What a season 2008 was. The critics predicted a down year, and most of the duck nation was skeptical losing Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart in the same year. Those two guys were unstoppable, but Jeremiah Masoli and Jeremiah Johnson filled in nicely. A Holiday Bowl win was huge, it proved that the Big 12 isn't bulletproof. All though the Ducks lose a great senior class, 2009 should be a great year for the green and yellow.
1. First stop, Boise State; these guys beat the Ducks last year at Autzen Stadium last year. But they lose a very good running back in Ian Johnson, he will be hard to replace. The Ducks lost Johnson, but LeGarrette Blount is back, and ready to put linebackers on their asses. Masoil returns, and hopefully will enter 2009 as a great passer and runner.
Masoil has great running ability, but his arm needs to be dialed in some more this spring. If he can improve his accuracy, he will be deadly next year. Its gonna be a close game, but I am betting Oregon will be pissed off and want to start Boise's year off with a loss. Oregon wins a shootout, 42-38.
2. Next up is Purdue, a Big Ten team that the Ducks beat last year on the road. With Oregon's QB set, this should be a easy home win. I could see Blount rushing for 200+ yards, and Masoli passing for 300 plus. Oregon wins 49-21.
3. Utah will be one of the best teams Oregon will play next year, and if the play like they did in the Sugar Bowl, I don't know if Oregon can hang with them. If Oregon can run the ball at will, they have a great chance at pulling the upset. But Utah is a great team, and I have to give them the win. Utah wins 38-31.
4. To start off PAC-10 play, Oregon gets California at home. The Golden Bears have beat the Ducks the last two years, but I think that will change this year. With good QB play and Blount running over people the Ducks should get a well deserved home win. Ducks get 300 plus rushing yards to a 35-21 win.
5. The state of Washington was terrible last year, the rest of the country was judging the PAC-10 on this state alone. Oregon gets another big home win, 56-14. I would bet Blount breaks some records this day, 300 plus rushing yards.
6. Next is the UCLA Bruins, who gave hints of being good last year, but disappointed. If they can get great QB play, they could be good next year. They also get the Ducks in California, but it won't matter, Oregon wins it 45- 21.
7. The Huskies get the Ducks at home this year. After embarrassing the Huskies last year, the dogs will be looking for revenge, but will not find it. I'm not going to bother checking, but i don't think they won a game last year. With a new coach, they should be better this year, but not good enough. Oregon wins it 49-14.
8. USC is all that stands between Oregon and a visit to the Rose Bowl, the Ducks will be looking for the upset. The last time Oregon played USC at Autzen stadium they won. With Mark Sanchez leaving for the NFL, and most of the defense getting drafted in the first round, Oregon wins a close one 28-24.
9. If the Ducks can get a win over USC, they will be in the lead for the PAC-10 title. The only good team Stanford seems to be able to beat is USC, so they should poise little problem for the Ducks. Masoli could have a huge day here, and secure a duck win, 42- 10.
10. After Stanford, Arizona state comes up to Eugene to take their shot at the Ducks. Although they started strong last year, they finished last year win a bunch of losses. I don't see them improving very much, so I have to give Oregon the win here. with the crowd behind them, the Ducks will put up 40 plus points and hold Arizona state to under 21 points.
11. The Wildcats almost pulled the upset last year in Autzen stadium last year, I was there sweating out the third quarter with the rest of the nervous crowd. But Arizona loses their QB, and by this time Masoli will be ready to lead his team to a road win. 35- 17, with Blount again running all over the place.
12. Civil War time, the game of the year. If you remember last years score fest, I still remember the ducks putting up 65 points, what a game that was. With the Beavers at home this year, Autzen stadium will work its magic, and the green and yellow will pull out a another win, 49-38.
My picks are far from scientific, but If Masoli can run and throw, and the line makes holes for blount to crash through, 2009 could be a great year. I could see the ducks finishing 11-1 with a loss at Utah or USC, but not both.
Hopefully that will be good enough to get in the Rose Bowl, and give the ducks a chance to show the Big Ten how to run an offense. Feel free to give your picks, or if you disagree with mine. I can't wait for next year to start, it give me chills thinking about it.