Oregon Football: Projecting How Ducks Will Finish Banner 2012 Season
The Oregon Ducks got a huge lift on Saturday and it had nothing to do with their own game. Alabama's loss against Texas A&M guarantees the Ducks' fate is in their own hands.
Now all Oregon needs to do to reach the national championship is win their next three games.
Even though they've not been legitimately threatened, there are no guarantees No. 2 Oregon will remain undefeated. The Beavers likely have three games remaining against Top 25 teams.
The Civil War is also looming against a tough Oregon State team.
Following is a summary for the balance of the Duck season, including predictions for opponents yet to be determined.
Who: vs. Stanford Cardinal
When: Saturday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR
Prediction: Oregon 55, Stanford 34
This game will pit the Pac-12's best offense against a stingy Cardinal defense. But Stanford hasn't met an attack like the Ducks'.
Stanford will mount an offensive attack of its own, but it is almost impossible to keep up with Oregon.
Who: Civil War @ Oregon State
When: Saturday, Nov. 24 at TBD
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR
Prediction: Oregon 38, Oregon State 35
Rankings and talent often mean less than motivation and momentum in this series.
The Beavers last won in this series in 2007. Oregon responded the following year, pinning a 65-38 loss on the Beavers and relegating them to a Sun Bowl appearance instead of the Rose Bowl.
Oregon State will be out to return the favor. The Beavers have a good run defense that will make life difficult on the Ducks, and they'll also have the energy of their home crowd.
It won't be quite enough as the Ducks prepare for the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Who: Pac-12 Championship Game vs. UCLA Bruins
When: Friday, Nov. 30 at TBD
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR
Prediction: Oregon 62, UCLA 38
UCLA has been a difficult team to figure out. They somehow managed to surrender 43 points to Cal and then held the powerful Arizona offense to just 10 points.
The Bruins face USC on Saturday in a game that will determine the South division champion. With a win over Stanford, UCLA will likely be ranked in the Top 15.
Kenjon Barner will simply be too much for UCLA's defense. The Bruins will hope to attract attention for a BCS game while Oregon finishes the season as the top-ranked team.
Who: BCS Championship Game vs. Kansas State
When: Monday, Jan, 07, 2013, 8 p.m. ET
Where: Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL
Prediction: Oregon 38, Kansas State 27
The anticipated Alabama vs. Oregon title game fell by the wayside with Texas A&M's stunning upset of the Crimson Tide. It could be back if USC can upset Notre Dame and if Collin Klein's health wanes.
For now, though, it appears Kansas State will make it to Miami.
Oregon will need to roll out a balanced attack if it hopes to beat Kansas State. Not many teams have been able to score on the Wildcats, but those that have leaned on a strong passing game.
Oregon relies on controlling the ball and the clock using its ground game. Kansas State will make it difficult to do so, but a balanced attack featuring Marcus Mariota's arm will make for an exciting game.
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.
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