Oregon Wide Receiver Darren Carrington Suspended for 2014 NC Game
On Friday night, the news broke that Oregon Ducks’ wide receiver Darren Carrington had failed a drug test and in response has been suspended for the 2014 national championship game against Ohio State on Monday night.
The news came as a shock to everyone because of the fact we are only three days away from kickoff in the biggest college football game of the 2014 season. The loss will leave a void for Oregon on Monday night, but if there is one team that could actually lose a key weapon and be alright, it would be Oregon.
Carrington, the redshirt freshman, is coming off arguably the greatest game of his young career. Carrington in Oregon’s College Football Playoff semi-final game last week against Florida State had seven catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
Carrington’s speed was a huge difference maker for the Ducks in their semi-final game against the Seminoles. Carrington showed the skill set and poise of a senior rather than a red shirt freshman against Florida State.
To give everyone an idea just what the Ducks will be missing on Monday night against Ohio State here are Carrington’s stats and impact he had on the Oregon offense in 2014.
Carrington in 2014 had 37 catches totaling 704 yards. He averaged 19 yards per reception and was one of the Ducks’ key big play guys in the passing game. His total number of receptions doesn’t jump off the screen, but the timing and importance of those 37 catches were the key factor.
His loss will be felt by the Ducks, but as I mentioned earlier Oregon still has enough weapons to get the job done against Ohio State.
Carrington was coming off the biggest game of his career against Florida State and his confidence would have been at an all time high going into the matchup against the Buckeyes. I feel this will be the biggest disappointment of the loss and the “what might have been” factor with Carrington and Oregon.
In response to the loss of Carrington I expect Oregon to put senior wide receiver Keanon Lowe in more big play opportunities because of his speed and senior leadership and presence. Lowe and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota seem to have a great chemistry in the pass game and this could pay huge dividends come Monday night.
I also expect Oregon to use Mariota in more run, pass play options, which will give Mariota the chance to make some more plays in the run game than usual. This being the last game of the season the Ducks don’t have to worry about conserving him for later games and in return, they can let him loose in the run game.
As I mentioned earlier, the loss of Carrington will be huge against Ohio State, but the Ducks are well conditioned to handle a loss of this magnitude. The Ducks enter the first annual College Football Playoff national championship game as favorites and with their depth and speed it’s clear why. That depth will be tested with the loss of Carrington, but the quack attack of Oregon will surely be up for the task.