**Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in the Emerald’s Duck Season magazine, a preview of the Oregon football team’s upcoming season that is currently available for free at all Duck Store locations in Eugene. We will post each story in the days leading up to the first day of fall practice on Aug. 10.
Tony Washington and Arik Armstead are gone, but Oregon’s defensive line retains experience with seniors Alex Balducci, DeForest Buckner and Tui Talia back for their senior years. While Washington and Armstead appeared in all of the Ducks’ 15 games last season, Buckner and Balducci will likely be starters for the second straight year. Talia is battling T.J. Daniel, Austin Maloata and Henry Mondeaux for increased playing time. Oregon defensive coordinator Don Pellum raved about Mondeaux at the end of spring practice, calling him “hands down” the most consistent player during the spring. This unit was exposed in the Ducks’ loss to Ohio State, so expect adjustments to be made, possibly including more four-man fronts.
Follow Will Denner on Twitter @Will_Denner