1.The O on the sides of the helmet with the wings on the shoulders.. Weird. But definitely Iconic in my opinion. The new helmets and uniforms are unbelievable, and the fact that they can upgrade from the “classic” (is it right to say that) winged shoulder design is amazing.
2.Returning talent. The number of defensive players that played in that game that still play for the Ducks is pretty astounding. Especially in the secondary. Guys like Troy Hill who wore number 2, Avery Patterson wearing 31, and Ifo.
3.Boseko Lokombo. He was all over the field against them, and I expect him to be there again.
4.The Recievers. Not one of them was a real homerun threat aside from Huff. Tuinei was one of the leading receivers, the 6’4 gangly monster who caught essentially everything, didn’t have great speed but made plays. Rashaan Vaughn, who I was sad didn’t get more time last year, and David Paulson. This year’s version of the Ducks Receiving corps is absolutely loaded compared to that group.
Burning man: Josh Huff breaks a tackle on the way to a 59-yard touchdown in Oregon’s 53-30 victory over Stanford in Palo Alto in 2011 (Tony Avelar, AP photo).
5.DeAnthony on one play can turn the tide of a game. His long screen pass for a TD on 4th down is exactly the type of play that Deanthony is known for and it’s exactly the type of play we need from him this Thursday. I don’t care if he carries the ball twice, if one of them is a home run I’m happy.
6.Darron Thomas. Wow. In terms of athletic ability, mechanics, and speed, Marcus is 10 times the QB Thomas was. But he was such a gutty player. So tough, and made some huge plays in that game. I expect Marcus to not only learn from his loss last season, but also from the victories that Thomas engineered two years in a row.
7.LaMichael James. He proved that running against this defense is about patience and decisive running. All throughout that game LaMichael was seemingly bottled up, but he was patient, then made one move and turned a loss into a 5 or 6 yard gain. Those types of plays are critical for turning a 3 and out into a legitimate drive. 2nd and 4 or 5 is much easier than 2nd and 12.
8.The Stanford pass rush is an ever present factor. It has been consistent for years now. They all have motors that never stall and that poses problems a lot of the times. They key for Oregon to combat that type of rush is to have great balance in their offense and stay away from becoming one dimensional. The reason Mannion was sacked 8 times was because the Cardinal knew the Beav’s weren’t gonna be able to run the ball. They pinned their ears back and Mannion played tackling dummy because of it.
9.The offensive line for Oregon played a physical football game. It was fun to watch them go toe to toe with one of the nations best defensive fronts, and win. I think last year the O line played a little more timid than they had showed in the past. I fully expect this group to play with a chip on their shoulder, and to respond to Stanford’s physicality with some physicality of their own.
10.Marshall should watch LaMichael James highlights almost exclusively. The way he runs with a mix of patience and power are keys to success especially in this system. Marshall has shown flashes of LMJ in his game, and it’s exciting to