Virginia's offense was woeful in the Cav's 19-16 victory over BYU. They punted 13 times, converting just 6 of 20 third downs. Quarterback David Watford struggled in his first start, rushing 10 times for 10 yards, completing 18-32 passes for just 114 yards. The ground game wasn't much better, falling forward for 109 yards on 42 attempts, a scant 2.6 yards per carry.
They'd have to improve a lot to keep pace with the Oregon offense. Unless the Cavalier defense can shut down Oregon's spread, the fiercest weapon in college football, the way they shut down BYU's no-huddle Pistol attack.
Hoo DAT: UVa. employed a stout 4-man front, a nickle defense and lots of blitzing and stunting to confuse and frustrate unranked BYU last week, but the Cougars didn't have the array of weapons Oregon brings to Charlottesville (Jonathan Ferrey, Getty Images photo).
Last Saturday the visiting Cougars ran 93 plays in a quagmire at Scott Stadium. Torrential rains and lightning delayed the game for two hours, and much of it was played in a downpour. That slowed things a little but far more significant was defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta's determined, swarming bunch of Wahoos, who cranked out a fumble, a safety, a blocked punt and an interception to go along with three sacks, 5 batted passes and 4.5 tackles for loss. They willed Virginia to a win last week, and all this week they've been making brave statements about competing with the Ducks, insisting they won't be intimidated by the fancy helmets or the #2 ranking.
Defensive end Eli Harold, a 6-4, 230-lb. edge rusher Mark Helfrich compared to Dion Jordan, told Mark Giannotto of the Washington Post, “They have the best spread in college football in my eyes, but I really think that we can give these guys a run for their money. I just want to see what all the hype’s about.”
The Ducks have heard that a lot in the last four years. Coming in to the game opponents will say how well they've prepared, that execution and attention to their assignments will ensure they won't be overrun by Oregon's pace or speed.
For everybody except Stanford last year, that turned out to be a lie.
Virginia's an improving team that will be a factor in the ACC this year. They proved last week that they're gutty and they will hang together in a tough game. After trailing the entire first half and most of the second, they picked off a pass in the last three minutes, returned it down to the 13 and punched it in for the win.
That script won't make it to development versus the Ducks. Oregon's speed, depth and talent is a decided mismatch in this game. The Hoos will go all-in for the first twenty minutes, but sooner or later the visitors will have one of their patented explosions, the flurry of points, turnovers, big plays and more points from which a still-improving offense just can't recover.
Duck fans are interested to see how much freshman running back Thomas Tyner plays, and whether he gets meaningful carries. It's compelling to learn how De'Anthony Thomas will be used as the conference season approaches, whether he continues to be the 18-carry, inside-running workhorse he was in week one, or if that role passes to the bigger, slashing Byron "Smash" Marshall, who rocketed to 124 yards last week on just 8 carries. Can Marcus Mariota rediscover the rhythm and precision he had against Colorado, USC and Cal last season? Virginia's secondary held BYU quarterback Taysom Hill to 13-40 passing in their first outing, for a paltry 175 yards. They allowed just two completions of over 14 yards, and one of those came on the last play of the game, a meaningless 52-yard bomb as the clock ran out.
To win, Oregon needs to get the tempo going early and discourage the notion that the Cavs are going to be able to keep up with them. They need to deliver some shock and awe on offense, control that massive defensive front that was so effective against the Cougs, who are running the Pistol for the first time this season. On defense, Nick Aliotti's unit has to show they can contain the screens, draws and underneath passes that seemed to confuse them in the last three quarters against the Colonels, especially to the backs. Virginia has two capable ones in Kevin Parks and Taquan Mizzell.
They'll do all that. The schedule is full of potential traps, statement games, and separation Saturdays, but this isn't one of them. Oregon wins handily, 52-17.
How do you see the game turning out, and what's your prediction for the final score? The most accurate answer wins a Duck Stops Here tee shirt.
[Follow The Duck Stops Here on Twitter @DSH_Newton.]
Mariota 348 Yards Passing 2 scores 91 Yards rushing on 4 carries an 1 score.
DAT 8 carries 155 yards and 2 scores. 2 catches 25 yards 1 score
Smash 14 Carries 136 yards 1 score.
Tyner 10 Carries 98 Yards
Lyerla 4 carries 52 yards 1 score 4 catches 70 yards
Huff 10 catches 113 Yards 1 score
Addison 5 catches 60 yards
Malonado 6-6 PATS
Wogan 2-2 PATS 1-1 FG 46 Yds
Hows that for a prediction.. Hahaha
The offense scores 5 touchdowns and 2 field goals. The defense gets a pick 6 and holds UV to 17. Final score, UO 48- UV 17. Go ducks, WTD! BTW, 7 of UV points come in garbage time.
