JUSTIN HERBERT: QB
STATS: 20/33, 288 yards passing, 3 TD, 0 INT, 10-carries 24-yards
DRAFT STOCK: 1st Round
Once again Justin Herbert and the Ducks offense sputters out of the gates; finding themselves down 13-0 before the seats were warm. Although they were able to regain their footing and jump out to a 25-22 lead in the fourth quarter, they didn’t do enough to win the game.
Herbert had his best game in since the Washington game, yet all of a sudden they’re not making the key plays at the end of games to put teams away. They’re not a good enough team to rely on the defense so the offense needs to be more dangerous. Herbert needs to be able to run out the clock or lead his team down the field for a scoring drive late in games to put opponents away.
The Ducks face Arizona State for their final home game of the season and are favorites to beat the Sun Devils after dropping the previous four meetings. The Sun Devils defense is mediocre at best.
They rank in the bottom half of the PAC-12 in passing/rushing yards per game, which bodes well for Herbert, assuming he can get into a rhythm early. If his receivers do not get open, and he has to hold on to the ball too long, he will be sacked. ASU is second in the conference with 26 sacks this season.
Herbert must get off to a fast start and make quick and decisive throws.
PENEI SEWELL: OG
DRAFT STOCK: Freshman
Out with high ankle sprain. 6 week estimated timetable.
JORDAN SCOTT: DT
STATS: 1-tackles, 0 solo-tackles,
DRAFT STOCK: Sophomore
I am going to be very critical of the Ducks defense because all of a sudden this just ain’t cutting it. I’m not sure if it’s the coaches having a horrible defensive scheme, but at some point, the players on the field need to start stepping up and making plays. For Jordan Scott to only have one tackle and no QB hurries is pathetic.
Yes, the Ducks defense bent most of the game, holding the Utes to only 22 points through three quarters, but in the fourth quarter with the game on the line, they broke under the pressure.
They gave up 174 yards on the ground to running back Armand Shyne, and 232 total yards on the ground. Run defense is supposed to be Scott’s strength and right now, he can’t stop anybody. The defense have given up an average of 235 yards on the ground in their last three games. Something has got to change.
Scott better be prepared for Saturday’s game against ASU because they’re undoubtably going to give the Ducks and a heavy dose of the running game. The Sun Devils rank third in the conference in rushing yards per game, 195, while their running back, Eno Benjamin, leads the conference in rushing yards per game (129.5).
If the Ducks can’t stop the run, there’s no foreseeable way they claim vicotry.
JALEN JELKS: OLB
STATS: 5-tackles, 4 solo tackles, 1 TFL, DRAFT STOCK:
It cannot continue to be about numbers. In sports, numbers can lie. The one number that doesn’t lie, and matters most, is record; and the Ducks are now a sad 6-4 overall, 3-4 in the conference.
Jelks just isn’t being the dominant force on the field he was in the beginning of the year. Sure, he had five tackles, but Utah ran for 232 yards against the Ducks, and allowed a red-shirt qb to beat them on his very first start. Not very championship contender like at all.
Truthfully, the Ducks defense needs to take something away from an opponents offensive attack. If they’re going to allow teams to pass the ball, then Jelks and the rest of the d-line need to step up and stop the run. They cannot continue to give up more than 200 yards per game on the ground and expect to win.
Contain your rushing lanes and funnel the backs to where the help is. They have bull-rushed too much and allowed the backs to break through the line untouched. If Jelks and the d-line contain Benjamin, then the Ducks will send the seniors off with a victory on Senior Night.
TROY DYE: LB
STATS: 8 total tackles, 7-solo tackles, 1 TFL
DRAFT STOCK: 4th Round
The blame must get passed down to Dye too. Although he has been the Ducks best and most consistent defender, it’s obviously not working. The fact that the defense is giving up over 200-yards on the ground recently indicates Dye and the other linebackers are over pursuing the play, losing containment, and getting blocked too easily; resulting in massive running plays.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it, if Dye and company fail to contain Benjamin, the Ducks will lose. Do not break containment and do no over run the play creating massive cutback lanes. If they hold him to around 100 rushing yards the Ducks will walk away victorious.
ASU does have a good passing game. Wide receiver N’Keal Harry is second in the conference in receiving yards per game (92.8), behind Oregon’s Dillon Mitchell (100.2). However, stopping the running game is more important because that’s how a team controls the tempo of the game.
If Dye and the Ducks fail at that aspect, allowing ASU to control the tempo, it will be a sad Senior Night for our feathered friends.