This is an important season for Nick Aliotti (defensive coordinator) and his Oregon defense. There are high expectations in Eugene, and in all likelihood, the Ducks offense will do its part.
But for Oregon to play in Pasadena twice this season (once being at UCLA), the secondary will have to step up in a big way.
Aliotti’s defenses are known for achieving great success through aggressive man-to-man defense, and for the most part, they played that way in 2008 even though the numbers seem to tell a different story.
The defensive backfield finished 111th nationally in pass defense, and last in the Pac-10. There were a number of reasons for this, ranging from the UO offense’s time of possession (last in nation at 25:11), to the run defense being so strong (23rd nationally, 2nd in Pac-10).
Still, in two of the Ducks three losses (against USC and Boise State), the secondary allowed an average of 414.5 yards passing, and repeat performances against the Broncos and Trojans will be unacceptable.