Alamo Bowl position previews: Wide receivers
In the days leading up to the 2016 Alamo Bowl, the Emerald will take a unit-by-unit look at Oregon and TCU, determining which team has the edge going into the showdown on Jan. 2 in San Antonio. Today, we’ll look at each team’s wide receivers.
Oregon boasts a seemingly endless supply of athletic playmakers at the wide receiver position. Five receivers have at least 15 receptions, led by Bralon Addison with 58 for 775 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Darren Carrington has been Oregon’s best deep threat since his return, hauling in 25 catches for 502 yards and five touchdowns.
6-foot-5 Dwayne Stanford has also emerged as a reliable target for quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. Stanford came up huge for Oregon in its triple-overtime win against Arizona State, when he caught a miraculous touchdown on fourth-and-goal to tie the game with 12 seconds remaining in regulation.
Charles Nelson has spent the majority of the year at safety and returning kicks, but he’s so versatile that the offense and defense fought over him during preseason. He frequently plays offense, defense and special teams in the same game, and has managed to catch 15 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns.
Hurdler Devon Allen hasn’t seen as much action as he did last year, which could be due to the ACL he tore in the playoffs last year. Still, Allen remains a weapon with his lightning quickness.
Highly touted freshmen Jalen Brown and Kirk Merritt could see their roles increase in the Alamo Bowl, the same way Carrington broke out in last year’s Pac-12 championship and Rose Bowl.
The Horned Frogs will play the Alamo Bowl without their star pass-catcher, Josh Doctson. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound playmaker’s Biletnikoff Award-winning season was cut short due to a wrist injury he suffered Nov. 7 against Oklahoma State, when he used his hand to brace himself on the turf and a defender crashed into his planted arm. He finished the season with 79 catches for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns. His injury requires surgery.
“He’s definitely a huge weapon for them,” Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner said. “It’ll ease up the pressure on the secondary and the whole defense in general, so it’s a benefit for us and we just have to take advantage of something like that.”
Still, TCU has a a rising level of talent at receiver.
Redshirt freshman Shaun Nixon was TCU’s most targeted receiver in November and December. A converted running back and versatile playmaker, Nixon caught 38 passes for 430 yards and a touchdown in 2015, including 23 catches for 253 yards in Doctson’s absence.
Another former rusher, freshman KaVontae Turpin hauled in 40 balls for 584 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2015. The 5-foot-10, 152-pound speedster also has 15 carries for 100 yards.
Sophomore Emanuel porter has been an asset when healthy. He had 10 receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns in seven games this season.
True freshman Jarrison Stewart saw more time with Doctson out, as well. He’s caught 19 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown in 11 games.
Oregon has the clear-cut advantage in this category. With TCU’s Josh Doctson out with a wrist injury and now its quarterback Trevone Boykin having been arrested and charged with a third-degree felony for striking a police last night, it’s almost no contest.
Dec. 26: Offensive line preview
Dec. 27: Tight ends preview
Dec. 28: Linebackers preview
Dec. 29: Defensive line preview
Dec. 30: Secondary preview
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