We have all seen the Ducks explosive offense this season.
Based on what I have read out there it almost seems that the coaching staff is has seen it as well and is a bit intimidated. It is easy to see why...Oregon has done an efficient job at destroying a number of their opponents the two years.
We have also read where the coaching staff has implemented a little extra conditioning to get ready for this weekends game. I am not so sure if this will have any meaningful impact but it is obvious that the staff is looking at everything it can to as a tool to slow Oregon down.
Last Thursday night the team and staff watched the Ducks demolish UCLA together as a team with the hope of learning a few things to look out for on Saturday night.
Here is what they learned...
"Guys weren’t in the right spot," USC defensive end Wes Horton said. "They were just getting gashed left and right."
Well, we all saw that.
I am pretty sure that anything they saw that they think will be useful is being kept under wraps so I would not expect to hear a whole lot right now.
But just watching the UCLA game isn't enough...I mean that's a bad team over there so the staff is looking another game...ASU.
Here are those observations...
So what did ASU’s defense do so well?
"They tackled," USC linebacker Chris Galippo said Monday.
Obviously, there was more to it than that. But fundamentally sound tackling played a big role for the Sun Devils, and it will for the Trojans as well if they are to have any hope of upsetting the Ducks on Saturday night.
To that end, the coaches put USC’s linebackers through live tackling drills Monday for the first time since early in fall training camp. The defensive backs did the same last Thursday.
Coach Lane Kiffin had all but eliminated tackling from practice to preserve the health of his short-handed roster. Monday, he watched up close as linebackers coach Joe Barry ran the drill.
"It’s been game-changing," Kiffin said. "If we could tackle at all in the secondary, we’re 7-0 right now."
Kiffin’s involvement did not go unnoticed among the players.
So they are going to school and doing some homework...that's good but it is going to take more than one very good performance against Cal to convince me that this team is improving on defense. Not after what I saw against UVA, UW and Stanford. Don't get me wrong, I want this game bad for so many reasons but it is going to take a lot more than going to school on your opponents other games against less than stellar talent.
This team has the talent. They need to respond like they never have before so they don't get steam rolled. They need to mind their gaps and stay on their assignments and not be fooled by misdirection.
It is a lot to ask of a team that has barely tackled in practice and has some issues with regards to depth. I want to think positive, but that is a bit hard to do when we have seen the some of the earlier results this season....I really hope our guys prove me wrong.