Oregon Football: Seven Reasons to Be Excited for Saturday's Spring Game
Only one more day separates Oregon football fans from seeing the Ducks get back into action and take the field for the Spring Game. The teams have already been split and announced and now it is only a waiting game.
While the regular season is still months away, the Spring Game is the first step on the path to the 2011 season. Here are eight reasons to get excited for Saturday's game.
Football is Back
After waiting almost four whole months, football fans will be able to gather inside of Autzen Stadium and enjoy Oregon football on a Saturday. For many football fans, the offseason is a long test of patience, but the Spring Game often gives fans a renewed energy and something to help tide them over through the summer months.
Honoring the Troops
Last year, Chip Kelly helped honor the troops by pairing each player with a member of the military and capped it off by having his players give the jersey off their back to those individuals they were paired with.
This year, Kelly and the Ducks players will honor the troops once more. Wearing new camo jerseys and again, giving their jerseys to a member of the military.
Televised on ESPN 2
Just like last year, ESPN 2 will be airing the Spring Game live. This provides fans who are unable to attend the game a opportunity to see how this years squad is coming together.
An additional benefit for Oregon continues to be the great amount of exposure they continue to get on ESPN. As the Ducks continue to be more and more successful, these kinds of opportunities will only help the program maintain there status in the college football landscape.
National Championship in Rearview Mirror
Not only does the spring game mark the start of the 2011 season, it also allows fans and players alike to move on from the 2010 season that ended with heartbreak. After a 12-0 run took the Ducks to Arizona for the national championship, their season ended with a loss on a last-second field goal.
When the ball gets kicked off on Saturday, the Ducks need to make sure they are looking forward and not backwards. The talent is there this year, time to see if the focus is as well.
First Glimpse of Offensive Line
While Oregon returns electric talent like LaMichael James and Darron Thomas, the question is up front on the offensive line. Oregon will be trying to replace three starters on the offensive line and through much of spring practice, they have continued to shuffle the line looking for the right fit.
If Oregon can get the line issues figured out in time for Sept. 3, the Ducks could be taking another run at the national title game.
In the past, one thing that held Oregon back was its lack of position to position depth. Many believe that this year has great depth up and down the roster but more so on the defensive side of the ball.
By splitting the team up into two different teams, fans will get the opportunity to see how deep Oregon truly is and get a glimpse of the present and future of this program.
If you read any spring practice report from this year, one thing that has remained constant is the incredible speed the defense has shown from top to bottom. Last year, the defense was fast and able to rotate players in and out quickly. It appears that this year, the Ducks will be able to take advantage of the same strategy.
Even if you're not a defensive fan, keep your eyes locked on No. 13. Cliff Harris enters this season as maybe not only the most dangerous punt return man but also maybe the top corner in the nation.