Oregon’s depleted defense is going to rely on a few freshmen to play key snaps in the Holiday Bowl.
The No. 15 Ducks (9-3) are missing starters DJ Johnson, Noah Sewell and Christian Gonzalez and begin preparing for the NFL Draft instead of facing North Carolina at Petco Wednesday (5pm FOX) have chosen to park.
With top players from all three levels of defense gone and a few from the bottom of the depth chart entering the transfer portal, UO is thin on an edge rush, with linebackers and freshmen Anthony Jones, Devon Jackson and Harrison Taggart all in their favor. may become. And check out the most playtime ever.
“This is going to be the start of some young players’ careers,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. The experience was actually the Sugar Bowl, and then a few years later he was drafted, and although he hadn’t played at all as a freshman during his Georgia years, he’d made a tremendous impact afterwards. In the same vein, this is the exit for some people who have been in our program for a long time, such as Alex Forsyth, Ryan Wolk, etc. For many players, this could be the beginning Maybe, maybe it’s the end
Lanning didn’t say who he expected to have a bigger role among the freshmen, but with about 61 scholarship players healthy and ready to play, options in certain locations remain open. limited.
Jones and Jackson each have one tackle this season, with the former appearing in one game and the latter in four. Jackson, offensive lineman Dave Yuri, and defensive tackle Ben Roberts will all play in the Holiday Bowl without losing a year of eligibility due to the NCAA waiving bowl games and not counting them in a player’s four-game redshirt. You can play.
Cornerback Jalil Florence also has eight tackles in seven games, including an interception and forced fumble, but will likely get more playing time with Gonzalez out. San Diego native Florence is his third outside his corner in UO behind Trikweze Bridges and Dontae Manning, with redshirt freshman Darren Barkins behind him.
Khamari Terrell could also play a bigger role against UNC path attacks, depending on how Oregon uses its safety.
The offensive needs freshman running back Jordan James to be healthier than he was at the end of the regular season, receivers Kyler Kaspar and Utius Lowe, and offensive linemen Josh Connally Jr., Yuri, Kawika Rogers and Michael Wooten. , must be at least in the top two. I was able to see some of the reps too.
“As[North Carolina coach Mack Brown]said, we’re going to have a lot of young players for both teams,” Lanning said. “There may be some negative connotations about who gets into these games and who doesn’t, but I would rather see the end of the positive side. I hope we did everything we could to prepare for that moment, but just like in North Carolina, a lot of the young players are going out on the field and they’re going to have a chance. I’ll see what to do with