Tale Of The Tape: Arkansas State At #5 Oregon
- CoachingGuz Malzahn enters his first year as head coach after a few years at Auburn, where he was the offensive coordinator during the national title run. Many considered him a candidate for bigger jobs; it was a nice hire for Arkansas State.Speed kills, and perhaps no football coach knows that better than Chip Kelly. Kelly recruits as many speedsters as he can, plugs them into skill positions, and lets them loose. The result is two Rose Bowl appearances and one national championship berth in his three years in Eugene.
- OffenseRyan Aplin is a very good quarterback. The senior threw 19 touchdowns and ran for 10 more. He will need to cut down on his 16 interceptions, however.The Ducks no longer have burners Darron Thomas or LaMichael James in the backfield, but Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas will pick up the slack. Both are fringe Heisman contenders and will accumulate ridiculous yardage
- DefenseThe Red Wolves replace a lot of starters on defense. Oregon, of course, is not a good opponent for an inexperienced defense.This is not Oregon’s strength under Kelly, but the unit should be good enough to keep the Ducks undefeated at least through October.
- Special TeamsReturning kicker Brian Davis is very consistent, hitting 18 of his 23 field goal attempts.Oregon scores a lot of touchdowns, the second most in the country last year, so kicking and punting shouldn’t be all that important. The Ducks have dangerous return men.
Arkansas State is not a terrible squad—the Red Wolves were a top 25 team on both sides of the ball last year. And yet this will be one of many blowouts on Saturday. Oregon will score early and often. It won’t be a pretty debut for Malzahn.