By KENNY SHELTON
As the Ducks prepare for their first road challenge, everyone is looking to learn more about this team and this quarterback. Everyone is well aware of our explosive, high-powered offense, but it was the Ducks defense that surprised the nation with their first shut-out in conference play since 2003.
But after four games at home, everyone is watching to see how Marcus Mariota responds to a hostile environment — even if that environment belongs to Washington State. Wazzu has come out soft, but the Ducks can’t afford to take the Cougs lightly, the fire power is there on both sides. You can bank on this game being a high-energy, big play game. At least for the green team.
Wazzu has a couple big time receivers in Isaiah Myers (88), Gabe Marks (84), and Marquess Wilson (86), but judging from our DB’s Riker’s Island lockdown last week I don’t think any of the receivers will be having career nights.
Wazzu also has some good backs in Teondray Caldwell (34) and Carl Winston (3) that show big play abilities if presented the opportunity, but I doubt they break for anything longer than 10 yards with the Bash Brothers — Michael Clay and Kiko Alonzo — holding down the middle.
Connor Halliday is a pretty mobile QB with a decent arm, although he resembled MC Hammer doing the hammer dance last week vs the Buffs. When flushed out of the pocket Halliday tends to get lofty with his ball, so look for our corners — and safeties — to have another stellar performance this week.
On the defense side of the ball, Wazzu has some pretty beastly defensive ends in Travis Long (89) and Logan Mayes (83) but our O line should be able to hold up just fine.
My former high school classmate Daniel Simmons (24) is a playmaker in the secondary, but generally, and generously, speaking, Wazzu’s secondary has been lax at best (and constantly shoddy) in pass coverage all season.
All in all, Wazzu will have no answer for Colt 45-30 Lyerla, KB24, and the Black Mamba who has been All Dat and then some (and is actually starting to resemble Omar from the Wire more and more each day, which is a good thing. I think.)
Another youngster, Bralon Addison, also seems to be panning out as a solid receiver. Look for big fireworks in this one folks, should be exciting to watch “Win the Day.” #Skoducks