DJ Johnson/ Outside linebacker/ Oregon
As a freshman at the University of Miami, DJ Johnson saw action in eight games. A year later, he found himself at the University of Oregon sitting out his sophomore year due to transfer rules, utilizing a redshirt. Entering the 2019 season, Johnson was just one piece in a deep, complex front-seven rotation in which playing time was far from guaranteed. He learned this early, as he didn’t see the field in the season opener versus Auburn.
Coach Mario Cristobal made note of his absence and promised Johnson would play against Nevada. While he played a majority of his time in the second half, the hulking, 6-foot-5 edge rusher impressed in his debut. He racked up a team-high seven tackles, three coming for a loss as well as a sack and a forced fumble. His ability to disrupt the opposing team’s rushing attack and use his speed off the edge to rush the quarterback should ensure he stays in the rotation for the remainder of the year.
While he may not be a starter on the organizational chart, expect another disruptive game from Johnson this week.
Darrian Felix/ Running back/ Oregon
Darrian Felix hasn’t played much in a crowded Ducks backfield over the past few seasons. This year, however, Felix has made the most of his minutes. In the season opener against Auburn, he only had two carries, but he converted one into a touchdown after an impressive cut-back run in the red zone.
Against Nevada, Felix broke several explosive plays, including a 60-yard touchdown and a 20-yard catch and run. He ended the evening with 11 touches for over 100 yards. Felix figures to see extended time again this week versus Montana. If he can build on last week’s performance, he could carve out a more meaningful role in the offense.
Marcus Knight/ Running back/ Montana
Running back Marcus Knight led the way for Montana in their 61-17 dismantling of Northern Alabama. The 6-foot-1 back finished the day with 89 yards and three touchdowns, in addition to catching two passes for 14 yards. While not the strongest runner, Knight possesses a good mix of size and speed.
After a mediocre week one, his week-two performance should help Knight take over the bulk of the carries on Saturday versus Oregon.
Robby Hauck/ Safety/ Montana
True sophomore Robby Hauck is by no means the biggest, fastest or most physical player on Montana’s defense, but if you solely looked at the box score, you may think differently. Through two games, the 5-foot-10 safety leads the team with 19 tackles and 10 of those came last week in a game where he added a tackle for loss and an interception.
If Montana has any hopes of slowing Herbert and the high-powered Ducks offense, it will start with the multifaceted play of Hauck.
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