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Oregon Offensive Keys to the Game vs. Arizona

What will Joe Moorhead's group need to do to be successful against the Wildcats on Saturday?

The Ducks offense racked up 436 yards of total offense against Stony Brook and looks to continue striving for high levels of execution and more explosive plays under Joe Moorhead.

Facing a Don Brown defense that ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in total defense and has allowed 192.3 rushing yards per game, the offense should focus on these three keys.

1. Dominate up front

The Oregon offensive line has been very inconsistent thus far this season, playing a dominant game against Ohio State but looking mediocre against both Fresno State and Stony Brook. This will be by far the biggest thing I am looking for this week - to see how the offensive line reacts to their performances thus far and how mistakes from last week are addressed. 

As I said in last week’s keys to the game, consistency is the key for this offensive line and hopefully Oregon will improve and have a dominant performance against the worst team in the Pac-12.

2. Take shots down field 

Oregon’s offense has been solid through three games, but I feel like there is some room for improvement in the downfield passing game, as only a couple of downfield shots have connected in the first three games. Of course, you have to take what the defense gives you, but at Boston College downfield passing was a strength of Brown’s game and so far we haven’t seen as much of that.

With Arizona being a defense that loves to blitz, it’s important that he has the time in the pocket to take these shots. Facing a rush defense that has been soft all season, establishing the run should create more opportunities to push the ball. 

As I said above about the offensive line, if they play up to their potential and execute, Oregon should have the opportunity for a lot of explosive plays on Saturday.

3. Take care of the ball

This has been a clear strength of the team so far this season, with only one turnover through the first three games, and Brown is the only Pac-12 quarterback without an interception in his 76 passes. An extremely impressive start, and if this keeps up it will be difficult for Oregon to lose many games. 

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This stat also includes how well CJ Verdell and Travis Dye have been at keeping control of the football, and especially in Dye’s case that was a problem for him in years past. But thus far in 2021, both backs have done an amazing job holding onto the football, and they attribute in part to a new offseason ball security circuit Joe Moorhead highlighted earlier this week. Clearly, early results show it has worked wonders.

The players and coaches have said it, every week is a playoff game. Going into this game as heavy favorites, the Ducks can't afford to give Arizona or any opponent extra opportunities. 

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Defensive keys to the game vs. Arizona


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