So, as I was working on the defensive match-ups for this game, I looked deeper into the Cougar defensive statistics. They are not as bad as they appear. Teams are not running the ball on them much as most teams have gotten sucked into a passing game with the Cougs. Do not expect the Ducks to fall into that trap.
Even though Mike Leach is an offensive minded coach, right now the Cougar defense is performing better than their offense. But that is not saying much as the Cougar offense is worse this season than last. The team averages fewer passing yards per game this season by about 10 yards per game... but that has not translated into a better rushing team as the Cougars are now at almost half of what they averaged running the ball last season.
Defensively, their best unit, BY FAR, is their linebacker corps. It is the one position where they appear to be deep. Five of their top six tacklers are linebackers. But the group is not very athletic and is not very good in pass coverage.
The defensive match-ups come tomorrow. Not too many surprises!