Fresno State vs. Oregon: Get To Know The Ducks
Oregon is a huge favorite over the Bulldogs
Get to know the top-15 team
The Oregon Ducks are a really good football team as they are ranked 11th and 12th in both polls, and are about a three-touchdown favorite over Fresno State this weekend.
To get to know what the Bulldogs are up against, we chatted with the fine folks at Addicted to Quack to know more about Oregon and if Fresno State has any chance this Saturday.
1. Oregon’s quarterback is sort of new in Anthony Brown, what are his strengths as the Ducks starting QB?
His biggest strength is that he’s been playing college football since Justin Herbert’s freshman season, 2016. And if you check the film of his time at Boston College you’ll see that he has the legs and arm to lead an offense down the field against P5 competition.
Losing the starting job to Tyler Shough last season, who clearly wasn’t able to take command of the offense as the season progressed, gave many Duck fans the impression that Brown was a second-tier quarterback, but I’m willing to believe that the job was given to Shough because he was more readily familiar with the program. However, the staff began to trust Brown over Shough, evident by his appearances in the PAC-12 title game and the Fiesta Bowl.
Now that Brown has a shortened season of practice under his belt, and a full offseason to digest offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s playbook, it appears Cristobal is fully ready to give him the keys.
2. Who are the offensive players that Fresno State needs to worry about?
Oregon also has a slew of talented veteran receivers – Mycah Pittman, Devon Williams, Johnny Johnson III, Jaylon Redd – but Duck fans may be most excited to see Troy Franklin in action. The true freshman is Oregon’s second-highest rated prospect at receiver in program history, and the 6-2 athlete has so far lived up to the hype by earning an immediate starting spot over talented veterans.
In short: elite talent. Three of Oregon’s top five recruits of all time (Kayvon Thibodeaux, Noah Sewell, Justin Flowe) will play on the defensive side of the ball this season. The roster has been managed well and outside of a few potential weaknesses at safety Oregon has the talent and depth to make a run at another PAC-12 championship.
The 2020 season wasn’t the best showing from this unit, but new DC Tim DeRuyter (I believe you’re familiar with him) has an excellent reputation as a defensive mind. It’s very possible we could see a bounceback season from this Duck defense.
4. How much does it help Oregon to have former Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter on staff.
I think in the long term it helps this program out a lot. Now that we have elite talent it will be interesting to see how DeRuyter utilizes it, because as the Ducks found out in Berkeley last season his defense does an excellent job forcing long drives that often end in a turnover.
I doubt we’ll get any tactical advantage specifically against Fresno State, but who knows, maybe he’s been waiting for this moment since getting fired in 2016.
5. How do you see this game playing out?
I think Fresno State comes out confident on both sides of the ball, while the Ducks take a couple drives to shake off 2020. But by mid second quarter Oregon will be on its way to a route. I think the Ducks cover, and Oregon wins the game 42 to 17 behind big performances from Anthony Brown Jr. and CJ Verdell.