Close at first the Ducks the start strong though. By the 2nd qtr UVA is looking for the oxygen mask, Ducks romp and I'm watching other games by halftime. Show the East Coast where to stick their bias!!
The Ducks fly high with a 49 to 7 victory. Mariota improves, DAT and Marshall have strong games. Tyner sees some late action. The defense crushes Virginia. T shirt size XL
1. Oregon still has some kinks to work out on the defensive side.
2. No team is going to look spectacular on offense in a torrential downpour, so I think Virginia does better.
3. I think DAT goes back to tazr this week. That makes the score +21 in my book.
4. The weather calls for sunny and 82, with a 10% chance of rain. It has been sunny, so the field should be dry.
My personal thought is that we'll see growth in performance this week. Not in yardage (700 yards is obscene), but in execution. The jitters are gone, the lessons from Nicholls are learned and practiced, and the quality of this Virginia opponent will bring an added level of competitive spirit to the boys in Green. Or whatever color they're wearing this week. I'm sure it'll look marvy. :-)
55-10. Ducks will roll. Have you noticed most teams are named after animals? I've noticed that cats out number dogs, in the mascot department, so I've included a tribute to man's best friend to compensate for this discrepancy.
I believe I had predicted 49-21 here and elsewhere last couple days, but I'm rethinking 3 Hoos TDs. 49-17 seems more likely. But really hoo knows? It'll be a fun game for many reasons.
Oregon 56 VA 0
They beat BYU but needed the full 60 minutes to shut down the team running the pistol offense for the first time....
Virginia was 4-7 last year. They lost to Duke 17 - 42, and GA Tech 20- 56. (GA Tech had 461 yards rushing) that sound? that's the Oregon RB's all licking their chops.
They did beat Miami last year though... 41 -40 (fluke?)
I think the hype for this game is just that...hype. Ducks should score early and often on the Cavaliers and shut down their fledgling offense with a stout defensive performance of their own.
Go Ducks. WTD.
45-17 Oregon pulls in the reserves earlier then expected. Here's to a injury free game if it turns into a wet soggy field.
@GlennHanna GH predicts 7 conventional extra points for the Ducks, and a cover.
@Mahunashizzle Mahuna, you should open your own online sports book.
@DuckStud Thanks Mike. Are you watching the game at home?
@Dale Newton The dsh domain doesn't come with email addys? I could fix that for you.. lol
@lexusduck Lex, why the heck are you watching other games? That's what the "last" button is for. :)
@SonomaDuck Way to bring the knowledge with the expectation of a successful tee shirt trophy grab.
@zduckfan Good analysis of the factors, and a potential tie-breaker including the weather, field conditions and a uniform mention in your breakdown. You could be the next football prediction idol at The Duck Stops Here.
@duckified They are indeed man's best friend, except for the flea and tick-infest hounds that reside 175 miles north of the Oregon border along I-5
@rgyle Agree, Arg. I'm interesting to see if they get Tyner in the game and get Lyerla more involved in the offense. Their strong safety cheated up on the run a lot against BYU.
@DanielFChestermanJr DFC, thanks for your prediction and for reading.
@Duckbill Careful, I went to grade school in Canyonville and I turned out fine... lol
@Duckbill Good observation about the adjustment to pace. The Hoos did get a two-hour breather when play was delayed for two hours after the first quarter, but they handled the tempo all through the game and had a lot of energy at the end of it.
@WallyBalls You're welcome, Wally. Be sure to email your size.
@hoboduck 55-10 ,, door number one!..lol
shutout might be in the cards though,, jet lag??
@Stevoduck Weather forecast, which I should have mentioned, is 81 degrees with a 10% chance of rain.
@1pac12fan 1P12, that's a great prediction. You have a clearer crystal ball than the evil witch in the new Oz movie.
In Seattle next month, do note that their mascot is an Alaskan Malamute, not a Husky. Malamutes have only brown eyes and are larger and more powerful (if a bit slower) than Siberian Huskies. Why they don't just employ a larger Siberian is a headscratcher. Maybe that's telling... (Still better than Crimson Tide Elephant War Eagle.)
Our first Malamute was 160 pounds and no fat. We adopted his brother later, same size. Should have seen our Passat wagon tilt when they hopped in the back. We scraped bottom on most driveways.