Is it just me, or have the Ducks been practicing for about six months? It seems like forever ago that Oregon's defense beat the crap out of the offense for the first time. But at last, the spring game is upon us, and Duck fans are eager to see big plays on both sides of the ball. But which players should we expect big games from? After the jump, I give you my list of players and positions to watch, and some completely arbitrary predictions for Saturday.
You can find Rob Moseley's best guess at the Spring Game rosters HERE, and the teams look pretty close to even. Pairing up DT and LMJ together on the White Team will be fun to watch for the first few series, but look for Lache Seastrunk to get the bulk of the work at RB. Some key stories to look out for:
Black Team LBs wreaking havoc Bo Lokombo, Michael Clay and DeWitt Stuckey are going to be a handful for the White Team blockers to slow down. One of these three guys WILL force a fumble, I'll go out on a limb and guess BoLo. But watch out for the White Team LBs too, led by Josh Kaddu and Kiko Alonso.
Which center will have the better day? It is a two-man race between Hroniss Grasu and Karrington Armstrong for the starting center spot. Armstrong holds the slight edge at the moment, and I don't expect this battle to be decided Saturday, but our offense has no shot at attaining maximum danger if the snaps aren't crisp. My uninformed prediction? Both centers perform well, but not well enough to calm our nerves.
WRs stepping up With Josh Huff out, it'll be up to others to try and escape the grasp of a deep Ducks defensive backfield. Nick Cole has impressed this spring, and Justin Hoffman and Will Murphy need to have a good day for the Black Team offense to get moving. But it'll be Bryan Bennett and Blake Cantu that will hook up for the longest TD of the game.
DBs going for the throat On the other side, the cornerbacks and safeties can use this as an opportunity to attack the pass game. We know Cliff Harris is itching for a pick six, will anyone actually house one? I say no, but Troy Hill, Erick Dargan, and Eddie Pleasant will end up with interceptions.
Check out the new guy! Colt Lyerla has created a buzz this spring, and should look to add to his hype as Darron Thomas' target on the White Team. But his biggest play will come on a block, springing Lache Seastrunk for a touchdown.
Rule #1: Don't Get Hurt The last thing Ducks fans want to see in the spring game is a major injury. And we won't see one. A couple of guys may leave with minor dings, and Bo Thran will strain something watching the game on TV, but the entire roster should be healthy once summer practice starts.
Black is the new black Despite a serious lack of Darron Thomas or LaMichael James, the Black Team will win the Spring Game, by a final of 27-21. The Black Team defense is a better overall unit, and their offensive line will have the better day, providing running room for Kenjon Barner and Anthony Blake, and giving Bryan Bennett enough time to operate.
Suck it, Pac-12! No matter the outcome of Saturday's game, the Ducks will remain the two-time, defending Pac-10 Champions.