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Odd Man Out: Aztecs Twice Find That 10 Isn’t Enough on Defense

As if the San Diego State defense wasn’t having enough problems, it turns out the Aztecs were short an outside linebacker when Oregon scored its first two touchdowns in a 34-13 victory Saturday.

The Aztecs had only 10 men on the field on consecutive defensive plays in the first quarter, and both led to Duck touchdowns, defensive coordinator Ed Schmidt said Wednesday. Schmidt said the mix-ups were a result of players being confused about their roles after recently changing positions.

The first instance occurred on Oregon’s first possession when the Ducks had a first-and-goal at the SDSU 3. Milt Wilson, who that week had been switched to outside linebacker from defensive tackle after missing two weeks with a sprained ankle, failed to take the field when the Aztecs sent in their goal-line defense. Oregon tailback Derek Loville scored on a 3-yard run on the next play.

The second came on the first play of Oregon’s next possession. This time Morey Paul, who was switched to outside linebacker from inside the week before, thought it was John Wesselman’s turn to play the position. Wesselman assumed Paul was staying in the game. Neither took the field.

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Oregon quarterback Pete Nelson completed a 66-yard touchdown pass to split end Terry Obee. That gave the Ducks a 14-0 lead with 8:50 left in the first quarter.


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