Welcome to our newest series “10 for 10,” which will help us countdown to kick off. The Ducks are just six days away from opening day vs Southern Utah at Autzen Stadium. For the next 10 days, we will be posting our projections for the upcoming season.
Let’s get started, here is the No. 6 projection of the 2017 season:
#6 - WE WANT MORE MOI
Jonah Moi made quite the impression with Oregon’s coaching staff during fall training camp. The outside linebacker has earned himself a heavy workload for the 2017 season and could make a dramatic impact for the Ducks’ defense.
If you’ve seen the reports or even visited the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex over the summer, one thing is certain; Jonah Moi is everywhere.
The SAM can play in a variety of formations for Jim Leavitt’s 3-4 defense. His athleticism gives UO more versatility, alongside providing much-needed depth. Yet, he could find himself part of the starting 11. Regardless, Moi knows his role.
Let’s take a look at two separate fall reports from both scrimmages this camp. See if you notice anything that is consistent to both:
August 12 - First Scrimmage:
Once again, Duck defenders continued to make plays. Jonah Moi intercepted a pass and took it the distance for a score.
August 22 - Second Scrimmage:
If we’re talking about Graham in one sentence, the next must be about Jonah Moi. The outside linebacker continued his ascension with another outstanding defensive day. Moi intercepted a pass during the scrimmage, as well. He is carving out a heavy role for the 2017 campaign.
Every time Oregon’s defense takes the field, Moi is somehow highlighting their effort. The hard work is truly paying off and his head coach has noticed.
“Guys are flying to the ball,” Willie Taggart stated. “They’re communicating really well. That’s been really impressive. It’s good to see them flying around, communicating and making plays.”
If the Duck defense wants to be taken seriously this season, then Moi will need to play his part. The problem with playing so well during camp is the creation of expectations. And we all know, you can only go one of two ways after that.
Alongside having a nose for the football, the California native is a solid leader on and off the field. Coach Taggart can rely on his senior to always be in the right place at the right time.
THE AARON JUDGE RULING
Moi may not be an All-American or receive any Pac-12 accolades like some of his teammates, but that is not his role. The senior outside linebacker understands what he needs to do for the defense to succeed. He will have a solid season, but his impact will be felt during specific moments of 2017. Moi will amass 31 tackles, six deflected passes, five tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery. He will have his hand in two pivotal victories. At the end of the day, the stats don’t matter at all and Moi understands this. Watch him sacrifice his numbers for the betterment of the unit. That is the true definition of a role player.
Part 5 of 10 for 10 will be published on Monday, right here at ATQ!