I can't wait to see our defense this weekend. If you've been listening to Matt Daddy on Tuesday Night Talks every week, it's impossible not to get excited about this defense. They are as talented and deep an Oregon defense as we've ever seen. According to S&P+, Oregon is the 2nd best defense in the country. Despite giving up a decent number of yards this year, this shouhldn't be surprising. The Ducks have been downright dominant when games have been competitive. Granted, that hasn't been all that much time, but the first-string defense has shown few weaknesses.
This weekend, they get to prove if they are what we hope. They face the most talented offense in the nation. Matt Barkley still has a great shot to be the #1 draft pick in next year's NFL draft. Marquise Lee is the best WR in the nation, and Robert Woods isn't far behind. They have an experienced offensive line and pro talent at tight end. When USC is clicking, there is not a more dangerous offense in the country, and that includes Oregon's.
But even if USC is at their best, Oregon's defense has the talent to go toe-to-toe with the Trojans. The Oregon defensive line has been dominant. Wade Keliikipi leads an unheralded line that gives the rest of Oregon's defense a chance to grab the headlines. Dion Jordan, Michael Clay, Kiko Alonso, and the linebackers come from every angle thanks to Nick Aliotti's schemes. And the secondary hasn't missed a beat thanks to Avery Patterson and lock-down corners Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Terrance Mitchell.
I think the defense can do very well on Saturday. With their defensive line, they can control the USC offense much like Stanford did. They can get pressure on Barkley and give their corners strong advantages against Lee and Woods.
And I can't wait to see this. I want to see how Ifo and Mitchell stack up against the top receiver combo in the country. I want to see the linebackers and ends get after Barkley. I want to see the line do what it has done so well all year.
The Oregon defense has finally been getting the credit they deserve this season. Over the last few days, they've had multiple articles written touting their excellence. While USC has not been the most consistent offense they've faced this season, they're still USC. And because of that, the Ducks have a chance to prove to the nation just how good they are.