In Oregon’s secondary, a healthy competition between defensive backs has fueled turnovers

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The Oregon Ducks are tied for the top spot in the nation when it comes to interceptions with a total of 9 through four games. Safety Verone McKinley has 4 of those, which is tied for first in the nation. Safety Bennett Williams has 3 others, tied for third in the nation.

As a team, the Ducks boast a +12 turnover margin, which is the best in all of college football through four games. The offense hasn’t been a world-beater thus far, and the defense is giving up more yardage than we expected before the season, but Oregon is undefeated and is in a prime position going into October, and the secondary is playing as well as almost any iteration of the team in years.

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How have they done it? Through a healthy dose of competition in the locker room, according to McKinley.

“It’s it’s definitely been huge because Bennett got the first one in Arizona, and he was like, ‘I’m tied with you.’ So I was like, ‘Oh no, not for long,'” McKinley said on Tuesdsay. “And so, that competition is something you want in the defensive back room and you know, everybody’s pushing to beat each other. That’s what makes it fun to have that competitive spirit in our room makes it even more fun.”

McKinley is currently on pace for 12 interceptions this season, which is one shy of the record set by George Shaw back in 1951. Williams is on pace for 9 picks. Mykael Wright is on pace for three.

No matter how the season ends, there is a good chance that this Oregon team breaks the school record for most INTs in a single season, which currently sits at 26, set back in 2012. Even with the ultimate goal of winning still standing as to main priority, and a potentially record-breaking season in reach, you can guarantee that these guys will be competing with each other until the end. It’s the DB’s natural way and something that’s pushed them to greatness thus far.

No need to switch things up now.

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