Oregon ('98: 8-4, 5-3 Pac-10)
Posted: Wednesday August 11, 1999 05:46 PM
The PlotQB Akili Smith, who piloted one of the best offenses in the country last season, moved on to the NFL and the Ducks must find a replacement. Health is also vital to this team, which went into a tailspin (3-4) after Reuben Droughns broke his ankle.
The DirectorMike Belotti -- fifth year, 30-17; 53-42-2 overall
StarringRB Reuben Droughns -- 824 yards in first five games before breaking his ankle vs. UCLA.
WR Tony Hartley -- 1,000-yard receiver will be new quarterback's primary target.
K Nathan Villegas -- Conference's best placekicker connected on 20 of 22 attempts and led league in scoring.
Co-starringLB Dietrich Moore -- 211-pounder finds a way to make plays (77 tackles last season).
LB Peter Sirmon -- Led team in tackles in '97 then missed most of last season with torn pectoral muscle.
Why it will workNick Aliotti, the defensive coordinator when the Ducks went to the Rose Bowl in 1994, is back after four seasons away to shore up the D. Droughns and Hartley give the Ducks two explosive offensive options.
Why it won'tStar corner Rashad Bauman blew out his knee in spring drills and will miss the season. With him, the Ducks gave up 41, 38, 44 and 51 points in their four losses. Yikes.
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