2009 Oregon Ducks Football Preview
2009 Oregon Ducks season preview from Maddux Sports. Below you can find our official Oregon Ducks football preview as well as the 2009 Oregon Ducks Football Schedule. Haven't had much luck beating your bookie? This season up your chances and order Maddux's winning college football picks.
Coach: Chip Kelly (1st year at Oregon)
Team Name: Ducks
2008 Overall Record: 10-3
Returning Starters: 9
For the past four years the Oregon Ducks (10- 3 overall, 7- 2 Pac-10) have been bowl bound, winning two and losing two. Last season, the 15th ranked Ducks finished tied for second in their conference, earning a trip to the Holiday Bowl. There they met and defeated the 13th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys 42- 31.
The seventh ranked Oregon offense put an average of 41.9 PPG on the board in 2008. The ground attack, which ran up 280.1 YPG, was led by Jeremiah Johnson and his 1,201 yards and 13 touchdowns. Although Johnson is gone, there’s still plenty of power on the ground as senior LeGarrette Blount (137 CAR, 1,002 YDs, 17 TDs) takes over. Junior QB Jeremiah Masoli (239 ATT, 136 COMP, 1,744 YDs, 5 INTs, 13 TDs) has a fine arm and is also an able runner, gaining 718 yards and crossing the goal line 10 times last season. The concern is the frontline, which lost three prime starters, including center Max Unger. Although the receiving unit has lost two starters, there’s some fine talent on-hand, including junior Jamere Holland and junior college transfers Lavasier Tuinei and Tyrece Gaines.
Last season, the Duck “D” did a fine job stuffing the run, holding opponents to 119.4 YPG (23rd). However, three starters are gone from the line with the best remaining player being senior Will Tukuafu (59 TKLs, 7.5 SKs, 10 TFL). Look for the seasoned linebacking corps to add some new stunts and wrinkles in the Duck defense. Junior WLB Spencer Paysinger (95 TKLs, 2 SKs, 10 TFL, 2 INTs) is a first-class player. Although Oregon did well in stopping the run, they were not as good at stopping the pass, allowing 270.2 YPG (111th). Nor were they effective in prohibiting opponents from scoring, permitting 28.2 PPG (78th). Senior corner Walter Thurmond III (66 TKLs, 5 INTs) is a playmaker and senior free safety T.J. Ward (101 TKLs, 1 INT) is a massive take down artist. Improvement versus the deep ball is needed.
The position of punter looks to go to a true freshman, perhaps Jackson Rice. Top punt returner Jarius Byrd and his 12.3 YPR left early for the NFL, but Aaron Pflugrad (3 RET, 43 YDs, 14.3 AVG) could be the answer. Kick return man Thurmond (21 RET, 528 YDs, 25.1 YPR, 0 TD) has great running chops. Look for junior Holland, the fastest guy on the team, to be running back punts or kicks. Senior Morgan Flint (28-28 EP, 7-9 FG) should get the nod at placekicker. If he doesn’t work out, freshman Mike Bowlin could get a chance.
The Ducks, who are coached by neophyte Chip Kelly, had a bump in the road in 2004 when they won just five games. But since then, it’s been smooth sailing. Can Kelly keep this team, which faces a tough non-conference schedule that includes Boise State on September 3, Purdue on September 12 and Utah on September 19, on track? Last year, the club lost to Boise State 32- 37 and beat Purdue in OT 32- 26. The September 26 contest against California could be season defining for both teams. This year, Oregon will win their share of games but not enough to earn second place in the Pac-10. This is a third place club that will earn an invite to a middle or low tier bowl.
Oregon Ducks Football Schedule
For more info on the 2009 Oregon Ducks football program, view the Ducks football site or you can read about other Pac-10 teams below.