Scouting Auburn’s 2019 Opponents: Oregon

Stay tuned to RadioAlabama Sports as Noah Gardner breaks down each of Auburn football’s 2019 opponents leading up to the season opener. Follow Noah on Twitter at @PointGuardner.

Game History: Auburn leads 1-0. The two teams’ only meeting was in the 2011 BCS National Championship when Auburn beat Oregon 22-19.

Grading the Ducks:

Grading the Oregon Ducks

2018 Team Stats:

PPG: 34.8

PAPG: 25.4

RYPG: 179 (4.4 YPC)

PYPG: 248

SKS allowed: 22


RYPG allowed: 144 (3.7 YPC)

PYPG allowed: 242

SKS: 29

Offensive Impact Player: QB Justin Herbert (#10)

2018 stats: 3,151 YDS, 59.4 PCT, 29 TD, 8 INT

Potentially the best draft choice at quarterback, Justin Herbert leads the Oregon offense as an effective pocket passer. The Ducks go as Herbert goes. He protects the football well as he only threw eight interceptions last season. The one negative for Herbert is his completion percentage. He can get even better if he has a more accurate season, but his wide receivers have to help him on that front. Auburn’s defensive backs will be tested in the opener.

Defensive Impact Player: LB Troy Dye (#35)

2018 stats: 115 TKL (led team), 2 SKS, 8 TFL, 7 PBU, 1 INT

Troy Dye was effective in stopping the run, posting 115 tackles in 2018. One of the leaders of the Oregon defense, Dye will be a focus of the Auburn offense if they want to establish an effective running game. A versatile player, Dye also has the ability to drop back into coverage.

Offensive Key Unit: Offensive line

Aside from Justin Herbert, the offensive line is the most talked about unit of Oregon’s team. The most experienced offensive line in college football, the Ducks return 153 career starts, featuring four seniors. They allowed 22 sacks in 2018, which was good enough for fourth in the Pac-12. While the offensive line protected Herbert well, Oregon only averaged 4.4 yards per carry. That will need to improve if Oregon wants to have success against a great Auburn defense.

Defensive Key Unit: Defensive backs

The defensive backfield is experienced as well, returning three starters. The Ducks bring back 12 interceptions from a group of four defensive backs. In 2018, the group held opposing quarterbacks to a 56.7 completion percentage. They are stingy, and they come up with big plays. Auburn will be breaking in a freshman quarterback, and there will be little margin for error against the Oregon defensive backs.