By 750 THE GAME STAFF
First-year offensive coordinator Will Stein has some exciting pieces to work with on offense at Oregon.
Bo Nix leads that discussion, certainly. The returning quarterback is among the early favorites to contend for the Heisman Trophy.
Bucky Irving and Noah Whittington pose a threatening duo in the backfield.
But fans should also be fired up about watching the Ducks receiving core this fall.
Yogi Roth, lead analyst at the Pac-12 Network, told John Canzano on 750 The Game that Oregon’s current group of pass-catchers is as talented as he’s seen in Eugene in some time. Roth said Oregon’s had talented receivers in the past, but they haven’t yielded conference-leading production the way this year’s group has a chance to do.
“It’s been a while since they’ve even had a first-team all-league player at Oregon at wide receiver,” Roth said on 750 The Game. “It’s been a long time. And it’s not like they haven’t recruited there. To me, whether it’s been injury, whatever it’s been, it hasn’t been (what it is now). And I felt the same thing coming out of that spring game.”
Troy Franklin is Oregon’s top returning wideout, and Kris Hutson is also back for his junior year. But Oregon also got busy in the transfer portal at that position, adding Tez Johnson from Troy, Traeshon Holden from Alabama, and most recently, Gary Bryant, Jr. from USC.
“I spent a bunch of time with Tez Johnson — he’s a stud,” Roth said. “He might be up for the newcomer of the year in this league. Troy Franklin, last year he was the most improved player on offense, non-QB, I thought in the entire conference. He has a chance to dominate. Kris Hutson, Traeshon Holden, they’ve got competitive depth now there. They bring in Jurrion Dickey, a mid-summer enrollee, I’m sure he just got there this past week, like most freshmen have. Dude can just fly. They will be legit.”
Roth said having a group with talent and depth like Oregon has at wide receiver will only serve them well in a Pac-12 Conference that is as tough a league to predict as its ever been.
“I really think picking teams to end up in Vegas is so hard this year because it’s going to come down to a two-minute drill, it’s going to come down to an injury, that’s what a lot of these games will be, and I think at the end of the year it will be the closest scoring differential we’ve ever had in this league. I don’t see a lot of blowouts on the schedule.”
Check out Roth’s full appearance with Canzano at the podcast below, including his thoughts on the early-season schedule in the Pac-12 and why San Jose State is no pushover for USC in week zero and Oregon State in week one.