It’s no secret Texas wants to run the ball, especially after watching the likes of Stanford, Arizona and Oregon State shred the Ducks’ defense in November. Although the Longhorns have a bruising back in 225-pound Malcolm Brown, their offensive line has been thinned by injury.
Getting a lead could be important for the Ducks, in order to force erratic Texas quarterback Case McCoy to throw.
Oregon has some injury concerns, most notably leading tackler, linebacker Derrick Malone, who as of Saturday wasn't practicing because of a knee issue, but the unit figures to play an inspired game in defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti’s final game.
■ Andrew Greif lists his five things to watch for in today's game.
■ Rob Moseley and John Canzano have a few thoughts on the press conference Mack Brown and Mark Helfrich attended yesterday.
■ Andrew Greif wonders what the backup QB's future plans are now that Marcus Mariota has declared he will be returning next year.
■ Ryan Kang and Michael Arellano took some photos during the kickoff luncheon yesterday and a visit to a local food bank.
■ Mark Helfrich had nothing but praise for outgoing defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti during the press conference yesterday.
“As I said the other day, Nick’s contributions have been – you can’t overstate them enough, and I think that’s the best way to put it of his contributions on and off the field have been immeasurable,” Helfrich said.
■ My prediction: Oregon 38 - Texas 24