Junior linebacker Keyen Lage finished fourth on his team in tackles with 67 (41 solo) last season, and was one of the standout defensive players. Lage will be leading the South Dakota Coyotes when they travel to Autzen Stadium on Saturday to kickoff the 2014-2015 season.
What was your initial reaction hearing you were going to play No. 3 ranked Oregon?
We were extremely excited. It seemed surreal at the moment because we didn’t think we were going to have any big games this year. Super excited to play arguably the best quarterback in the nation. Realized it was going to be the best game we’re going to play all year and probably the best offensive line we’re going to play all year.
You mentioned playing Marcus Mariota. Is that something you’ll look back on and remember later down the road?
Definitely. Right now, we see it as another game and we have a game plan against what he does best, so I’m just thinking of him as another guy. But in the future, when if he’s a future hall of famer or if he’s in the NFL, yeah, it would be cool to say I got a sack or interception on him. We’re just taking him as another great player that we have to game plan against.
How did your Fall Camp go this year and what specific things have you done to prepare for Oregon?
We’re just getting to the end of Fall Camp and people are kind of worn out from the strenuous last couple of weeks. Right now, we’re just focusing on the offense. The biggest thing is we have a lot of big guys that aren’t necessarily built for speed of what Oregon is built for, so right now, we’re really just focusing on that. Basically, adjusting to the speed of the game and having a really fast-paced scout team right now.
Have you found anything that could possibly work well against the Ducks? Their offense has been extensively scouted against at this point and there are some holes teams have taken advantage of.
There isn’t really an easy way to prepare for anybody, but every play there’s only so many options they can do. So I think being able to react to them as fast as we can to what they’re doing, by practicing against the triple option or whatever they have going on, that will help a lot. They don’t really have any set plays that they run, they just kind of go off of where we’re at and where we’re lined up.
Will this likely be the hardest week of practice (preparing for Oregon) this season?
I think it will be the hardest preparation we have and it’s obviously very unique. We don’t really play against teams that have a quarterback that can run 12 yards down the field and throw to the back 20, so in a situation where there’s a triple-threat team that can do whatever in any situation, we’re never going to play against a team like that again, because of the type of conference we play in. It’s going to be a really unique situation and we’re just going to have to play really, really fast.
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