Oregon Football: Early Predictions for Every Conference Game
We all know the Oregon Ducks will reign undefeated once again. The only question is how will they do it.
The Ducks took their only loss of the season in the BCS Championship Game at the hands of Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers.
This time around, the Ducks will solidify their name in NCAA history. They'll run 9-0 in conference against the rest of the Pac-12 and return to the title game, where they'll settle their unfinished business.
Saturday, Sept. 24, 9:15 p.m: Oregon at Arizona
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
So long as Oregon can find a way to contain the Wildcats star receiver, Juron Criner, which is a task that is better said than done, the Ducks will come out victorious.
Criner torched the Pac-12 last season, hauling in 1,233 yards on 82 receptions in the season. With the proper mix of zone and man coverage, the Ducks will be able to throw off his balance by sending him different defensive schemes and hope to throw him off of his game.
Otherwise, it could turn into a shootout. But then again, with an offense as high powered as Oregon's, that wouldn't be such a bad thing in the first place.
Thursday, Oct. 6th, 9 p.m: Oregon vs. California
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Difficulty: Below Average
Nothing really to worry about here. The Golden Bears offense 94th passing yards in the NCAA, and their rushing game ranked 52nd.
They do have two verbal commits from a 4-star quarterback and wide receiver, but they alone won't be enough to crack Oregon's defense.
All in all, the Ducks should have a field day with the Golden Bears. How's 37-17 sound?
Saturday, Oct. 15th: Oregon vs. Arizona State
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Difficulty: Not too much of a challenge
After their sensational quarterback decided to take a permanent break from the field, Arizona State is going to have to bank on their incoming freshman QB to run the offense.
For most of the 2010 season, Steven Threet was at the helm for the Sun Devils. He played exceptionally well, passing for 2,534 yards and 18 touchdowns.
But after his fourth concussion in the season, doctors told him that one more could have him struggling to hold a cup of coffee at 35 years old. Threet made the decision to part with his passion for the greater good.
It's a sad story, but nevertheless, Oregon will crush the Sun Devils withing the first 20 minutes. It'll be quick and painless like donating blood. Ducks win 44-14.
Saturday, Oct. 22nd: Oregon at Colorado
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
This will be, by far, the Ducks' easiest game. They could let Lache Seastrunk (the backup running back) and Daryle Hawkins (the third-string quarterback) run the offense, and they'd still come out with the victory.
Assuming they'll start Darron Thomas and LaMichael James, the Ducks should have absolutely no problems getting past the Colorado Buffaloes. James will rush for 304 yards to be exact, and Thomas will make a push for Heisman candidacy by both rushing and passing for over 150 yards.
Expect a blowout as 74-10 would be generous...for Colorado, of course.
Saturday, Oct. 29th: Oregon vs. Washington State
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Difficulty: Like riding a quadricycle.
OK, I take that back. THIS will be Oregon's easiest matchup of the season, by far. The Ducks will blow Washington State out of the water.
Because of their weak secondary and atrocious defensive line, LaMichael James will rush for 247 yards (for a nice, whole number) and three touchdowns against the Cougars and will give Lache Seastrunk some burn in the fourth quarter.
Darron Thomas will follow suit, rushing for 112 yards and passing for 260 yards for a combined four touchdowns, and the Oregon defense will come up big with four interceptions.
The Ducks will glide past the Cougars with a final score of 81-13.
Saturday, Nov. 5th: Oregon at Washington
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Difficulty: Regular difficulty; not a cause for concern.
Without Jake Locker running the show, the Washington Huskies are nothing more than a pack of wounded poodles.
They do have Jermaine Kearse, their sensational junior wide receiver who brought in 1,005 yards and 12 touchdowns on 63 receptions, but there's no question that losing Locker will put a huge damper on their offensive production.
Oregon will do what they do best, which is put points on the board, and the Huskies simply won't be able to keep up with them. A 51-17 victory for the Ducks is what I see in the future.
Saturday, Nov. 12th: Oregon at Stanford
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Difficulty: Beware of dogs!
The Ducks will have to tread carefully when playing Stanford, for sure.
Running into an Andrew Luck-run offense is the last thing Oregon wants to do, but their high powered offense and their hometown fans will get them over the hump.
Luck will do what he does best, and that's dissect the Ducks defense. He'll pass for 247 yards and four touchdowns with ease, but the duo of Darron Thomas and LaMichael James will prove to be more than Stanford would bargain for.
James will let his rushing game do the talking with 213 yards for three TDs, and Thomas will pass for two touchdowns as Oregon comes out barely victorious in a 38-35 victory.
Saturday, Nov. 19th, 8 p.m: Oregon vs. USC
Harry How/Getty Images
Difficulty: One false move and they'll blow you away.
The Southern California Trojans aren't the best team in the Pac-12, not by a long shot. But if the Ducks slip up just a few times, they would be more than happy to capitalize on it.
Southern California too is led by an elite quarterback in Matt Barkley, who passed for 2,791 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. He'll be gunslinging from the coin toss, but the Trojan defense simply won't be able to wrap up the Ducks firepower.
It'll be kind of close but nothing to sweat about. Oregon will emerge victorious in a 34-24 victory.
Saturday, Nov. 26th: Oregon vs. Oregon State
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Difficulty: A walk in the park on a beautiful spring afternoon.
Let the rivalry continue.
For the Ducks to be playing the Civil War in-state rivalry against the Oregon State Beavers as the last game of the season should give them extra incentive to end the season with a bang.
The Beavers pose almost no threat to the Ducks, but teams tend to give their all when pride is on the line. Oregon State won't go down without a fight, but their best couldn't overcome the Ducks' second-string roster.
It won't even be close, but those who watched will see that the Beavers gave their all. The Ducks will extend their Civil War winning streak to four games in a no contest 58-13 blowout, marking their second undefeated regular season in a row.