2014 BCS National Champions: Don’t Discount the Ducks

Opposing defenses will find the 2013 Ducks even harder to contain.

The Oregon program made huge strides onward and upward by appearing in the 2010 BCS National Championship game.  Overmatched by several NFL caliber players and outsized at every position, the Ducks still had a chance to win in the final minute of the clock.  On paper, the Oregon Ducks didn’t have a chance, but they still made a game of it and provided college football with one of the most exciting BCS Championship games on record.

The Oregon Ducks’ story has turned  to the next chapter and they now have the athletes to rival any team in college football.

Opponents won’t throw to Ifo Island in 2013.

The Oregon roster is filled with players with track speed and has playmakers at every offensive position, an ingredient to the recipe that the Ducks lacked in 2010.  With game-breaking potential on every play – starting with De’Anthony Thomas, Marcus Mariota, Josh Huff and Colt Lyerla – the Ducks boast a refined athlete at every offensive position.  Infusing Chip Kelly’s (now Mark Helfrich’s) playmaking offense is more than tempo.  Instead of play-calling and mismatches leading the way for Oregon, it is dynamic players that headline the Ducks’ offense.

On defense, thunder up front with Ricky Heimuli, Wade Keliikipi and Arik Armstead ensure that the battle in the trenches is no longer an uphill battle.  The Ducks also have a lightning fast secondary led by cover-corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.  While there is some reloading to do at linebacker, having impact players at every level of the defense is an attribute Oregon didn’t enjoy in 2010.

Despite the change in the head coaching position, Oregon enjoys a strong contingent of returning coaches, and the “next man up” in that department looks pretty sound as well.  There’s every chance that this potent mixture of size, speed and experience on the field, along with the continuing excellence of coaching from the sidelines, will lead the Ducks to an undefeated season in 2013-14, and Oregon will win the 2014 BCS National Championship.  Superior coaching isn’t all Oregon has on its side — now it also has superior athletes.

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