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JOEL HAWKSLEY | The Roanoke Times
Virginia quarterback David Watford hands off the ball during preseason practice in Charlottesville.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
No. 2 Oregon vs. Virginia
3:30 P.M. | WSET | SCOTT STADIUM
RECORDS: DUCKS (1-0), CAVALIERS (1-0)
SERIES: First meeting.
LINE: Oregon by 22.
OFFENSE: EDGE DUCKS
The Ducks have averaged more than 500 yards in total offense in each of the past three seasons, including 2010, when they had an FBS-leading 530.7 yards per game. They did better than that last year but finished fifth with 537.8 yards per game. It is unlikely they will approach the 772 yards they put up last week in a 66-3 rout of Nicholls State, including 500 on the ground.
DEFENSE: EDGE DUCKS
Oregon gave up 24 or more points in five games last season, topped by a 62-51 victory at Southern Cal. Teams gained 374.2 yards per game on the Ducks, whose defensive coordinator, Nick Aliotti, has been with the program for 22 years over three different stints. This was a unit last year that led the nation in interceptions (26) and turnover margin.
SPECIAL TEAMS: EDGE DUCKS
The Ducks boast one of the most dangerous return specialists in the country in De'Anthony Thomas, who averaged 17.1 yards on punt returns last year, when he scored touchdowns on both a kickoff return and punt return. Alejandro Maldonado, primarily a kickoff specialist before taking on placement duties last season, has added punting to his list of responsibilities. Freshman Matt Wogan from Indian Trail, N.C., could replace him as kicker.
INTANGIBLES: EDGE CAVALIERS
Virginia had the benefit of a much more competitive opener and has some momentum after rallying to beat BYU last week at Scott Stadium. Oregon is making a rare trip to the Eastern time zone and is playing at its easternmost location since a 1970 trip to Army. After facing BYU's no-huddle offense, the Cavs will see a similar style from Oregon.
PREDICTION: Oregon 41, Virginia 13
-- Doug Doughty
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