Thursday, September 13, 2012

In Depth: Oregon Tennessee Tech defense match-ups

Oregon continues the 2012 season with their third consecutive home tilt. The opponent in week 3 will be FCS foe from the Ohio Valley Conference, Tennessee Tech (2-0). The Golden Eagles, defending Ohio Valley Conference Champions are coached by Watson Brown. Brown is the brother of Texas coach Mack Brown and worked with Oregon defensive backs coach John Neal while at UAB.

Tennessee Tech (2-0) enters the contest fresh off of a victory over Division II opponent North Greenville last Saturday.

Oregon (2-0) enters the game with two major injuries having taken away the most veteran players on both offense and defense as fifth year starters John Boyett and Carson York both suffered season ending injuries against Fresno State.

Once again, this non-conference match-up gives the young Ducks a chance to compete and become better players.

In this continuing series from Duck Sports Authority we bring you the head-to-head match-ups of the Oregon Ducks and Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles Today the focus is on defense.


Tennessee Tech: The Golden Eagles run a variation of a 3-4 defense which uses a hybrid LB/DE as well as a hybrid Safety/LB. Based on their depth chart, only one player is listed as a defensive tackle and one defensive end, but there are really two defensive ends, they just use slightly different terminology for the positions.

At defensive tackle, a position that the Tech coaches refer to as the "Anchor" position, the Golden Eagles will start LaDarius Verge (6-3, 260) a senior with just one start to his credit. Last season Verge appeared in 10 games and notched 14 total tackles. Through two games this season Verge has 5 tackles. Behind Verge is Zach Bush (6-4, 265) another senior with no real experience. Listed on their roster as a tight end, the senior has played in one game this season and recorded one tackle. Redshirt freshman Avery Rollins (6-3, 280) has appeared in both games for the Golden Eagles thus far and recorded 2 total tackles.

Oregon: Unlike their opponent, Oregon will be bringing a wealth of experience at defensive tackle. Starters Wade Keliikipi (6-3, 295) and Isaac Remington (6-4, 301) both saw action as starters last season with Keliikipi starting the final 11 games. Keliikipi recorded a career high 5 tackles in the win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl while Remington recorded 31 total tackles on the season. So far this season Remington and Keliikipi have 3 tackles each and a pass break up each.

The real difference for Oregon will come in the reserves as Oregon not only returns all the defensive tackles from last season, that depth took a hit with the injury to Jared Ebert (6-5, 260) who was playing well early after redshirting last year. Ricky Heimuli (6-4, 305) showing promise with 22 total tackles in his 14 reserve appearances last season for the Ducks has also recorded 3 tackles in 2012. The Ducks are also versatile here as Taylor Hart can move inside if needed.

During the first 2 games the two-deep defensive line has been dominant against Arkansas State and Fresno State.

EDGE: Oregon

The Ducks have more experience, depth and talent at this position than Tennessee Tech and a decided size advantage. Tennessee Tech will have to play a lot more defensive linemen than they are used to in order to keep up with the Ducks pace. If they do, their inexperience will get taken advantage of; if they do not, then the starters are in for a long day. Their lack of size will become a problem as the game wears on as well.


Tennessee Tech: Listed as a "Rock" defense end, Jordan Johnson (5-11, 285) enters his junior season having started all 11 games last year. He recorded 40 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss. Through two games this season Johnson has 5 tackles. The other position we are projecting as a defensive end, Tennessee Tech refers to as a "Bear" linebacker. The starter at this position is Tommie McBride (6-1, 245) a senior who played in 11 games as a reserve last season. From his reserve spot, he tallied 26 total tackles. McBride has been active early recording 10 total tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss through two games for the Golden Eagles.

Backing up Johnson is Lamar Moore (6-0, 290) a junior who recorded 21 tackles in 11 appearances last season. Moore has contributed 4 tackles in the first two games of the season for the Golden Eagles. The other reserve defensive end behind McBride will be Malcolm Mitchell (6-2, 230) a transfer from Louisville. In two years with the Cardinals, Mitchell appeared in 11 games and recorded 8 total tackles. Mitchell has appeared in both games for Tech this season recording 4 total tackles.

Oregon: Oregon has ...

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