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Oregon Football

Torres' Take: The Latest in Oregon Football News and Recruiting

September 30, 2020
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Welcome to another edition of Torres’ Take. I’m trying to go more in-depth with these reports, so you’re in luck if you enjoy the lengthier reads. 

This week, we react as Justin Herbert continues to get his legs underneath him in the NFL. In addition, there’s been another notable opt-out, and we’re getting set for fall camp. 

Pro Ducks 

Justin Herbert (No. 10, Los Angeles Chargers): 330 yards on 35 of 49 passing, with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Also accounted for 15 rushing yards on 3 carries in the Chargers 21-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers. 

Herbert played well in his second game as a pro, showing poise in the pocket and exhibiting his ability to throw on the run. He had a strong feel for the pass rush, stepping up or sliding to the side on multiple occasions while keeping his eyes downfield. He already seems tuned in with veteran wide receiver Keenan Allen and tight end Hunter Henry. 

As his 49 pass attempts might suggest, Herbert didn’t get too much help from the rushing attack. Austin Ekeler paced all Los Angeles backs with 59 rushing yards on 12 carries for 1 touchdown. But Herbert's play wasn’t faultless, either, as he was charged with two turnovers.  

The first came on a blitz in which Herbert’s arm was hit as he was throwing, forcing the ball forward out of his hand. A more crucial mistake came when he stared down Allen in a bit of a timing mishap, and the delay allowed the defensive back to jump the route. 

Another critique I have was his reluctance to push the ball downfield on Los Angeles’ final drive, as he often opted for short check-downs and intermediate passes over the middle with the clock bleeding away with no timeouts available. 

It is worth noting his offense DID get the ball downfield in time, and it likely would have won the game had a promising hook-and-lateral attempt been successful. Still, Herbert’s game management is clearly a work in progress.  

To end on a positive note, the highlight for the Oregon rookie came on a beauty of a pass to Allen. After sidestepping the pass rush, Herbie stepped up and rifled the ball into a perfect window where only Allen could catch it.  

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DeForest Buckner (No. 99, Indianapolis Colts): 6 total tackles, 4 solo, 1 quarterback hit in the Colts’ dominant 36-7 win over the New York Jets. 

Big 99 continued to be an integral cog on the Indianapolis defensive front. The Colts forced four turnovers, held the Jets to a lackluster 3 for 12 on third down, and limited the Sam Darnold-led offense to just 260 total yards. 

The Colts now sit at 2-1, good for second place in the AFC South behind the Tennessee Titans.  

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Arik Armstead (No. 91, San Francisco 49ers): 3 total tackles, 2 solo in the 49ers’ 36-9 win over the New York Giants. 

Armstead didn’t fill up the stat sheet, and I’d be lying if I told you he and his team faced a strong offense. The Giants are in desperate need of offensive weapons now that star running back Saquon Barkley is out for the year.  

San Francisco will continue to lean on its defensive captain as it adjusts to the season-ending injuries of former defensive rookie of the year Nick Bosa and fellow DL Solomon Thomas. 

Troy Hill (No. 22, Los Angeles Rams): 8 total tackles, 5 solo in the Rams’ 35-32 loss to the Buffalo Bills. 

The cornerback is making his presence felt this year, and he led the team in tackles on Sunday. Hill has become a steady contributor to a defense that has its fair share of big names, including Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey.  

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Ugo Amadi (No. 28, Seattle Seahawks): 7 total tackles, 6 solo, 2 passes defended in the Seahawks’ 38-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys. 

Amadi has developed quite a bit in his second year. Logging most of his snaps at slot corner, he was Seattle’s fourth-leading tackler on Sunday. 

One of Amadi’s biggest plays came in the fourth quarter, when the Cowboys were going for two to tie. Dak Prescott threw the ball out wide to CeeDee Lamb, who looked like he might be able to power through a Quandre Diggs tackle for the score. 

Lamb stumbled, and Amadi threw off his blocker to prevent the rookie from converting.  

Dion Jordan (No. 96, San Francisco 49ers): 2 tackles, 1 solo, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery in the 49ers’ 36-9 win over the New York Giants. 

After bouncing around NFL rosters the past few seasons, injuries gave the former Duck an opportunity in San Francisco. And he made the most of it.  

Terrance Mitchell (No. 39, Cleveland Browns): 2 tackles, 1 solo, 1 pass defended in the Browns’ 34-20 win over the Washington Football Team. 

Royce Freeman (No. 28, Denver Broncos): 4 rushing yards on 2 carries, 31 receiving yards on 2 receptions. 

