Practice Report: Oregon’s defense prepares for Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen

The Ducks travel to Laramie, Wyoming, to take on the Wyoming Cowboys on Saturday at 4 p.m., and the biggest threat the Ducks will face, besides the over 7,000-foot elevation, is Cowboys’ quarterback Josh Allen.

“He can make all the throws,” head coach Willie Taggart said. “When you can throw the ball from the hash mark 30 yards down the field to the opposite sideline…that’s pretty impressive and he can do that.”

Oregon’s defense managed well with Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee the weekend before at Autzen, but Allen will be a different test, one that some have never seen.

“In all the years I’ve been coaching, I don’t know if I’ve seen a quarterback this good,” defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt said.

Dealing with a quarterback like Allen is something the Ducks will have to get used to ahead of going into Pac-12 play where good quarterbacks are common.

Allen is an NFL-caliber quarterback who could be among the highest picked players in the upcoming NFL draft. For Oregon, it’s a chance to see how they can shape up against someone who will probably go on to play professionally.

“It’s a good test,” Taggart said. “This guy’s got arm talent to play on Sundays. It’s a great opportunity to go out and compete with a guy who’s going to be playing on Sundays.”

The Ducks’ pass-rush will have to play a big role in stopping Allen and the Cowboys, and that stems from the linebackers.

“He’s a really good quarterback,” outside linebacker Jonah Moi said. “It’s really nice to play against a guy like that.”

The Ducks defense knows what they’re up against and knows just how important it is to keep him contained.

Leavitt’s defense will have to be organized against Allen, which won’t be easy. But, the Ducks have a game plan.

“He breaks a lot of tackles,” Moi said. “He’s a big guy so if we hit him, we’ve got to hit him hard.”

Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow

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Shawn Medow

Shawn Medow

Shawn is an associate sports editor and reporter for the Emerald covering football, men's basketball, women's basketball, acrobatics and tumbling, track and field/cross-country and softball. He also hosts several podcasts, including a soccer podcast, on the Emerald Podcast Network. You can contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @ShawnMedow.