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Bennett Williams and Jamal Hill Slated to Share Playing Time Against Ohio State

"At this point, it's not competing for a spot anymore."

Making his first career start in an Oregon Ducks uniform on Saturday, Bennett Williams failed to record a stat against Fresno State.

And that's perfectly okay.

"I noticed that," Williams told reporters following practice earlier this week. "I did what I needed to do. Did well in coverage because I didn't get tested a lot which I'll take as a compliment as a DB."

Now, with the program's largest non-conference game since 2015 looming, Williams has to hold off returning starter and recently reinstated safety Jamal Hill, who was a starter for the Oregon defense in 2020.

"I love when he's available and ready to go because it pushes me to be as good as I can. I'm pushing him to be as good as he can," said Williams.

"At this point, it's not competing for a spot anymore. We're gonna to share time regardless, so at this point it's just preparing ourselves to be at our best come Saturday."

Williams went on to specify he's "not sure" how the role will be split.

""That's up to Coach, our job is to go out there and do our best, take care of our business, and let the coaches handle who's playing and when to sub."

When asked on Monday about the return of Hill and DJ James to the program, Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter suggested the duo will be heavily in the mix for playing time, but perhaps aren't quite where they need to be.

"They have been with us the last couple weeks practicing," he said. "There was a little rust that had to be knocked off, but they have been looking pretty good at practice this week, so they'll be competing right away for jobs."

On the Week 2 organizational chart released by Oregon, Williams is listed as a starter at the STAR position, while Hill is a co-backup with freshman Jeffrey Bassa. However, Williams' comments indicate that "or" should be between he and Hill, rather than Hill and Bassa.


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Additionally, Saturday will not be Williams' first game at Ohio State. Prior to his days in the green and yellow he was a Freshman All-American at Illinois in 2017, when he had the chance to play at Ohio Stadium in a game the Illini would lose 52-14.

"We weren't quite as talented as this team," Williams said. "I will have that experience going into it (having played at Ohio State), which I think I can bring in, as a leadership kind of role and help the guys get through that, whatever daunting it may be."

No. 12 Oregon (1-0, 0-0) takes on No. 3 Ohio State (1-0, 1-0) at Ohio Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 9:00 a.m. PST on Saturday, September 11. 

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