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Oregon Football Recruiting

Torres' Take

October 8, 2019
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It was a relatively quiet week on the recruiting front. The Ducks hosted an official visitor last weekend in Kentucky commit Tre’vonn Rybka. They also hosted key unofficials such ast tight end commit Seth Figgins and 2021 in-state linebacker Keith Brown. 

It was a big win Saturday and another tough one is on deck with the Buffaloes coming to town. Here is the latest in the week that was in Oregon news.

Official Visitors

Last weekend Oregon hosted Kentucky defensive line commit Tre’vonn Rybka. At 6-foot-4, 290-pounds, he’s a big target on the defensive line. Despite the commitment he has taken a few visits and Oregon was his fourth official visit. It would appear things went well and his grandparents were along with him. 

The Ducks are looking for a big body to fill the interior of the defensive line and Rybka certainly fits the bill. We’ll see if the visit was enough for Oregon to make a move with the three-star recruit.

Despite the Friday game, Oregon will host a few more official visitors this weekend. Safeties Myles Slusher and Bennett Williams will be in Eugene this weekend for an official visit. They could be joined by as many as three more names. It could be a big weekend for the Ducks. 

 

Jake Shipley

One of three 2020 defensive line commits for the Ducks, Shipley looks as if he is still locked in. So much so, in fact, that he plans on making a couple of trips to follow Oregon away from Autzen.

Shipley, who spoke with our Jonathan Charles, mentioned he’ll be going to Oregon vs. USC and Oregon vs. ASU. The 3-star has more or less shut down his recruitment and said he only plans on visiting Oregon prior to enrolling.

At 270 pounds, the Ducks plan to use him primarily as a defensive end. But the coaches are keeping open the possibility of moving him inside.

Cal Game

Many Oregon fans expected the Ducks to run away with this one, but ultimately was a close game.

The defense turned in another outstanding performance, limiting the Bears to just 7 points. They got after UCLA transfer quarterback Devon Modster and forced two interceptions, one snagged by Troy Dye and another hauled in by sophomore phenom Jevón Holland.

The front seven came away with 4 sacks, 2 of them from freshman Kayvon Thibodeaux. Thibs looks like he’s settling into this defense and has been playing really well of late. The defensive line was stout against the run, as well, holding Cal to just 2.2 yards per carry.

The offense has been a lot less explosive since we’ve entered conference play, which is a bit concerning. The rushing attack put together 190 yards on the ground, but played another game without a 100-yard rusher; Travis Dye led the way with 81 yards.

For as long as I’ve watched, the Ducks' identity has been rooted in the running game. I hope they can stick with that moving forward.

Justin Herbert has turned in a lot of just “OK” performances in 2019, which makes me question where he’ll end up going in the NFL draft. I would like to see him push the ball downfield more and throw the receivers open so they can get more yards after the catch.

As a recruit, Mycah Pittman was described as a running back after the catch. I think his return to the field will be a huge help moving forward.

Oregon had been solid on the turnover and penalty front thus far this season, but they slipped backwards in both categories Saturday. Herbert had an errant pass over the middle that was picked off for his first interception of the season, and Dye coughed up two fumbles. As far as penalties are concerned, they had 8 for 85 yards.

Cyrus Habibi-Likio got some carries (when he wasn’t tackling streakers on the field). I don’t think he’s an every-down back, more of a goal line specialist. I hope Darrian Felix gets some more carries moving forward.

Overall, not the best game. But a win is a win, and the Ducks continue to cement themselves as one of the conference's best teams.

Injuries

The Ducks got some sad news after the Cal game when they learned senior defensive lineman Gus Cumberlander will be out for the remainder of the season with a left knee injury. The team will lean more on Thibodeaux and redshirt sophomore DJ Johnson to come off the edge and get after the quarterback.

The Ducks also had a scare when CJ Verdell went down with an ankle injury. However, X-rays were negative and Cristobal said he is confident his leading rusher will be ready for Friday’s contest against Colorado.

Apart from the handful of players lost for the season, this team is getting healthy. Receivers Pittman, Brenden Schooler and Juwan Johnson all returned from injury and made their season debuts against Cal.

Colorado Preview

The last time the Buffs were in town was 2016. The Ducks were down for most of the game, then came roaring back before falling 41-38.

The Buffs (3-2) are led by senior quarterback Steven Montez, who made his Colorado debut in that 2016 upset. In his most recent game against Arizona, a 35-30 loss, Montez threw for 299 yards and 1 touchdown on 28 of 42 passing.

Colorado's best offensive weapon is junior receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., who was held out of the Arizona game with an injury. Experts laud him for his great hands and athleticism; at 6-2 and 220 pounds, he will be a great test for this excellent Oregon secondary.

Colorado's defense isn’t very impressive so far, as they surrender about 30 points a game. Opposing offenses average 466.5 total yards and 175.5 rushing yards per game. They’re also allowing 4.47 yards per carry, so as they did against Cal, I think the Ducks will get the run game going early on.

The Buffs have defeated Arizona State, which I think is the No. 2 team in the South behind Utah. On paper, the Ducks should win this game big – if their offense doesn't underwhelm again.

Either way, I still see the Ducks getting it done. I'll have my score prediction later in the week.

 
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