After the Alamo and After the Announcements, It's Time to Recap the 2013 Season

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After the Alamo and After the Announcements, It's Time to Recap the 2013 Season
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Mark Helfrich led Oregon to 11 wins in his first season as a head coach, the most by any rookie coach in school history.

The 2013 season didn't end the way many Oregon fans had been counting on after an 8-0 start. It did end with a third consecutive bowl win, which secured win No. 11 for head coach Mark Helfrich and the Ducks.

There were some questions regarding the leadership and the heart of the team after seeing their national title hopes disappear with an early November loss to Stanford, but the Ducks showed plenty of heart and desire in the regular season finale against in-state rival Oregon State.

Sure, the Ducks allowed over 200 yards on the ground to one of the nation's worst rushing attacks. The Ducks played flat on Senior Day, but in the end, the team rallied behind quarterback Marcus Mariota and senior Josh Huff.

The end result was a breathtaking drive in the final minute of the "Civil War." The last-minute win gave the Ducks their sixth consecutive win over their in-state rivals and secured another season with double-digit wins.

After being skipped over by the BCS in favor of Oklahoma, the Ducks were sent to San Antonio for their first appearance in the Valero Alamo Bowl against the Texas Longhorns.

With news and rumors about coaching changes and players leaving for the NFL, the Ducks came together and put on a defensive clinic in longtime defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti's final game as a coach.

The way things turned out, the Ducks finished with 11 wins for just the fifth time in school history. The win total allowed Mark Helfrich to surpass Chip Kelly's 10 wins for the most victories for a first-year Oregon head coach.

The Ducks received news that Aliotti would retire and that running back De'Anthony Thomas and cornerback Terrance Mitchell would leave school early for the NFL.

It isn't all bad for the Ducks who also learned that Mariota, center Hroniss Grasu and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu will all return to school for another season with the program.

It may not have been the fairytale ending that many had hoped for, but the Ducks are primed for another run toward the top in 2014. Ending the season on a high note was a good start to the offseason. 

Now comes the task of finishing off another stellar recruiting class, which will help build added momentum as the Ducks head into spring practice.

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