Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota

Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) makes a dramatic leap over Oregon State Beavers safety Justin Strong (39) as the Ducks face the Beavers at Reser Stadium during the Civil War in 2014

EUGENE — Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos is among the 15 semifinalists for the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.

Avalos is one of just two Pac-12 coordinators in the group, joined by Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley.

No. 14 Oregon has improved from 48th in scoring defense (25.4 points) and 55th in total defense (385.9 yards) in 2018 to 13th (16.3 ppg.) and 29th (326.9), respectively, this season. The Ducks lead the Pac-12 in sacks and rank second in third down and red zone percentage.

“Obviously that’s an honor, that is, to be put in that position,” Avalos said. “But that’s not an individual honor, it’s everybody within the program, everybody that’s helped put this thing together in the however many months since March. It’s a tribute to the players, to their buy-in, to their care factor and to the job they’ve done.”

From those 15, five finalists will be selected and invited to travel to Little Rock, Ark. where the 2019 Broyles Award winner will be announced on Dec. 10 at the Marriott Hotel.

— The Oregonian

Reporter: 541-383-0318, mmorical@bendbulletin.com

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