oregon sports

Players to watch for the Ducks against WSU Saturday

Big Play Potential

The Oregon Ducks will be heading into their matchup with the Washington State Cougars as heavy favorites.

Not only are the Ducks ranked number two in the nation, the Cougars are coming off a demoralizing loss to a Colorado Buffalo team that many were predicting to not win a single college football game in 2012.

While the Cougars did give that game up to the Buffaloes at the end, the Ducks will likely have their way against the men from Pullman when the two teams meet at Centurylink Stadium in Seattle, Washington on Saturday night.

With the Ducks heavily favored in this game, their players should be more fun to watch than ever. Considering how explosive Oregon’s offense and defense can be, the game against Washington State should provide for some fireworks.

Here are five players to watch for the Ducks come Saturday night.

Kenjon Barner will be anchoring an Oregon offense that looks to continue its dominance of opposing defenses. Photo: Register Guard

RB Kenjon Barner

After two straight games where Kenjon Barner did not do much on the ground, expect Barner to shine against the Cougars on Saturday night when the Ducks travel to Seattle.

One thing that is undeniable about the Cougars is that they are a little lackluster on the defensive side of the ball. Expect them to key on Marcus Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas, thus giving Barner the room and time to shine all night long en route to what will be one of his best performances of the 2012 college football season.

DE Dion Jordan

One player that should have a big game against the Cougars on the defensive side of the ball is Dion Jordan.

Jordan, now a senior at the University of Oregon, is an absolute monster who plays one of the best drop ends in the country. Not only does Jordan have a knack for disrupting the backfield of opponents, he also excels in open coverage and can assist the Ducks in coverage against the heavy passing attack of Washington State.

Expect him to put up his best numbers of the young season against the Cougars.

RB/WR/PR De’Anthony Thomas

There is no denying the fact that De’Anthony Thomas is one of the most electrifying players in the nation.

Racking up yards at running back, wide receiver, and as a punt returner, Thomas should put together a huge all-purpose night against a Cougar defense that will be overwhelmed by the amount of weapons the Ducks have.

LB Michael Clay

One of the more underrated defensive players in the nation, Michael Clay is an intimidator who has a natural ability to flock to wherever the ball ends up on the field.

Besides excelling in getting to the ball, Clay is also great at covering the middle-of-the-field and creating pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

He is one of the leaders on Oregon’s defense and should have another impressive night against Washington State.

CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

Opposite Terrance Mitchell on the Oregon defensive side of the ball is Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, a player that had somewhat of a coming out game against the Arizona Wildcats as he absolutely shutdown any pass that was headed his way.

Expect the Cougars to attack Ekpre-Olomu’s side of the field on Saturday night, allowing the underrated cornerback to make more outstanding plays.

One for the Cougars – WR Marquess Wilson

Washington State’s biggest weapon and chance to hang with the Ducks on Saturday night will be Marquess Wilson

Wilson, one of the premiere receivers in the Pac-12, uses his physicality and frame to outmatch against opposing coverage units.

Playing against two somewhat undersized corners, if Wilson gets going, he could have one of the best nights of his impressive college football career.

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About Chris Anderson

NWSB Editor. Chris hails from Eugene, Oregon; home of the Fighting Ducks. If he is not viewing, writing about, or attending sporting events, Chris is running on the trails Eugene offers or out-and-about. Aspirations to exceed expectations. Connect w/ Chris today!
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