Game Day Drive- Oregon vs. Fresno State “A Defensive Detour”

Well now that we’ve gotten the super girly gossip post out of the way this week, I think we’re ready to get back on track. Since game day is TOMORROW, we better get ready for another blow out win 🙂

We’ve spent the past few weeks learning a whole lot about the Ducks’ star offensive players, but this week I thought we’d take a detour  to the defensive side of the ball. I know it’s not always so exciting, but I promise if you know just a couple of defensive basics, you’ll understand the game better, and you will definitely score football genius points at your game day party.

1st Down- “Behind The Scenes”

Hands down, one of the most under-rated defensive players in the country is John Boyett! At 205 lbs, he most certainly doesn’t stand out in the size department. At a glance, he doesn’t look like he can take you down, but he most certainly can…and does. He has led the Ducks in tackles the past three years, and has played in the BCS Championship and both Rose Bowl games.

Boyett is a free safety, which basically means he tries to stop the other team’s receivers from catching the ball. The guys that do this make up “The Secondary”. Their whole mission is to watch the offense and figure out if they are going to throw the ball or not. Boyett will essentially try to “read” what the quarterback is going to do, and if he believes the ball is going to the receiver he is defending, he’ll attack tackle them. Sounds a little boring right? Well yeah, but it is one of the most important jobs on the field. For example, if Boyett doesn’t get the tackle and the receiver catches the ball, he’s headed to the end zone. Basically, the free safety is the last obstacle for the offense (when they are passing).

The Ducks’ “Secondary” has struggled a bit the past couple of years. Boyett has done his part, but some of the newer players at the safety position have been “growing” and that has allowed other teams to score…a lot. The one thing that has saved the Ducks, is the fact that they too score…a lot.

Boyett will play a big role this year as the Ducks’ Secondary looks to step it up a notch. This is Boyett’s final season and I’m sure he’s anxious to prove he can make it to the next level (NFL). The last several starting Duck Safeties have been drafted and continue to play on Sunday and Boyett definitely has the skills to follow in their footsteps.

It is expected that Fresno State will try to throw long passes tomorrow, so the Secondary will be a critical component in the Ducks’ win (presumptuous, I know). Fresno State knows this has been one of the Ducks’ weaknesses, and they will look to take advantage of it. My guess is though, Boyett and his team will take care of business.

2nd Down- “X’s and O’s”

Since we are focusing on defense, there are a couple of terms you will need to know.

Secondary– The players who are defending the receivers. They are easy to spot, because they are out on the sides, in the open field…usually.

Pass Rush– When the big guys on the line try to get to the quarterback. They try to do that as fast as possible to put “pressure” on the quarterback, hoping he makes a mistake.

Sack– When the quarterback is tackled behind the line of scrimmage (where the ball is snapped from)

3rd Down- “What to Watch For”

We will all be watching how Mariota does tomorrow, and De’Anthony Thomas will give a good show as well. But since the Ducks should school Fresno State tomorrow, I dare you to try and watch #20 (John Boyett) in action. Watch how he sort of flies under the radar and keeps Fresno State from scoring. I promise if you say “Wow, the secondary has really stepped it up tonight”, you’ll have your man wrapped around your finger for days…OK maybe not days, but….

4th Down- “Q&A

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