The DT's have had little luck pressuring passers as the Wildcats allow an average of 300.3 yards per game through the air. The tackles have no sacks and just 1.5 tackles for loss.
The Ducks have had been better at stopping the pass, however, allowing just 145.0 yards per game passing.
Neither of the teams have been particularly effective against the run. Both Arizona and Oregon do not use their defensive tackles as pass rushers. The Duck defensive tackles may have some advantage as the Arizona running game has been particularly weak at 55.0 yards per game. Nonetheless, this is still a draw between the two units.
Based on production and experience, the edge here goes to the Ducks. There has been a little more productivity and the Ducks have more game experience at the position.
Stuckey leads the LB corps with 14 tackles and 1 TFL. Alonso, in 2 games has 11 tackles and 0.5 TFL while Kaddu has 11 tackles and 1 sack. Lokombo has 10 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 67 yard interception return for a touchdown and a fumble recovery. Watch for emerging freshman Rodney Hardrick who made an impression with 3 tackles and 2 TFL's last week.
The Wildcats have the experience and the productivity from their two former JC transfer linebackers. Though the Wildcats have been gashed in the running game, the linebackers are doing their job; making tackles.
As a unit, the Ducks are giving up only 145.0 yards per game through the air and are filled with All-America candidates in Boyett and Harris.
It is no secret that the Ducks have had a lot of very talented players in the defensive backfield and this year is no different.
Arizona: The Wildcats have faced two top 10 teams in a row and given up plenty of yards both through the air and on the ground. They are anchored by a new starting defensive tackle and two new starters at defensive end. Their is some stability in the middle, but the Wildcats have been unable to stop the passing game and running game.
Oregon: Much has been made of the Ducks struggles to stop the run, but there is a little bit of mis-perception. Only one of the three teams had a good day carrying the ball. Though all three gained yards, LSU and Missouri State averaged 3.6 and 3.4 yards per carry respectively. The Ducks are significantly better at stopping the pass than Arizona.
SCORE PREDICTION: Arizona will score some points; likely more than the 14 and 10 points they have mustered the last two weeks. The question is, will they be able to outscore Oregon? The Ducks have balance on offense and have had success against the pass on defense. Oregon's defensive weakness, stopping the run, is also Arizona's offensive weakness as their running game has been nearly non-existent. Nick Foles is an NFL caliber QB and his arm will keep the team in the game for a while. However, this Arizona team is not as good (yet) as last years team. They may get there by the end of the season, but right now, they just do not have the firepower.
Final: 38-24 Oregon