A Tough Test Ahead
On January 2nd 2012, the #6 Oregon Ducks will be facing the #9 Wisconsin Badgers football team in the 98th edition of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca.
This will be a tough matchup for Oregon’s defense.
They will have to face a Heisman candidate, Montee Ball who rushed for 1759 yards and only 32 TD’s this season.
If there has been an achiles heel for Oregon, it has been against large power running backs. The defensive line for Oregon is not known for it’s size, but it’s quickness.
So, when Oregon has to face huge O-lines with a power running back they usually get run over.
However, Oregon’s defense has played extremely well this year.
I believe the defensive front is better this year than previous years. Stanford had a much harder time running the ball this year versus last. I actually think Oregon’s weakness is at corner back, see the USC game. The secondary got picked apart for most of that game.
The suspension of Cliff Harris has a lot to do with experience at the corner position.
This Rose Bowl game is going to come down to how well the Ducks handle Montee Ball. If Oregon has to put 8 men in the box to slow the run, Wisconsin will hit you in the mouth with the play action all day. The big key, Stop the run with 7 men and disguised run blitzes.
Force 3rd down situations and WIN 3rd down.
I know that is a given statement in most football games, but especially when the opposing RB has 32 TD’s.
Now, when Oregon has the ball! A lot has been said about Wisconsin’s defense not allowing more than 17 points minus three games. ESPN has their defense ranked 6th overall in FBS. Well this is my take on that.
Northern Illinios, UNLV, South Dakota, Indiana, Purdue, Oregon St., Minnesota, and Illinios are teams the Badgers have played and held to 17 or fewer points.
How many of those teams can you say have a realy good offense, NONE! They gave up 37 And 39 points to Michigan st. and 33 to Ohio St.
So, When Wisconsin actually played a good football team with a good offense they gave up more than 30! I believe Wisconsin’s defense is good, but over rated due to strength of schedule.
The key to Oregon’s offensive success will be a couple of things. No quick 3 and outs to start the game.
Oregon has shown moments of inconsistent play on offense this year and last. Play fast but not so fast you put your tired defense back out on the field in three plays. Hold the football, score early, and set the tempo.
If the Badgers shut down the read option play, which they might. Don’t be afraid to open up the passing game and get the ball downfield.
Darron Thomas’ ability to throw the football is under rated. Chip Kelly has a tendancy to stay with the run too long when it’s not working. Chip, don’t be afraid to open up your playbook.
Use motion and misdirection if you have to. If your behind, pull out a fake FG or punt. Lay it all out on the table and leave nothing behind.
In your losses to Auburn and Ohio St. play calling was very suspect at times. See the back to back duplicate play to barner in the redzone against Auburn, Really?
Not only does Darron Thomas and Lamichael James have to bring thier “A” game, but so does Chip Kelly and his play calling.
Win the Trunover battle! Deanthony Thomas is an electric playmaker when he has the football, he also knows how to fumble in a quickness.
When you play good football teams you can not make dumb mistakes like fumbles in your own territory.
If the Ducks have ZERO turnovers in this game, I guarantee you, the Ducks win this game going away.
However, if we have to rely on our field goal kicker to win or tie the game late, the Ducks would be in trouble.
This will be one heck of a Rose Bowl game and Oregon has something to prove. This class of seniors has a chip on the block and want to go out in style.
Ducks win 38-30 in a Pasadena Brawl.
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