User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Ducks' D gets a workout in the opener

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - The No. 2 Ducks had possession of the ball fewer than 20 minutes in their opener against Nicholls State, meaning the defense shouldered its share of the work. That gave the coaches plenty to look at in assessing the side of the ball that often gets overlooked at speedy Oregon.

Advertisement
Overall, it looked good. The lower-tier Colonels managed only a field goal against a defense that held opponents to an average of 21.6 points last season. The Colonels had 343 yards total offense, but averaged only 3.9 yards per play and never got inside Oregon's 10.

Nicholls State quarterback Kalen Henderson appeared to run for a 13-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, but it was nullified by a penalty. The drive resulted instead in Andrew Dolan's 35-yard field goal for the Colonels' only points in the 66-3 loss.

The Ducks, conversely, rolled to a school-record 772 yards in total offense. On Tuesday, they moved up a spot in the AP Top 25.

Defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti tried to look at the game objectively.

``They made too many plays, I'll be honest with you,'' he said. ``It's interesting, you win 66-3 and we're sitting here trying to dissect (it). Overall, I'm pleased. The W's the biggest stat, the three points are the second-biggest stat, and when you look at the total plays, and I did look at it, it was 87 snaps for 343 yards. That's less than four yards a play. That's really good.''

Oregon will face a greater challenge when the team visits Virginia on Saturday. The Cavaliers came from behind to beat BYU 19-16 in last weekend's opener.

Virginia coach Mike London said the Ducks' athletic defense reminds him of the Green Bay Packers.

``Their team forces a lot of turnovers. They score a lot of touchdowns. And their two corners are probably the two best corner tandems in college football,'' he said. ``What we're going to have to make sure we pay particular attention to is the ability of their linemen. Kind of the 3-4 defense we'll see it again. But they can run. Their whole team can run.''

The Ducks had some considerable shoes to fill on defense this season, with the departure of top tacklers Michael Clay and Kiko Alonso, as well as defensive end Dion Jordan, taken third overall by the Miami Dolphins in this spring's draft.

Against Nicholls State, weak-side linebacker Derrick Malone led the Ducks with 11 tackles, six solo, and defensive end Tony Washington had seven tackles, four solo, with a sack and a forced fumble.

Malone, who earned a starting job in fall camp, was pleased.

``That's the goal each and every week, be the best I can be every day,'' he said. ``Just run hard and make plays. That's what I'm here to do and that's what I'll prepare to do.''

The only thing that marred Oregon's defense in the opener was the targeting penalty that resulted in the ejection of starting cornerback Terrance Mitchell.

Mitchell was escorted off the field after he hit Nicholls State quarterback Beaux Hebert in the first half of Saturday's game. Hebert was sliding on the turf when Mitchell hit him, and the replay showed the helmet-to-helmet contact.

Targeting - purposely hitting an opponent above the shoulders - has been illegal since 2008. But starting this season, in addition to a 15-yard penalty, the offending player will be ejected.

The penalty provided a teachable moment for the Ducks. But overall, new coach Mark Helfrich was happy with what he saw on defense. Helfrich, the team's offensive coordinator for the past four years, took over the helm when Chip Kelly departed for the NFL in January.

``I thought they played well. I think we got off to, collectively, a great start as a team. I also think we kind of let off the gas pedal in the second quarter for just a little bit,'' Helfrich said Tuesday. ``But any time you hold a team to three points, that's a good thing.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Edwards: Pressing Mississippi State
Lawrence: 2014 MWC Preview
Edwards: Top 20 QB Changes
News: LVH posts Conference Odds
New ACC settles into era of stability
Tennessee-WVU set for Charlotte in 2018
TCU's Fields investigated for assault
GT dismisses three, suspends another
Texas' Strong prefers not talking title
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2013 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1921
Joe Nelson + 1446
Bruce Marshall + 1350
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last Week  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Joe Nelson 60 %
Doc's Sports 57 %
Joe Williams 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1312
Brian Edwards + 580
James Manos + 443
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1283
Jimmy Boyd + 966
James Manos + 756
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 1100
Doc's Sports + 1090
Joe Nelson + 940
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!