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Scouting the Ducks

Saturday will mark the third time the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oregon Ducks have played in three years. The Sooners are 2-0 against the Ducks so far with the closer of the two games coming in last season's Holiday Bowl.

Since the Holiday Bowl both teams have improved of offense and declined on defense. That should make this weekend's game in Eugene a little more thrilling.  

The Ducks come into this game with a 2-0 record. Unlike the Sooners who struggled in their opener against UAB Oregon rolled past Stanford 48-10 in their season opener. However, last Saturday night Oregon struggled on the road against Fresno State using a fake field goal late in the fourth quarter to put themselves up for good.

On offense the Ducks look very solid. Dennis Dixon has been accurate at quarterback, completing 66.7% of his passes for 478 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

Jonathan Stewart is Oregon's leading rusher with 171 yards that mostly came in the Stanford game (168 yards). He was injured late in that game and was limited to only one carry for three yards against Fresno State.

Just behind Stewart is Jeremiah Johnson who is averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Johnson has 153 yards rushing on the season and could be Oregon's feature back if Stewart isn't ready to go.

Jaison Williams is the Ducks leading receiver with 148 receiving yards and one touchdown but Garren Strong (81 yards) and Dante Rosario (80 yards) can be dangerous as well.

The Ducks seem to be balanced on offense. In their first two games Oregon has rushed the ball 75 times and passed it 66 times.

On defense the Ducks are giving up just over 165 yards per game on the ground. That is certainly to be a stat that gets Adrian Peterson's attention. Saturday night Oregon gave up 217 yards rushing to Fresno State.

The Ducks also suffered a key loss in their secondary when starting corner Jackie Bates left the game with a broken leg. The Ducks are only allowing 182 yards in the air per game, but that could change is a suitable replacement isn't found for Bates.

Freshman safety Jarius Byrd and sophomore corner Patrick Chung lead the defense in interceptions with one each.

Defensive tackle Jeremy Gibbs is also a playmaker on the inside. Against Stanford he recorded six tackles, a forced fumble and a blocked kick.