Oregon Football Fact or Fiction: 5 Common Statements About the 2012 Ducks
As the 2012 season grows closer, Duck fans and fans around the nation are becoming more and more excited about the potential of the upcoming season.
For Oregon fans, the Ducks appear to be primed for another run at the Pac-12 title and maybe the national title. With a strong defense and Chip Kelly at the helm of the offense, the lofty expectations do not appear to be out of reach.
With plenty of time to talk football during the offseason, a lot has been said about the potential of this upcoming season. While some of it may be good and bad, there is so much time to cover a team between the end of last year and the start of this coming season that the idea of paralysis by analysis comes to mind.
With everything that has been said, here is a look at five of the most common statements about the 2012 Ducks and if they are fact or fiction.
The Ducks Game Against Washington State Is the Biggest Trap Game
With the hiring of Mike Leach, many believe that when the Ducks head on the road to take on the Cougars, they will be facing a huge trap game.
Granted, the Cougars appear to be a team that is improving and ready to move up the ranks in the Pac-12, but Kelly has been able to keep his team focused throughout his tenure.
If the Ducks need to look for a trap game, look at their November 10th date with Cal where they will either be coming off of a huge win or a loss that will deliver a shot to their ego.
The Ducks Will Be Undefeated When They Go to USC
Unlike last year, the Ducks get off to an easy start in 2012, which is fortunate, as they will be breaking in a new quarterback regardless of who Chip Kelly goes with.
Through the first eight weeks of the season, Oregon's toughest task may be its road date with Washington State, but a focused Oregon team should not have an issue taking care of that matchup.
The Ducks Defense Will Be the Best It's Been Under Chip Kelly
While the 2010 Oregon defense was good, the potential for this year's defense is to be great.
Oregon's strength will come from its front seven and the ability to truly get after the quarterback and use its speed to go sideline to sideline.
The only thing that has a chance of holding this year's unit back will be the secondary. Aside from John Boyett, the rest of the secondary must prove it matured and learned from last year.
Quarterback Play Will Hold Back the Ducks
The Ducks have a strong enough run game that through the first eight games of the year, the Ducks should not have to worry all that much about the quarterback play.
Regardless of whether it is Bryan Bennett or Marcus Mariota under center, the Ducks quarterback will have time to get comfortable in the offense and be prepared for the game against USC.
Kenjon Barner Can Fill In Seamlessly for LaMichael James
As long as Kenjon Barner can stay healthy, the Ducks should be able to transition from LaMichael James to Barner without issue.
Barner has both the speed and strength of James but has yet to show he can take a year-long beating the way that James did.
If Barner can stand up to the physical toll, the Ducks will be running full steam ahead.