When No. 2 Oregon takes the field Saturday against No. 13 Stanford, the eyes of Autzen Stadium will be trained on the Ducks defense considering the injuries that hit them last week against Cal.
The Duck secondary, already without John Boyett and Avery Patterson, will now look to safety Erick Dargan and backup corner Dior Mathis for considerable contributions for the remainder of the season.
Mathis has seen action in eight games so far this season and is currently tied for second on the team in interceptions with two. A significant portion of Mathis’ playing time has come in the second half when games have been out of reach. Now, Mathis finds himself in a prominent role in the secondary due to attrition.
Mathis, ( 5’9 – 182 ) enters Saturday’s game with Stanford on Oregon’s depth chart as a backup to Terrance Mitchell. On Thursday, Mathis spoke with reporters about the Cardinal and his week of practice preparations for the Pac-12 showdown.
As for Oregon’s injury situation, secondary coach John Neal said Thursday in a radio interview with SEC guru Paul Finebaum that he expects some of the lost starters to return soon.
“We’re gonna get a bunch of guys back” explained Neal when asked about the Oregon injury dilemma. “We’re gonna be in better shape than a lot of people know.”
We can only speculate Neal is targeting Saturday’s game with the Cardinal.
( Watch the interview by clicking the video box above )