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Spring Football: Practices wrapping up, spring game ahead

Oregon holds practice at Autzen Stadium, where the spring game will be played

Syndication: The Register Guard Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

Oregon Football took to their home turf this past weekend for their second full scrimmage of the spring.

Last week, the offense produced some explosive plays against new head coach Dan Lanning’s highly-touted defensive schemes. This week, however, explosive plays were a lot harder to come by as the defense tightened up and did not allow a single rushing touchdown, after giving up three on the ground in the first scrimmage the week prior.

Lanning praised the defense, saying that in this scrimmage he would give them the victory. He also gave the offense credit, noting that the ball security was more efficient. On a sporadic weather day that featured both sunshine and rain, Lanning pointed out that the defense seemed to gain energy as the precipitation began.

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest coach.

Syndication: The Register Guard Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

This week will feature the final workouts before the Ducks hit Rich Brooks Field on Saturday at 1pm for the annual spring game. The coaching staff, according to Lanning, will be finalizing the rosters for the game.

This year’s game will be an interesting one if, for no other reason, than the number of changes occurring within the program. It’s always fun to get a first glimpse of a new coaching staff’s finished product, and for the second straight spring there will be a battle under center between a veteran transfer and two young signal-callers who are now another year older and another year wiser.

Add to that a bevy of players that will be filling in for familiar names that have now departed and you have quite the intrigue. The receiving corps will be a primary focus after losing three of their staples from the past couple seasons.

The dynamic duo of running backs featured since the 2019 season are now absent as well, leaving the door wide open for Byron Cardwell and Sean Dollars.

But perhaps more than anything will be the performance of the defense, Lanning’s specialty. Oregon loses its All-American edge rusher but has one of the best linebacking corps in not only the conference, but perhaps the country. The defensive backfield is young but loaded with potential, and after getting shredded by Utah and Oklahoma to finish a wild 2021 season, the D enters 2022 with a definite chip (no reference to former coaches intended) on its shoulder.