One of, if not the most recognizable and quoted sports sayings today is that "Defense Wins Championships". This saying epitomizes college and professional football. Your team can have a sub-par offense, but if your defense is solid gold, then you just won all your games. A defense that can shut down opposing offenses and create scoring opportunities on its own, can win the game even if the offense puts up only a field goal. Defenses can return fumbles and interceptions for touchdowns, and sack quarterbacks in their own endzones for safeties.
With the corps of offensive genius (Dixon and Stewart) gone, it will be up to the Duck's defense to carry the team early in the season until the offense can solidify its positions and feel confident about what they have.
There is no question that the highlight of this year's Ducks team is their defense, rated as the best in the Pac-10, and one of the best in the nation. There are two preseason All-Americans on the defense this year: Senior Defensive Lineman Nick Reed, who led the Pac-10 in sacks last year, and Senior Rover Patrick Chung. The secondary itself is the best part of the defense, with the Pac-10's best cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Jarius Byrd at the helm.
The offense will get into a groove eventually in the season, but watch out! This defense means business, and offenses will find it tough to score on this team, even if you aren't in Autzen.