Oregon junior wide receiver Johnny Johnson III, quarterback Justin Herbert and linebacker Troy Dye were some of the last Ducks to leave Disneyland, as part of their pre-Rose Bowl tour of Southern California.
It’s fitting that Johnson III’s favorite ride was California Adventure’s The Incredicoaster: a high-speed, thrill ride that chases The Incredibles’ character Jack-Jack through big drops and crazy routes.
In the 106th Rose Bowl, No. 8 Wisconsin’s defense is prepping for a similar mad dash to keep up with Johnson III, who has been on a late-season surge.
Badgers starting cornerback Faion Hicks singled out Johnson III as what makes him most excited for in the “Granddaddy of them All”.
Oregon’s receiver, No. 3, he's a good playmaker. He shows up every game. It's going to be fun going against him. –Faion Hicks
When it comes to explosion plays, Johnson III has become Herbert’s go-to. In the last four games, the duo have connected seven times for 25-plus yards, including a 45-yard touchdown reception in Oregon’s Pac-12 Championship victory.
Johnson III is just as consistent as he is exciting. 37 of his 55 receptions in 2019 have gone for first downs. He’s leading the Ducks with 818 yards, nearly quadrupling his total from 2018 (215 yards). What led to his remarkable improvement?
A lot of good habits. A lot of doing the right things and never eliminating doing the little things because that's what keeps you consistent. –Johnny Johnson III
Wisconsin starting safety Eric Burrell was surprised at Oregon’s physicality within the receiving corps.
They aren’t afraid to block. When I look at receivers to game plan, I want to see what their favorite thing is to do. Oregon’s receivers all want to block. That’s good for us. We just have to do a good job at getting off the receivers to make the tackles. -Eric Burrell
Johnson III takes pride in competing to be the most physical Duck receiver.
We have a knock down list for that week. We always try to get people on the ground. –Johnny Johnson III
No, the list doesn’t compete with Oregon’s exponentially larger offensive line’s knock down list. However right now, Bryan Addison is in the lead with Juwan Johnson and Johnny Johnson III right behind.
Juwan and Johnny have a history of competing and making bets together. In their last game as teammates, they will be vying to get the most touchdowns in the Rose Bowl.
The Rose Bowl is a prime occasion for Herbert to air it out against a Wisconsin secondary that has been inconsistent at times. It’s a substantial opportunity for Johnson III to resume his dominance in the biggest game of his Duck career, where big plays could be the difference maker.