THE X-FACTOR

A MAINSTAY WHOSE RETURN SHORED UP A LEAKY LINE FACES HIS BIGGEST CHALLENGE
December 29, 2014

JAKE FISHER, Senior, LT

Fisher was supposed to play right tackle this year, but junior Tyler Johnstone's preseason knee injury forced the 6'6", 300-pound Fisher to move to Marcus Mariota's blind side. After helping the Ducks to wins against South Dakota and Michigan State, Fisher sprained his left medial collateral ligament against Wyoming, and suddenly, Oregon's line couldn't protect Mariota. The Heisman Trophy winner was sacked seven times in a 38--31 win at Washington State and dropped another five times in his team's only loss, 31--24 to Arizona, the following week. The Ducks didn't become an offense that could steamroll Pac-12 defenses until Fisher returned against UCLA, and a unit that had given up 14 sacks has allowed only 13 over its last eight games. Against Florida State, Fisher will face his toughest challenge of the season. Seminoles junior defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. is 6'3", 294 pounds and explosive enough to execute a standing backflip. In the BCS title game last year, Edwards dominated Auburn's Greg Robinson, who would become the second pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Fisher steadied the Ducks for the final stretch of the season, but now he'll have to contain a player who's probably the fastest and most athletic opponent he has faced so far. How Fisher performs could dictate the outcome of the Rose Bowl.

PHOTORICK BOWMER/AP

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)