Nevada vs. Oregon Game Preview: Get To Know The Ducks
Can the Wolf Pack pull off the upset?
Nevada is a huge underdog.
The Nevada Wolf Pack take on their second-straight Power Five team as they go on the road to take on the Oregon Ducks. To get to know the Ducks we asked a few questions to Adam Chimeo who covers the team for Addicted to Quack.
1. Is there going to be any sort of hangover from Oregon losing to Auburn?
If anything, I believe that the Auburn loss will help motivate this Duck squad. Last year, after the heartbreaking last-second loss to Stanford, Oregon was able to take on a tough Golden Bears team on the road and then upset the hated Huskies in overtime. The loss to the Tigers feels very similar to the Cardinal game last season, so I believe Cristobal will have this team motivated and ready to atone for some of last week’s blunders.
2. Who is going to catch the ball for Oregon since there have been some injuries?
Replacing Dillon Mitchell was hard enough, he was Herbert’s favorite target and broke the school record for single-season reception yards, but now that five Duck receivers are out with injury it seems an even tougher ask.
Against Auburn, the plan seemed to be to get the ball to veterans Johnny Johnson III and Jaylon Redd. Both looked much improved from last year, especially Johnson III who finished with a team high 98 yards on seven receptions in his attempt to get over a case of the drops. From what I’m hearing, it’s a toss-up whether Juwan Johnson, the 6’4 Penn State transfer, will be ready to go against Nevada so I imagine Johnson III and Redd will once again be the top targets.
Oregon’s offensive coordinator expressed some regret not going downfield more often, so expect Herbert to chuck it deep more than he did in week one.
3. What is the biggest advantage that Oregon has over Nevada?
The most obvious answer would be recruiting; in the last five years, Nevada’s recruiting classes have finished at 93, 81, 95, 105, and 98, while Oregon’s classes have finished 7, 13, 19, 27, and 16. The other advantage is Oregon’s offensive line led by senior trio Shane Lemieux, Calvin Throckmorton and Jake Hanson.
This unit returns 153 starts, the most in college football, and will attempt to bully Nevada for four quarters. Oregon’s left tackle Penei Sewell is an especially fun lineman to watch, and also happens to be the brother of Nevada’s Gabriel Sewell.
4. What is an area that Nevada could exploit vs. Oregon?
There’s no secret about it, the Duck receivers are the Achilles’ heel of this team. If the Wolf Pack can find a few defenders to closely cover Redd and Johnson III, then it’s possible they’ll be better suited to stop the run by loading the box.
Auburn found a lot of success in the second half by daring Herbert to throw the ball deep, and despite a valiant effort from this banged up receiving corps Oregon’s inability to spread the field led to a timid and predictable offense that ultimately stagnated.
In short, glue a defensive back to each receiver and pray that Verdell and Dye don’t catch fire in the run game.
5. How do you see this game playing out?
I think Oregon’s offense has a better showing than last week and the defense has another great game only this time they tally a couple more sacks. I think the Ducks dominate both trenches and Nevada is unable to consistently move the ball or stop the run, ultimately leading to a 41 – 20 Oregon victory. That being said, I can’t wait to watch this Nevada team take on the rest of the Mountain West!