Oregon Ducks Football How We Stop: Pressure

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon has a more formidable opponent this week in Virginia, compared to Nicholls. However, Duck fans shouldn't quite be terrified against the Wahoos.

Virginia is probably not as bad as they looked on offense against BYU, but they looked bad. Factor in the weather and the weather delay it wasn't a good situation for an offense trying to find their way under a new coordinator with a quarter back making his first career start. Again, this early in the season, it's hard to say whether or not an offense performed poorly because of a solid defense of because the offense simply is not good. The Wahoos' starting running back, Kevin Parks managed only 65 yards on 20 carries for a 3.3 average and David Watford only threw for 114 yards with a single touchdown.

Watford's touchdown throw was a thing of beauty finding Darius Jennings in the back corner of the end zone on a roll out. However, the simple fact remains, Virginia did not have a touchdown drive start outside the red zone and their only other offensive points came on a half ending field goal from 53 yards out.

Steve Fairchild is the new offensive coordinator and he runs a pro form offense. The offensive did not punch holes in the BYU line to give to give Parks the holes he needed. He was quoted before the BYU game when asked about BYU's 3-4 defense what he was going to do saying "You see there's green grass, just run to the open hole." According to Andrew Ramspacher of Cavalier insider, the Cavaliers averaged only 16 points against 3-4 defenses, which didn't include the 19 they scored against BYU. On paper, Oregon's scheme with the drop end may provide a challenge for the Wahoo offense if they can cause some confusion for the line.

Parks goes 5'8" 200 lbs and is often strong between the tackles and is difficult to take down on first contact. Parks doesn't have great breakaway speed; his longest rush against BYU went for only 13 yards, but if Oregon doesn't wrap up and tackle at the point of attack, Parks could give the Oregon linebackers issues.

As far as the passing game, David Watford does not have an exceptional arm and doesn't seem to perform well under duress. The interception Watford threw against BYU came when the Cougars pressured him and he got rid of the ball on a bail out throw, but went straight to a defender, putting BYU in business offensively. The Cavs have weapons out wide in Darius Jennings but if Watford cannot get the ball out to them, it somewhat diffuses the threat of a pass game. Look for Oregon to use several different looks up front with different blitzes in attempt to confuse Watford and force him to make mistakes. Watford has sneaky speed for a quarterback and is a threat with his legs. Coming into college, he was clocked at 4.5 and has a smooth, almost effortless looking gait. Oregon showed they had some issues against a running quarterback against Nicholls, but even in that, the longest rush from scrimmage the Ducks allowed went for 19 yards.

Odds are that Oregon's offense is going to put points on the board which is going to force the Cavaliers to have to throw the ball to catch up and stay in the game. With the corner combination of Ekpre-Olomu and Mitchell, Oregon is likely to put them on their respective islands and try to put pressure in the face of Watford. Overall, Oregon fans shouldn't worry about an offensive explosion coming from Virginia, but they do have play makers who can make some noise if Oregon lapses or doesn't bring their best game on the road, Saturday.

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