The high-scoring Oregon offense has been one of the big stories of the 2010 college football season, but last week the Ducks were held to one offensive touchdown by Cal, and it was the Oregon defense that saved the day (and the undefeated season) by holding the Bears to 193 total yards and no offensive points after their opening drive of the game.
Oregon and Auburn Defenses
FBS Rankings This Season
A lot of college football observers were surprised by this defensive performance by the Ducks, as some analysts have spent much of the season lumping Oregon and Auburn together as "two teams with unstoppable offenses but suspect defenses."
If you take a look at the numbers, however, it's clear that the Oregon defense isn't merely underrated; it's actually one of the best defenses in the country.
Because the Ducks and Tigers both run a "hurry-up" style of offense that causes their defenses to spend more time on the field than most, instead of analyzing them on a per game basis, look at what they allow per play, per drive and per 30 minutes spent on the field.
Oregon is head and shoulders above Auburn, ranking in the top 10 in the country in all five of these categories.