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The Ducks for many years have been one of America’s most potent offenses.
This year the team got the balance it seeks – 2,642 total rushing yards and 2,798 total passing yards – but it left a bit to be desired in terms of final output, finishing 53rd in the nation in total offense.
Fifth year quarterback Anthony Brown had a good-not-great year, completing 63.7 percent of his passes for 2,683 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions – but he came up short against the best teams. In the Ducks’ three losses, Brown had just one touchdown and three interceptions.
However fortunately for Oregon, they have an explosive running back in Travis Dye. Dye, who started the season as the second string back before CJ Verdell was lost for the season, ran 193 times for 1,118 yards (5.8 yards per carry) and a team-high 15 touchdowns, earning Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention honors in the process.
Fortunately for the Ducks, they face an Oklahoma defense that ranks 69th in the nation in total defense.
What a season it was at Oklahoma. Starting the year with the Heisman favorite and a potential No. 1 pick in quarterback Spencer Rattler, only for him to fizzle out and get pushed out of the spot by freshman Caleb Williams.
Now, with Lincoln Riley gone, the biggest question remaining perhaps in the entire transfer portal world is what will Williams do? He hasn’t made a decision, so he says, and it still remains to be seen if he’s going to play in this bowl game, too.
Assuming he does, then the Sooners are in great shape. Williams completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 1,670 yards, 18 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
And don’t forget about running back Kennedy Brooks, who said he never considered opting out of the bowl game. Brooks was one of the league’s top backs, rushing 184 times for 1,110 yards (6.0 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns.
This shouldn’t be the tallest of tasks, which is why this game could see a winner score more than 35 points. Oregon is just 60th in the nation in total defense.
Without question, in this game, the x-factors are the coaches. Both teams are in between things after Oregon’s Mario Cristobal left for Miami and Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley left for USC.
For the Sooners, it’s a pretty familiar face who has taken over – a former national champion coach who spent 17 years in Norman from 1999-2016, Bob Stoops – who will lead the team as future coach Brent Venables prepares the next steps for the program.
Stoops is only coaching for this bowl game, but don’t expect him to be conservative.
He’s a treasure at Oklahoma, so expect him to come out with something unique as the Sooners search for their 11th win.
Oregon will be led by interim head coach Bryan McClendon, while the Ducks’ future coach Dan Lanning does his own prep. Either way, since there are so many unknowns on both sides, these coaches who are leading these young men become the people to watch.
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|Oregon Ducks vs Oklahoma Sooners Information|
|Teams||Oregon Ducks vs Oklahoma Sooners|
|Location||Alamodome, San Antonio, TX|
|Time||Wednesday, Dec. 29, 9:15 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||ESPN|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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