Entering week three with a 1-1 record and ranked No. 25 in the AP poll, the Oregon Ducks have another chance to compete against ranked competition as No. 12 BYU travels to Eugene.
A week ago the Cougars took down then No. 9-ranked Baylor in Provo in unconventional fashion. As time expired during regulation BYU kicker Jake Oldroyd missed a potentially game-winning kick from 35 yards out.
In overtime, after holding Baylor scoreless on their drive, Oldroyd missed again with an opportunity to win, this time from 37.
With Oregon opening as 3.5-point favorites, kicking could play a significant role in determining the outcome of the game. Oregon kicker Camden Lewis was 13-of-16 last year on field goals and is 1-of-1 so far in the young 2022 campaign.
A week ago the BYU offense rushed for only 83 yards. Of those, 28 came from quarterback Jaren Hall, who repeatedly showed his willingness to scramble for first downs, especially late in the game.
Preseason All-American linebacker Noah Sewell and leading tackler Justin Flowe will undoubtedly have their hands full, as the BYU passing attack can be expected to force the Ducks linebacking corps into coverage, potentially opening up room for Hall to do damage with his legs.
With the premium that the Cougar offense puts on throwing the football Oregon’s unproven secondary will be tested.
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Two weeks ago the Ducks got thrashed on the outside by Georgia's screen plays.
This week it'll be up to Trikweze Bridges, who plays corner opposite Christian Gonzalez, and safety Jamal Hill, who led the Ducks in tackles a week ago but got burned repeatedly at Georgia, to shut down the BYU passing attack and force Hall and company to keep the ball on the ground.
On the defensive end BYU, like Oregon, gets a boost from their linebackers. Max Tooley and Ben Bywater led the team in tackles last week and the return of veteran linebacker Keenan Pili proved valuable as the run-heavy Baylor offense stalled against the cougar defense.
Through two weeks we've seen two different variations of the Oregon offense. In Georgia the Ducks failed to reach the end zone for the first time since 2017, while last week the Ducks scored touchdowns on their first nine drives as Bo Nix threw for 277 and five scores.
So far Oregon has displayed polar opposite levels of preparedness and skill, which means that week three will provide if nothing else a clearer picture of where the Ducks stand before starting conference play against Washington State on the road in week four.
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