The tailback has had a tough start to his NFL career. And with Denver acquiring Melvin Gordon in the offseason, it’s made touches even harder to come by. 

Prior to Gordon’s arrival, Freeman had been battling Phillip Lindsay for carries in an offense that staffs running back by committee. I’m a bit surprised he hasn’t been more effective as a pro, given his prototypical size at 6-0 and 230 pounds.  

Frankly, Freeman’s future isn’t looking great in Denver, as he’s only logged six carries through the first three weeks. 

Pac-12 football is a go; now what? 

Like many Duck fans, I’m incredibly excited to see the team return to the field. There will be no shortage of storylines and position battles to follow as Mario Cristobal leads his team through a delayed fall camp. 

How close is the quarterback battle? How will the offensive line replace all five starters? Having three starting DBs opt out would hurt any team, but how will it affect Oregon? 

This COVID-19 season will be unlike any we’ve seen before, and one key factor will be Oregon’s depth. The early departures will force some younger guys to step up; can they do so? 

Jevon Holland opts out 

As the top defensive back on Oregon's roster heading into 2020, Holland’s name was a familiar sight on mock drafts. The Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist is the latest Oregon player to announce his intention to go pro, following Penei Sewell, Thomas Graham Jr. and Deommodore Lenoir.  

Holland was an instant impact player who started as a true freshman. He doubled as a punt returner, and he led the team in interceptions each of the past two seasons. 

The native of the San Francisco Bay Area could join Amadi as Oregon safety success stories under coach Keith Heyward. Obviously, Holland’s departure blows a big hole in Oregon’s pass coverage. 

The competition to fill that gap should be fun to watch. Candidates include returning players Verone McKinley, Nick Pickett, Brady Breeze and Steve Stephens, plus JUCO transfer Bennett Williams. 

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Life after Justin Herbert 

Who will take over for Herbert? It’s not a foregone conclusion, but all the signs point to Tyler Shough, who has been with the team for two seasons. 

You’ve heard the talking point: Given his experience, why not roll with Shough? I see the logic, but I wonder how much carryover in scheme there will be in this year’s Joe Moorhead-directed offense. And will those changes play to his strengths? 

The quarterback room in Eugene is the deepest it’s been in a while. And throwing Boston College grad transfer Anthony Brown into the mix will spice things up and provide veteran leadership. 

Like many others, I think Shough gets the nod Week 1.

You can read Jacob Archer’s full quarterback preview here.

Dylan Lonergan  

The Ducks offered the 4-star Georgia quarterback earlier this month, and they have his attention. Despite being just three games into his sophomore season, 2023’s sixth-ranked pro-style quarterback already holds some big name offers, including LSU, Auburn and Penn State.  

Also ranked the nation’s No. 6 player in baseball, Lonergan is hoping to play both sports in college. The schools that are hottest in his recruitment include LSU, Auburn and South Carolina.  

On film, the 6-2, 215-pounder displays solid touch on intermediate and long throws and excels at throwing on the run. Lonergan also has solid speed and athleticism, which allows him to eat up yards on the ground when the defense gives him room.  

You can read Chris McCulley’s full interview with him here. 

  

Malachi Riley 

Oregon sent out a lot of offers to the ’22 and ’23 classes in recent weeks, and it should come as no surprise that the Ducks are once again looking to plunder the Los Angeles area. This 6-2, 170-pound wideout caught Oregon’s attention when he was in only the eighth grade.  

With offers from many of the Pac-12’s best -- including Oregon, USC and Arizona State -- the Corona Centennial star is sure to be among the biggest targets in Southern California.  

You can read the full story from our Justin Hopkins here.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-W6w4T2sts  

Recent Oregon offers 

2021

Benjamin Perry, safety

6-3, 190 pounds

Mount Carmel High School (Chicago, Illinois)

Rating/ranking: 4 star (.8914 on the 247Sports Composite), No. 22 safety, No. 7 player in Illionois

Offers of note: Colorado, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska (28 total offers)

Committed to Louisville (5/10/20)

https://t.co/9vUyByvNi0?amp=1

2022 

Isaiah Sategna, wide receiver 

5-11, 170 pounds 

Fayetteville High (Arkansas) 

Rating/ranking: 3-star (0.8858 on the 247Sports Composite), No. 49 wideout, No. 4 player in Arkansas 

Offers of note: Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Mississippi State, Penn State (10 total) 

Crystal ball leader: Arkansas holds both predictions 

https://t.co/utmHe7oK3s?amp=1 

The Take is also available on our YouTube Channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHUF4PvFPhk

 
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