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DailyTidings.com
  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL

    Clearing the path

    SOU's O-line has given up just one sack against starting QB Dodge
  • Seven games into their first season as a member of the Frontier Conference, the Southern Oregon University Raiders have become that annoying new neighbor who doesn't wipe his feet before tromping through every room in the house, raiding the refrigerator and switching the TV station without asking.
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  • Seven games into their first season as a member of the Frontier Conference, the Southern Oregon University Raiders have become that annoying new neighbor who doesn't wipe his feet before tromping through every room in the house, raiding the refrigerator and switching the TV station without asking.
    Yes, Southern Oregon has made itself quite comfortable in its new league home. Running a no-huddle spread offense that's become the bane of defensive coordinators everywhere, the Raiders have simply toyed with opposing defenses while racking up yards and points that look more like a video game summary than real life stats. Heading into Saturday's monster clash with No. 6 Carroll — a tilt that naia.org has dubbed the "Game of the Week" — the No. 19 Raiders (5-2) are gaining an average of 644.6 yards per game, including 438 through the air, and are scoring 54.7 points per game. That puts SOU on pace to shatter the nation's all-time single-season records in the first two categories and tie a scoring record which was set by Florida A&M in 1961.
    But for all the flashy numbers on SOU's resume, it's another, less heralded statistic that may best explain what's under the hood of the Raiders' incredible offensive machine: One. That's how many times SOU starting quarterback Austin Dodge has been sacked — impressive for a team heading into Week 8, mind-boggling when you consider that Dodge has thrown 309 passes.
    Oh, and that one sack, points out offensive line coach Chris Fisk, came on a broken running play.
    "There are two things," said Fisk, when asked to explain SOU's ability to negate opposing pass rushes. "One, we're really good at pass protection. And, our quarterback throws the ball on time and gets the ball out of his hand, which eliminates the opportunity to get sacks most of the time. And then also, we get a lot of basic defensive looks because of the speed that we go at, because (opposing defenses) don't have time to call a ton of blitzes and get into the things that D coordinators would like to get into."
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