UCLA vs Oregon: Statement Win Will Earn Ducks No. 2 Spot in BCS Rankings

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UCLA vs Oregon: Statement Win Will Earn Ducks No. 2 Spot in BCS Rankings
(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

The No. 3 Oregon Ducks will take on the No. 12 UCLA Bruins Saturday. Expect the Ducks to take the win and grab the No. 2 spot in next week's BCS rankings.

After being the No. 2 team in the country for most of the season in the AP Top 25 Poll, the Ducks were ranked No. 3 in the initial BCS rankings, with the Florida State Seminoles taking the second spot behind the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The big knock for Oregon in the latest rankings was that they had yet to get a big win, their biggest coming against Washington who has struggled over the past couple of weeks.  Meanwhile, the Seminoles were able to dominate the Clemson Tigers in a persuasive 51-14 win.

Not only will the Ducks win this week's game against UCLA, they will win big and claim that No. 2 spot in the BCS rankings.

The Ducks' offense is one of the best in college football.  They're putting up 57.6 points per game, second-most in the country behind the Baylor Bears.  They've scored at least 45 points in every game despite often pulling their starters early in the second half.

Marcus Mariota leads of this offense and is a front-runner for the Heisman.  He's put up over 2,500 total yards with 28 total touchdowns and zero interceptions.

While the Bruins have been a great team, it's unlikely that their offense will be able to keep up with the Ducks. In their first big test last week against Stanford, the Bruins scored just 10 points and had 266 total yards.  Brett Hundley, who had been solid heading into the game, threw for just 192 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

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Hundley may struggle once again against the Ducks and their underrated defense.  For as much love as the Oregon offense gets, not a lot of people talk about the other side of the ball.  The Ducks are allowing just 17.3 points and 251.9 passing yards per game.

The Oregon secondary has some very talented players who could give Hundley nightmares. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu looks like one of the top NFL prospects at cornerback heading into May while Terrance Mitchell is making his own case as a pro prospect with four interceptions and a touchdown this season.

With how good the Ducks have been on offense, they have a chance to get even better this week.  According to ESPN College Football, after missing the last four games, De'Anthony Thomas is finally expected to return.

In just three games this year, Thomas has been incredibly explosive.  He's run for 338 yards and six touchdowns on just 42 carries, giving him 8.0 yards per attempt.  He's projected to be a first-round pick as an exciting offensive playmaker, and he should be able to show that on an offense that's averaging 332.4 rushing yards per game.

With the dominance and explosiveness Oregon has shown this year, the Ducks should take down UCLA with a convincing win.  They can make a statement for the season, and vault ahead of Florida State to No. 2 in next week's BCS rankings.

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