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Coming off of a 12-1 season where they lost to Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers 22-19, the Oregon Ducks are primed to make a run at the first ever Pac-12 Title.
Projected to win the innagural Pac-12 Championship, the Ducks are loaded with talent and are also ready to make another national title run.
With an offense that includes returners such as QB Darron Thomas, RB LaMichael James and RB Kenjon Barner, the Ducks will be putting up points at the same rate (if not faster) than they did last year.
Though many people do point out the fact that their offensive and defensive line did lose key starters, the depth of both lines has allowed for the players who will be starters this year to have made appearances in the past, giving them much needed experience as they assemble into Chip Kelly's offense.
Perhaps the biggest test for the Ducks will come in Week 1 against LSU where Chip Kelly's offense will once again be tested by a big SEC defense. Though many people expected the Ducks to be able to light up the Tigers defense, Auburn proved that SEC defenses can go toe-to-toe with the fast-paced Pac-10 offenses.
If LSU is in prime condition (which they will most likely not be), then they may be able to take advantage of an inexperienced Duck offensive line and halt the progression of Thomas and James.
Their other big test will come form a conference game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium, where the Ducks lost one of their three games during their Rose Bowl season of 2009. If the Ducks are to prevail against Stanford, they will need to contain Andrew Luck better than last year when Luck led the Cardinal to a 21-3 lead before an improbable comeback by the Ducks.
Questions also remain at WR, where the Ducks will be bringing back only Josh Huff and Lavasier Tunei. While both of these players made significant appearances and contributions in 2010, the Ducks will look for production from freshmen Devon Blackmon as well as JC transfer Rahsaan Vaughn, who has impressed Duck coaches with his sub-4.5 speed and ability to stretch the field.
While the Ducks may seem inexperienced, there is a strong sense of veteran leadership among the team as they look to a strong depth-chart rotation as in the past.
Eugene is buzzing with the opportunity to host the first Pac-12 championship and the Ducks are ready to make another run at the National Championship.