Funa will likely play a hybrid role on the outside, but the buzz is all about what’s coming.
If Justin Flowe wasn’t the nation’s best linebacker recruit, it might have been Noah Sewell. Flowe is the speedy sideline-to-sideline threat, Sewell is a thumper for the middle, and they’re both expected to matter right out of the gate. Speaking of talent …
– Kayvon Thibodeaux was among the nation’s top recruits in 2019, and he’s going to be the star of a great-looking line that gets back 6-1, 322-pound senior Jordon Scott on the nose as the anchor, and 6-3, 293-pound senior Austin Faoliu at the other tackle spot. The depth has to be developed, but as long as the front three is in one piece, it’ll be one of the nation’s best lines.
The pass rush will come from all spots again – starting with Thibodeaux – and the secondary will once again benefit. Seniors Thomas Graham and Deommodore Lenoir are NFL corners – Graham should be a first-rounder – and the safeties are solid around playmaker Brady Breeze at one spot and veteran Nick Pickett at another.