Who is really calling plays? Will that screeching horn continue to roar through Autzen Stadium? Which running backs will get the most touches? Plus, a look ahead to the toughest road game and how you can stay informed on all things Duck football related.
Question from Thurios on Twitter: Coach Cristobal has said he reserves the right to change a defensive or offensive play call by the respective coordinators. What criteria must occur to cause him to do that?
Answer: Co-offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo and defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt are Oregon's play callers. With that said, Cristobal meets with Arroyo and Leavitt throughout the week to help game plan, including game day to review and change any schemes and all situations. As head coach, he reserves his veto right. Therefore, the criteria for him to change a play is up to him.
“I’m always on the headset with both sides because if there is a call that I feel really isn’t the best call for us at the time, then I’ll do whatever necessary to make sure we get the best call,” Cristobal said.
Question from Penny on Twitter: Will that horrible horn sound continue in Autzen?
Answer: According to 247 sports, the loud siren sound you may have heard blaring through Autzen stadium when the Duck defense faced a third down is taken from the horror movie, The Purge.
The idea to have the horn blasted on crucial downs came from the team, specifically defensive lineman Jordon Scott and defensive back Ugo Amadi, to alert the fans to get wild and loud. It also serves as an alert to the Duck defense that it’s time to bear down to get a stop.
I’ve seen the movie (it’s terrifying), so while it might take some getting used to, if the horn riles up the fans and team, I’m all for it. According to Eric Skopil’s report, the horn appears to be staying.
Question from Tyler on Twitter: Who separates themselves from the others at RB before Stanford? Which 3(ish) can we expect to get the majority of touches by month’s end?
Answer: It’s no secret that Oregon flexed its depth by spreading the ball out to all six of its scholarship running backs in its 58-24 victory over Bowling Green. Freshman CJ Verdell led the way with 51 yards, Cyrus Habibi-Likio was the only running back to score, while freshman Travis Dye was the first running back off the bench.
Going forward, will Oregon's stat line show six running back rushers? Not once Pac-12 conference play begins.
Yes, there is a plethora of talent, but expect the old man of the group to be the lead workhorse, “Grandpa” Tony Brooks-James. Behind Brooks-James, each back has a select skill set that could be used differently to game plan for opponents.
If I had to predict who will receive the majority of touches after Brooks-James, I’d say Verdell, Habibi-Likio and sophomore Darrian Felix. Verdell’s strength is his breakaway speed, Habibi-Likio is the largest back on the roster and uses his power to barrel through a defense, and Felix has the experience and explosive lateral quickness.
Question from NBCSportsNW on Twitter (my employer so I had to include!): Which Oregon football away game will be toughest for the Ducks to win?
Answer: Oregon plays at Cal (9/29), Washington State (10/20), Arizona (10/27), Utah (11/10) and Oregon State (11/23). Of those five away games I think Arizona is the most dangerous. The Ducks take on the Wildcats in Tucson on the second of back-to-back road games.
Yes the Wildcats did lose to BYU in their opener, but the duo of new coach Kevin Sumlin and dual-threat quarterback Khalil Tate makes the Wildcats (7-6 last season) an intriguing team to watch this season.
Arizona returns its leading passer and rusher in Tate, who electrified with 1,591 passing yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 1,411 yards (9.2 per carry) and 12 touchdowns.
Question (from multiple people on Twitter): What kind of Duck TV coverage does NBC Sports NW plan on?
Answer: Talkin’ Ducks will be our weekly Oregon show. It airs at 7pm on Friday nights and is hosted by Jordan Kent, with me, Aaron Fentress and Joey Harrington as panelists.
If you are looking for supplemental Oregon coverage, I will be on the Brian Noe Radio show (Rip City Radio 620) at 1:45pm every Friday. Also, our website is jam packed with video and written content.