The perception is that Oregon is quick but small. The perception is that Tennessee is slower but much bigger. True?
Let’s take a look at the numbers from the listed starters of both teams. Tennessee is at Oregon this Saturday (3:30pm ET on ABC) and on The Sports Animal/SportsAnimal99.com/WNML App/iHeart Radio.
Size comparison: Tennessee vs. Oregon
Offense (11 player avg. height/weight)
Tennessee – 6’3 & 257.8 per
Oregon – 6’1 ½ & 242.5 per
Defense (11 player avg. height/weight)
Tennessee – 6’2 ½ & 236.9 per
Oregon – 6’2 & 233.7 per
Tennessee Offense Line/Tight End vs. Oregon Defensive Line
Tennessee – 6’4 ½ & 301.5 per
Oregon – 6’5 & 279.3 per
Tennessee Defensive Line vs. Oregon Offense Line/Tight End
Tennessee – 6’5 & 288.3 per
Oregon – 6’3 ½ & 286 per
Tennessee’s starting 11 includes Josh Smith over Jason Croom as a projection for this week. They are listed as “or” on the depth chart, so I picked the one I believe will start Saturday. UT lists 12 players on defense as starters on the depth chart. I went with the base 4-3, just to be consistent. JaRon Toney at “Nickel” was left-off of the starting 11. Also, we don’t know if DE Jacques Smith returns to the starting line-up just yet. He will play, so the ends included in the starting 11 are still Corey Miller & Jordan Williams. For Oregon, the Ducks have one “or” at a WR spot. I went with the smaller and younger Daryle Hawkins, who is listed first and has better stats so far.
I see several things from these numbers. Tennessee does have more size than Oregon. The gap however is probably not as drastic as many would want to believe.
Oregon’s starting 11 on offense actually outweighs Tennessee’s starting 11 on defense by more than 5 pounds per man. You may say 'so what,' but that is much different than the perception that the SEC team is so much larger than the little west coast team.
Even with Daniel McCullers (351) averaged in, the Tennessee defensive line won’t have a significant pound-for-pound advantage over the Oregon offensive line. The difference is 2-pounds per man on that offense vs. defense battle at the line-of-scrimmage.
Tennessee’s talented, experienced and big offensive line will out-size pretty-much everyone, and that includes the Ducks. UT is 22 pounds heavier, per man in the O-line/D-line match-ups. That’s actually less of a gap than many of us would have thought.
Also, Oregon is very tall on the defensive front, averaging 6’5 on the 4-man front. That could be an issue for Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley, who has a tendency to get balls batted down or deflected at the line of scrimmage.
My main point is that Oregon is not as small as many think. The Ducks have gotten bigger through recruiting during their run of success. They have not sacrificed speed or athleticism in doing so. Oregon is smaller than Tennessee, but not "small" overall.
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