ASU's Graham compares notes on Oregon Ducks
Under head coach Chip Kelly, the Ducks have a shiny 40-6 record, they've won three straight conference championships and they've been ranked no lower than 16th in the nation in the last 52 AP Top 25 polls.
This season, Oregon has rolled to a 6-0 record, blowing out opponents by an average score of 52-20.
So when preparing for a huge home game against the second-ranked team in the nation, you gather information and intelligence from as many people as you can.
Arizona State head coach Todd Graham picked the brain of Gus Malzahn, his former offensive coordinator at Tulsa who is now the head coach at Arkansas State. Malzahn's Red Wolves opened the season in Eugene with a 57-34 loss to the Ducks.
"We spent a little time talking, we actually exchanged film and stuff like that to try to help each other," Graham said at his weekly press conference Monday. "They played Oregon and he played them in the national championship game and then played them this year. He told me they were pretty good."
Graham also said that he chatted with Tim DeRuyter, the head coach at Fresno State, who held Oregon to a season-low 42 points in the second week of the season.
"Everybody says the same thing -- this is as good of an Oregon football team as they've had, I think. That's how good I think they are, and they've have some pretty good ones."
Malzahn's team didn't ultimately beat Oregon, but they did have success against the Ducks. Arkansas State rolled up 530 yards of offense and 34 points on the Oregon defense -- the most yardage yielded by a Ducks defense since Arizona State had 597 yards against them in 2010. The Red Wolves run a very similar offensive system to that of ASU.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Devils, like all Oregon foes, will have their hands full trying to slow down one of the most prolific attacks in the country.
"They're averaging 53 points a game; 303 yards a game rushing -- no one's even come close to slowing them down," Graham said. "That's a great challenge. I'm looking forward to that challenge -- it's not going to be an easy one obviously, but I'm looking forward to it."
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