Make or break game for Oregon Ducks? Nah. Nebraska? Yup

OR football coach Willie Taggart’s first win, a thrashing of Southern Utah, was full of good things – gaining a first down every other play, holding the opponent to less than 100 yards rushing and forcing five turnovers. The Huskers went 9-4 last season, their second under Riley.

“If there’s anything that helped me it was learning how competitive he was and then how he didn’t want anyone to beat him, he didn’t want anyone to take his job, he didn’t want any of that”, Taggart said.

I expect that task may be a little more hard on Saturday with a better Nebraska Defense.

The last time these two teams met, Freeman had just five carries for 31 yards before leaving the game in the first quarter with a leg injury. It was a down year for OR last season, but a win on Saturday would be a nice start to the Taggart-era in Eugene.

“They’re young guys, they know how to play football”, Taggart said.

“They broke their quarterback in past year, so he has had the benefit of playing”, Riley said. “He’ll be a challenge for us, but someone you’ve got to wrap up and bring to the ground”. Taggart comes to OR after coaching stints at Western Kentucky and South Florida. “He wants us to have fun”, said running back Royce Freeman.

– Ken Woody is a former Fox Sports football commentator who played defensive back, receiver and kicker for OR from 1966 to 1970. “I think that’s why he was a great player, he took pride in it every single day”. Obviously the Ducks were the better squad in that contest, piling up 703 yards of total offense. Freeman had four of them. It’s clear that the Ducks’ speed spills over in the return game, which could cause the Huskers’ issues after last week’s problems with kick-coverage. The statistics record a penalty costing 10 yards, but actually, the penalty also includes the lost gain of 39 yards, making it a 49-yard penalty.

Oregon Football meets Nebraska on Saturday, September 9th. “We have to tackle a little better”.

“This is not about me going back to OR, it’s about this Nebraska team playing the Ducks”.

The Cornhuskers are coming off a 43-36 win over Arkansas State in their opener last weekend. Last season when Nebraska beat OR, 35-32 in Lincoln, Nelson caught eight passes for 80 yards. Taggart said there’s not much the Ducks will draw from that game.

The proliferation of run-pass option sets – where the offensive line run blocks, but there’s a quick pass option built into the play – has given offenses around the country the ability to take what a defense gives. That’s a good thing for us.

“It’s something I encourage”. “I can’t believe it”. “You watch the sidelines, you can see some of the people in the stands and you hear all the people talking about it — you can see how contagious it is”.

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