Oregon Football: Ducks Take on Leach and Cougars but Defense Will Win the Day

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2012

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 22:  Head Coach Chip Kelly of the Oregon Ducks runs on the field  against the Arizona Wildcats on September 22, 2012 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

With the Ducks off to a 4-0 start, they finally head on the road and are traveling up to Seattle to take on Washington State and new head coach Mike Leach.

When Leach was hired, the expectations went sky high for the Cougars but so far this year, the Cougars have no delivered on those high expectations.

On the other side of the field, Oregon had things on cruise control for the first three weeks and then kicked it into high gear last week when they took on Arizona. The key here is that the Ducks and their first year quarterback have yet to head on the road this season. 

As the schedule was released, fans looked at this game and believed that with Leach on one side and Chip Kelly on the other, this game would be an offensive shootout. This was also the thought this past week when the Ducks shutout the Wildcats at home.

So far this year, the Ducks have been in the comfort of their home stadium but now have to hit the road. This will be especially interesting for Marcus Mariota, who will be making his first start on the road.

With so much offensive firepower on the field, this game is going to come down to the Ducks defense, which is starting to shine almost as brightly as the Oregon offense.

From the defensive line to the secondary of the Ducks, Oregon is solid the whole way through. They have speed and playmakers all over the field and have the answer to whatever Leach may throw at them this weekend.

While the Ducks may put up a lot of points this weekend, this game will be won by the Oregon defense, a unit that should receive more and more credit as the year goes on. 

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