Ducks Defense Working On Ratio

Willie Glasper

The Oregon defenders say they have forgotten all about last week's disappointing loss to Boise State. They should because the task in front of them now is the Washington State Cougars (1-3, 0-1) and a chance to work on the turnover-takeaway ratio. The Oregon Ducks (3-1, 1-0) hope that communication among the defensive backs will help.

Last week Oregon gave up 386 yards in passing, two touchdowns but was only able to pick off one of Boise State's 36 passes. Meanwhile Oregon threw three interceptions plus lost a fumble, as did BSU. The Ducks were playing without cornerback Walter Thurmond III and his experience and leadership were missed. An area that Thurmond could have helped the team had he been on the field was communication. With all the noise that is generated during a football game at Autzen Stadium, it is very difficult for players on the field to hear what is going on.

"Obviously playing in Autzen is pretty hard to hear and communicate but we've got to do a better job at looking at each other and signals," said cornerback Willie Glapser.

Thurmond suffered from a groin injury but should play this week.

Glasper knows that he and his mates must keep in touch because they will face a big, fast receiver in Brandon Gibson, 6-1, 200 is a player that should be playing on Sundays after his college days are over. Gibson has 20 receptions for 295 yards, for a 14.8-yard per catch average. He has two touchdowns with a long reception of 43 yards and averages 73.8 yards a game in receiving.

" He's a tall receiver he has speed," observed Glasper of Gibson. "He can get in and out of his breaks quickly."

Tight end Devin Frischknecht is the second leading receiver with 11 catches for 166 yards, one touchdown and a long of 53 yards. Wide receiver Jeshua Anderson has nine catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.

Dwight Tardy is the leading rusher for the Cougars. He has 203 net yards rushing on 54 carries and a touchdown. WSU has fumbled 12 times so far this season and lost four.

According to Jerome Boyd in order to get back positive in the turnover-takeaway ratio, it starts in practice. If the Duck defenders are working on tearing the ball away from ball carriers in practice it will give both sides work on ball security.

"If you just tackle people at practice and not try to get the ball out when the game comes all you'll do is tackle them because you haven't been trained to get the ball out," said Boyd. "So we're going to work on trying to get the ball out in every practice."

Kickoff for the Saturday's game is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. and the game will be carried by FSN.

Jerome Boyd:

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