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Oregon Football

Five Players to Know: Arizona Offense

November 15, 2019

Oregon takes on an Arizona offense that has flashed in certain games, but also struggled mightily in other games. Last year they were able to put up 44 points against Oregon in what was a surprising upset. They’ve beaten Oregon that last 3 times they came into the matchup unranked while Oregon was ranked.


There’s a big quarterback controversy with Arizona currently, and they have yet to name a starting quarterback for the game. There’s a strong chance we see both guys regardless. They also have a dynamic running back and a few solid pass catchers. Let’s take a look at those players.


Kahlil Tate (14) Quarterback

The 6-2, 215 pound senior quarterback is a dynamic dual threat quarterback. On the year he’s thrown for 1,637 yards with 12 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. On the ground he’s added 312 yards and 3 touchdowns. It was only a few seasons ago when Tate had heisman hype going into the year, and he hasn’t totally lived up to those expectations. He splits snaps with the true freshman Grant Gunnell, and they’ve each had games where they played the majority of the game. For some reason Kevin Sumlin doesn’t want to pick just one quarterback and ride with them for the rest of the season. It’s probably to try and confuse opposing defensive coordinators as Tate and Gunnell have very different playing styles. If Tate is the quarterback that rolls out on the opening drive for Arizona, Oregon will have to make sure they’re able to limit his running ability.


Grant Gunnell (17) Quarterback

The 6-5, 222 pound freshman quarterback is a name Oregon fans are familiar with. At one point Oregon was looking at him as a quarterback option for last class. Gunnell on the season has completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 9 touchdowns and 1 interception. He is a better passer than Tate is, but doesn’t offer the versatility in the running game. There’s a good chance we see a lot of both quarterbacks, especially if Oregon is able to run away with the game there’s a chance we see a lot of Gunnell on saturday. He’s not the best pure passer, but he’s able to stand in the pocket and take a hit while delivering a strike to his pass catchers. With his size he’s hard to actually bring down, and he’ll look to use that to his advantage as he’ll be facing one of the better pass rushing defensive lines he’s had to play against this year.


JJ Taylor (21) Running Back

The 5-6, 185 pound junior running back is lighting in a bottle. On the season he’s carried the ball 107 times for 566 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also has 20 catches for 205 yards. Look obviously he’s not the most threatening player to go up against, but what he lacks in size he makes up in big play potential. He uses his size to avoid getting tackled and if he’s able to slip past the linebackers he’s the kind of running back who can take it all the way to the house. He’ll need to have one of his better games of his career if he wants to find consistent success running against the stout Oregon defense.


Jemarye Joiner (10) Wide Receiver

The 6-1, 210 pound freshman pass catchers has been one of the few bright spots on this Wildcats team. On the year he has 24 catches for 366 yards and 3 touchdowns. He doesn’t quite lead the team in catches, but he does in receiving yards. He’s averaging 15.3 yards per catch and is able to make some guys miss. He has solid size, but isn’t necessarily a huge threat for catching 50/50 balls. He’s a good possession receiver that is always a safe option for whichever quarterback is throwing him the ball. It’ll be a fun matchup with Joiner going up against Deommodore Lenoir and Thomas Graham all night, and will be a real test for the talented freshman wide receiver.


Brian Casteel (5) Wide Receiver

The 6-0, 195 pound junior pass catcher is the go to guy for both quarterbacks. He leads the team in catches with 34 on the year, and has 359 yards and 3 touchdowns. Even though he leads the team in catches by 6 catches he is behind in total receiving yards to Joiner. His longest play of the year was a 56 yard catch, so he does offer some big play potential. However he’s typically the underneath possession receiver who’s able to pick up a few yards after the catch. Casteel isn’t an elite player, but he is a solid go to guy for the quarterbacks.

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