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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

3 Keys: Beating Oregon

Don’t lose sight of the ball

Oregon’s offense is best at distracting the defense from where the ball actually is. Through different motions, fakes and pitches, it does its best to get people moving one direction, then running counters right past them. If the Arizona defense — especially the linebackers — can keep its eyes on the ball it can avoid giving up the huge chunks of yardage that Oregon’s offense thrives on.

Stay under control

With inexperienced defensive ends and a defense that prides itself on being aggressive and getting to the ball, the Wildcats run the risk of being overaggressive against Oregon’s spread-option attack. Because of the misdirection and read plays that key off of defensive linemen, one step too far in any direction can lead to a touchdown. But it will likely be difficult for a defense that’s looking to make a play after getting torched the past two weeks to stay within itself.

Start fast on offense

Arizona’s defense has a history of slowing down Oregon’s offense at the start of a game. Last year in Eugene, Ore., Arizona actually led 19-14 at the half before giving up 20 points in the third quarter. And as Arizona found out, getting field goals instead of touchdowns doesn’t happen against Oregon. If the defense is able to slow down Oregon — or even if it can’t — the offense has to put points on the board early because of the Ducks’ history as a second-half team.

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