EUGENE, Ore. (KOIN)– The Oregon Ducks held their annual spring football game to wrap up their spring practice, giving a glimpse into what could come this fall.
Here are six takeaways from the first spring football game in over a year.
With the departure of Tyler Shough, who was the Ducks starter this last season, the quarterback position seemed to be wide open for the taking. Whoever was able to outperform another day in and day out would take the starting spot. From the jump, a favorite was redshirt senior transfer Anthony Brown, who was Shough’s back up this last season. In the Ducks spring scrimmage, Brown did a great job of controlling the offense, delivering the ball with accuracy, and responding well to pressure in his face. Out of all the quarterbacks that were under center in the spring scrimmage, Brown certainly stands out as the starter.
2.Running back struggles
The Ducks seem to always have a running back group that sits at the top of the conference with their combination of size and speed. In the Ducks spring scrimmage, the running backs didn’t have their best showing. Headlined by arguably the best duo in the entire conference with Travis Dye and C.J. Verdell, some would think their talent would be on full display; unfortunately, it wasn’t on Saturday. As spring wraps up, a question that has been raised is what can the running backs do to get back to their big time playmaking ways.
Out of all the young players making moves in the spring game, the one that caught my attention the most was freshman Kris Hudson. His versatility makes him a really special player. He finished the spring game with four receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown he also had a handful of really solid kick returns. Hudson could start getting more attention from offensive coordinator Joe Moorehead and become a player who could give defenses headaches.
4.Defensive line talent
The Ducks defensive line is highlighted by Heisman hopeful Kayvon Thiboudeaux, but aside from him, the entire defensive line unit looked tremendous in the spring game. Guys were able to get a ton of penetration against a very solid offensive line and make some disruptive plays. The defensive line certainly deserves some credit for the job they did Saturday making things tough for the offense in the run and pass game.
We have heard for quite some time now that the Ducks’ young players are as talented as they have ever been in the school’s history. In this spring game, that talent was on full display. Offensively, wide receiver Troy Franklin led in yards with 93 on just four receptions, and defensively, we had a first look at just how good freshman linebacker Justin Flowe really is finishing the game with a handful of sacks and some big time tackles. The future is very bright for this program and they will continue to just get better.
Physicality has been an area of emphasis for Mario Cristobal since the day he took over the program. It’s safe to say that Cristobal and his staff have done an excellent job with being consistently physical because in the spring game, every single position was physical. A great example of that is with the quarterbacks. It didn’t matter if the quarterback threw the ball or handed it off, once the ball was out of his hands, he would go running down the field looking for somebody to block in hopes to help spring a big gain. I think this says volumes for how tough and truly physical this team is and will continue to be throughout the fall time.