If the Oregon Ducks look to beat Nevada, they’re going to need better play from the likes of Darron Thomas and LaMichael James.
The Ducks are still playing with a mission to make the BCS National Championship, but the road has now gotten increasingly bumpy. Still, if you expected Chip Kelly to let his players at the University of Oregon off with a break following a crucially disappointing loss against LSU in their season opener, you’re in for a major surprise when the Ducks welcome Nevada into Autzen Stadium for their home debut.
While the Oregon football team did not look ready to play an LSU defense that matched up as one of the best in the country, Oregon's players looked shaky and off of their game. They were unable to produce the big plays that they became famous for, and their hurry-up blur offense was ineffective once again against an SEC team that had more than a month to prepare for them. That’s the third time that this has happened to Oregon in as many seasons, and fans are beginning to wonder if this flaw is more than just a coincidence.
Regardless, the road to redemption began immediately after they lost 40-27 in their debut.
Now it’s time to look forward and focus on the areas at which the team looked poor last week. On Saturday, the Ducks fly inward to Eugene (a much more comfortable place to play than the hardly-neutral Cowboys Stadium) to take on Nevada.
Nevada is hardly a team to look past, and coming off of their best season in school history they should put up a fight against the Ducks. If the Ducks hope to win this game and not fall to 0-2, they’re going to need bigger contributions from both their role-players and their stars alike.
Chip Kelly may not have looked stellar in the big game, but I wouldn’t write off this coach quite yet. Expect him to work with these distinct areas and players before the game on Saturday.