It seems to always be a topic of interest, when an SEC school plays a prominent school from another conference, to talk about how much bigger or faster the SEC teams are. When it comes to this year's SEC vs. Pac-10 matchup in Glendale Arizona, it is no exception.
When you hear about the Oregon Ducks, there’s usually a mention of speed somewhere in the conversation.
And for good reason.
We’re talking about an offense here coached so close to perfection by Chip Kelly that, on average, the Ducks snap the ball with 25 seconds left on the play clock. That’s fast even for Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. When you throw LaMichael James into the picture, the Ducks could easily be the fastest team in the nation.
There’s room for a speed argument with the Auburn Tigers, as well. You would have to be living in a cave not to have seen some of Cam Newton’s highlights; of which many include him burning defensive backs to the end zone.
The no huddle offense that Gus Malzahn runs is eerily similar to the Ducks offense, minus the play cards with pop culture figures on them. But when it comes down to the grit and grind in the trenches, will speedy Oregon be able to match the size of the SEC champs?
When the Tigers are on offense, there will be one player on the field wearing white who is heavier than Heisman hopeful Cam Newton.
Oregon defensive tackle Zac Clark weighs in at 256 pounds. That’s about one Thickburger and a large fries ahead of Cam Newton’s 6’6’’ 250 pound build.
On average, Cam Newton outweighs Oregon’s linebackers by 15 pounds. Newton has shown his ability to run over defenders in the SEC, he must be licking his chops over his shot against the Pac-10 champs.
Phillip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn’s starting tight end, has made his difficult name known for the Auburn faithful this year by catching a few passes in the end zone, like he did against Alabama. For the BCS National Championship game, Lutzenkirchen may be used more for blocking.
The stocky tight end outweighs every player on the Ducks defensive line.
Finally, the offensive line for the Tigers, on average, outweighs the defensive line for the Ducks by 60 pounds.
The Tigers have four seniors on the offensive line that have quietly dominated opponents all year. Auburn should win the battle in the trenches based purely on size alone.
If the Ducks are going to make stops on defense, it’s going to take a lot of their speed. Flying to the ball, multiple tacklers, blitzing schemes, forced fumbles and interceptions all have to come into play. Otherwise the Tigers and Cam Newton are going to run the ball down their throats for four quarters.
In college football, size does matter. The 22 starters for Auburn weigh on average at 248 pounds. The Ducks weigh in at 232.
Oregon had better drink its “Cammy Cam Juice.”
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