The Ducks begin their season with an interesting ‘tune up’ game versus the Nicholls State Colonels from Thibodaux, Louisiana. The Colonels win-loss record over the past couple three years isn’t impressive, however the team boasts three great players that could have big days if the Ducks don’t come to play. Let’s examine what to watch out for as Oregon fans!
The first is running back Marcus Washington, 44, (Above) a big and surprisingly fast runner. Typically you will find him as the lone set back and from there he takes his read from the middle linebacker as he moves laterally from where ever the pitch comes from. If the MLB moves around the DE, then he runs between the tackle and guard. If the MLB stays home, then he runs wide. (with blocking help from the two Wide Receivers on his side)
The next player (Above) on our hip hop hit list is number 85, Nick Scelfo the big TE for Nicholls State, who is a 6-4 235 lb chunk of beef. Scelfo is not just a blocking back, but he is effective at running routes and catching receptions through the middle of the defense. His stats include receptions (22) and receiving yards (300), as he averaged 13.6 yards per catch, had two touchdown receptions, and among tight ends ranked second in Southland Conference in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.
The Ducks can take care of this by playing in their face man to man defense on this talented Tight End.
The third on our list is linebacker, number 25, Chris Bermond. This 6-1, 235 lb senior is set to break out in the Southland Conference as last year he was second on the team for tackles. Bermond was a factor against all of the Colonels opponents and even Oregon State where the Colonels suffered a 77-3 loss, in which Bermond had nine tackles and a TFL. (Tackle for Loss) The Colonels are not afraid to load the box, as you can see in this screen shot above of the OSU game.
The Ducks, (now without Kenyon Barner) will utilize De’Anthony Thomas for more receiving touches than in the past couple of years, I believe. DAT’s numbers have been pretty good and now they should get great this year as he becomes more a primary focus within the offense. The past two years, DAT has had 18 TD’s in each of those years and last year they were, 11 rushing, five receiving and two returns. I project that he should probably double or nearly double those numbers this year.
Above is an example of how DAT can be utilized, as we see KB heading for the north forty (Sideline) in the Fiesta Bowl, which pulls the middle linebacker out with him. With one of the two Wide Outs heading down field to help clear out that side (see the bottom of the screen shot), the other receiver comes in to either get the ball or help block for DAT who is in the red circle. Now notice where everything is nearly cleared out.
Once DAT gets the ball, he makes the first man miss him and then tows seven Wildcats into the end zone. I don’t think the Colonels have an answer for this, as KSU didn’t.
While the Colonels have some talented players and a very talented coach, the fact that the vast majority of their assistant coaches are in their first year and considering that the Colonels don’t have a coach that has been there longer than four years,–it will be telling in the final score. I don’t mean to disrespect the Colonels or their fine program, but the Ducks could probably start their two’s and three’s and still score ten or more times.
I think with time and coaching maturity, the Colonels could become one of the FCS’s better schools. Head Coach Stubbs has a long history of innovative offensive coaching of which to anchor the program, and Nicholls State is a program we might be seeing in the FCS playoffs and beating the pants off of bigger programs in years to come.
It just won’t be this year and it just won’t be against the Ducks.
Flagstaff, Arizona (With Charles Fischer for FishDuck.com)