Ducks' D rising to the challenge
From Oregon's solid defense to an overlooked star at USC to heated battles between Walt Harris and Pete Carroll, the Pac-10 is covered here.
• But the two secret weapons are senior linebacker Anthony Trucks and freshman strong safety Patrick Chung. Trucks, a converted safety, is tied for the Pac-10 lead with eight sacks. He also leads the Ducks with 7.6 tackles per game and has forced three fumbles. Chung is second on the team with 7.2 tackles per game. "I think he's going to become one of the better DBs in this conference by the end of this season," Bellotti said.
• Despite the season-ending ankle injury to starting quarterback Kellen Clemens, Bellotti said his team is the healthiest it's been all season. That includes super-frosh tailback Jonathan Stewart, who has been nursing nagging injuries most of the season. While senior Terrence Whitehead remains the starter, it makes sense that Stewart will get more touches because the Ducks will run more with green sophomore Dennis Dixon taking over at quarterback. The 5-foot-11, 230-pound Stewart, as physically impressive as any back in the country, has scored six touchdowns on just 38 touches this season. "The more carries those guys get, that certainly will help Dennis," Bellotti said.
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