The Ducks' defense continued to force turnovers in week 3. A lot of underclassmen got valuable snaps as Tim DeRuyter continues to build depth.
Here are my top performers.
Verone McKinley III-Safety
McKinley has taken his game to another level so far in 2021, becoming a true leader and ball hawk in the secondary for this Oregon defense, adding two more interceptions to his season total against Stony Brook. McKinley also had three tackles, two of them being solo, in a game where he didn’t even have to play all four quarters because the offense would help build a sizable lead.
If McKinley can continue his torrid start I see the NFL in his future and think he'll be someone quarterbacks fear when trying to throw the ball downfield.
What more can be said about Sewell and what he means to this defense? He truly is everywhere on the field and disrupting the offense in some way. He’ll come up and make hits where you just have to shake your head and laugh at how athletic he is on the field.
Sewell, even with sitting some series out towards the end, was in on 10 tackles, three of them solo, and one tackle for loss. Even with fellow 2020 signee Justin Flowe reportedly out for the regular season, Sewell seems ready to take another major step in his development and looks on track to becoming a high NFL draft pick.
Five Takeaways from No. 9 Oregon's 24-17 Win Over California
There was a lot to digest after the Ducks' heart-pounding victory on Friday night in Eugene.
No. 9 Oregon Survives California 24-17 in Nail-Biter
The Ducks defense made a massive red zone stop after a go-ahead touchdown by Anthony Brown
Williams is someone who has impressed me the most on the defensive end so far, and it begins with his tackling ability. Williams is really good at getting his angles on tackles and when tackling he’s been great at wrapping up and not letting guys go in the open field. Great defenses are fundamentally sound, and Williams doesn't miss many tackles and does a good job of keeping the play in front of him.
This was reflected with the third-most tackles on the team Saturday with three (two solo) in a game where his backups relieved him when the game got out of hand. After coming to Oregon last year via the transfer portal, Williams has improved drastically and is suddenly a key staple of the defense.
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