Oregon Ducks interim quarterback Braxton Burmeister has faced a pair of the Pac-12’s top 4 scoring defenses in his first two starts.
On Saturday against UCLA, the true freshman gets an opportunity to break out.
“You have to keep building him up,” quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo told the Register-Guard . “True freshmen will take their lumps. You are going to have great plays, and you can never get too high on the highs or low on the lows. … He’s been great as far as understanding how we can improve on getting guys balls in places where they can be caught.”
UCLA’s defense has been laughable in 2017. The Bruins cough up 40.5 points, 523 yards of offense including 313 on the ground per game and have a minus-10 turnover margin. All rank in the bottom two of the conference.
“There’s no need to sit back and complain or be upset anymore,” Oregon head coach Willie Taggart said of the team’s struggles since Justin Herbert suffered a fractured collarbone on Sept. 30. “There’s nothing you can do about that now. You’ve just got to get to work and make sure we don’t let those things happen again. You should be excited for the opportunity to do that, it’s not the end of the world.”
The Bruins poor rush defense allows Royce Freeman the opportunity to change history in Eugene. He’s just 140 yards away from breaking LaMichael James’ career rushing record of 5,082 yards for the Ducks.
Oregon has managed just 17 points in the last two games combined — both losses. But UCLA is unraveling, and the Ducks could crank up the heat on Jim Mora’s seat past the boiling point.