Oregon Football: Why Arizona State Will Be a Good Test for Ducks

Ryan DavenportContributor IOctober 13, 2012

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 6: Wide receiver Josh Huff #1 of the Oregon Ducks dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the second quarter of the game Washington Huskies on October 6, 2012 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon won the game 52-21. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Six games into the season, the Oregon Ducks look poised to once again contend for a national title. 

Lead by one of the nation's most explosive offenses, the Ducks have demolished their opponents, as their smallest margin of victory was 17 points, which came in Oregon's second game of the season against Fresno State. 

Last week, Oregon put on a show against the No. 23 Washington Huskies, as the team put 52 points on the board en route to a 31-point victory.

Now, with the Ducks set to take on Arizona State on Thursday night, Chip Kelly has to get his team focused for what may be Oregon's toughest game to date. 

The 5-1 Sun Devils have improved as the year has gone on and are coming off wins over Colorado, Cal and Utah in the last three weeks.

Despite not being a Top 25 team, ASU will be a good opponent for Oregon, as the Ducks prepare for the most difficult six-week stretch on their schedule. 

After facing the Sun Devils in Tempe, the Ducks will take on USC, Stanford and Oregon State in a four-week span, and the results of those three games will largely determine whether or not Oregon will be playing for a national championship this winter. 

But first, the Ducks' attention needs to be on Arizona State.

Though the Sun Devils aren't a traditional powerhouse, their offense has been among the nation's best in 2012, and the Ducks can't take them lightly. 

If the Ducks can come out of Arizona with a victory and continue to gain momentum going into the heart of their schedule in November, they've got a good chance at finishing the season undefeated.