Oregon Football: 5 Reasons Why the Ducks Will Beat the Wildcats

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2012

Oregon Football: 5 Reasons Why the Ducks Will Beat the Wildcats

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    This week, the Oregon Ducks will finally compete against an opponent that will test them. In the first three weeks, the Ducks have played Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech. 

    With Arizona coming into town this weekend, fans are likely going to find out what this team is all about. Many know that the offense can be explosive and the defense has tremendous speed, but we are yet to see how the young players will perform against a solid opponent. 

    Before the ball is kicked off this Saturday in Autzen, here are five reasons why Duck fans can rest easy as they move to 4-0 this weekend. 

De'Anthony Thomas

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    So far this year the Ducks have not had to work De'Anthony Thomas too hard, but expect to see his work load increase this Saturday.

    Thomas does an outstanding job of being a force in the passing, rushing and return game. Whenever he has the ball, he is a threat to go the distance and change the game.

    This week, Thomas should see between 10-15 touches. Look for him to turn a couple of those into touchdowns. 

Defensive Speed

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    When Arizona and Oregon line up this weekend, many people are expecting to see an offensive explosion. While both teams will put up good numbers, the speed of the Oregon defense could be a difference maker. 

    During Saturday's game, the Wildcats will score points, but with the skill and speed that the Ducks bring on the defensive side of the ball, expect them to force a turnover or two and keep the game out of reach. 

Autzen Stadium

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    Coming into this game, new quarterback Matt Scott has yet to experience a road game like he will see at Oregon. The fans at Autzen Stadium feel like they are right on top of you and they make their presence known.

    Scott may struggle with the crowd noise early on and if the Ducks are able to use this to separate on the scoreboard, the Wildcats will not be able to play catch-up. 

Chip Kelly

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    During his three years as head coach for the Ducks, Chip Kelly has only lost two games. This week, Rich Rodriguez leads Arizona into action and is in for something else.

    Kelly is one of the best coaches when it comes to preparing for an opponent. He always finds a way to put his most talented players into open space, allowing them create big plays and ultimately win.

Kenjon Barner

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    Against Fresno State, Kenjon Barner showed that he can carry the load and get the job done. Last year, LaMichael James continued to get the ball handed off to him until he wore out the defense and continued to pile up the yards.

    This year, the Ducks will want to wear down a smaller Arizona defense and they will do so by leaning on Barner and the running game. 


    Joe Penkala is a B/R National Featured Columnist who covers college football. You can contact him @joepenkala.