Multiple Ducks continue to work their way back to full health following the opening week of Pac-12 play. We saw the brief return of Kayvon Thibodeaux against Arizona, but Oregon will be without defensive end Bradyn Swinson against Stanford.
"Bradyn Swinson will still not be with us," Cristobal told reporters during a press conference Monday.
With the Ducks preparing for their first Pac-12 road contest, the pass rush continues to be an issue, and Swinson looked like a breakout player on the edge early this season. Losing him for the week will make it difficult as the defense continues to rotate in younger players.
Against Arizona, the Ducks only managed one sack and for the most part, quarterback Jordan McCloud was given plenty of time to pick out his receivers.
With the Ducks preparing to face Stanford, who has only allowed seven sacks throughout the entire season, their pass rush will have to improve if they want to threaten quarterback Tanner McKee.
On Monday, Oregon Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter addressed the issues that they've had.
“We ended up going to some of our three-men rush stuff, which they’re gonna have extra time,” he said of the approach against the Wildcats. “But, we’ve got to get guys to get on edges, recognize pass sets and then convert and do a nice job rush off edges.”
He stressed the idea that a lot of it is just things they have to clean up and execute better.
“It’s a mix of things that we’ve gotta clean up and we’ve gotta get guys executing our defense every time we go out.”
The Ducks should have a huge boost to their defense as defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is expected to play significantly more than he did against Arizona. Although it seemed like he may re-aggravated his ankle against the Wildcats, he will be good to go.
“I think he’s in good shape to play,” Cristobal said. “We’ll see if he can play an entire game.”
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Although Thibodeaux is expected to see more snaps, Oregon will have other options to turn to in the rotation.
Two players that have stood out for the Ducks in the past week are Jeffrey Bassa and Treven Ma’ae. Ma’ae was the player that managed to get the one and only sack against Arizona.
DeRuyter had nothing but good things to say about the impact these two players have had stepped up due to injury early this season. He mentioned Bassa’s speed and Ma’ae’s ability to develop and grow to improve his game.
"I've really been pleased with what Treven's done," DeRuyter said. "Coming into the year he hadn't been a real dynamic edge rusher. He'd shown glimpses of it and had been really good on first and second down, but the last couple weeks he's been getting better."
With Thibodeaux back, the Ducks' pass rush hopes to become a much more dangerous threat to offenses than it has been in the past couple weeks without him.
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