Oregon first game jitters?

Kevin Cline

This officially will be the last article I write for Fishduck.com . . . before the season starts!!  I can hardly believe it is upon us.  My excitement as a young boy the night before Christmas is one of the few things in life that rivals the feeling I get for Ducks football.

The feeling is giving me first-game jitters over everything we have to look forward to!  The following are the top five things that I am looking forward to for the season opener.

5. Who DAT?

DAT doing what he does best

Kevin Cline

DAT doing what he does best

While there is another football player in New Orleans who is well known for that phrase, it should belong to De’Anthony Thomas.  DAT is so electric, that’s about all opposing defenders can say after they see a green and yellow blur speed past them.  Two weeks without a new DAT highlight is one week too long for me, personally. I cannot wait to see him again and just marvel over the seemingly impossible moves he can make.

4. 4th Down

Not necessarily the first 4th down of the game, but over the course of the game we should get a feel for what Coach Helfrich may call going forward.  One of Chip’s favorite things to do was to go for it on 4th down in sticky situations.  Will Helfrich continue the trend that offered fans the chance to chant about Kelly’s, ahem — well, let’s just say “fortitude.”  Or will he swing closer to the Bellotti end of the spectrum and keep it more reserved.  This could be the biggest difference between the two coaches.

Chip Kelly

Kevin Cline

Chip Kelly

3. Defense

Taylor Hart eyes the QB

Kaly Harward

Taylor Hart eyes the QB

I am extremely excited to see how our linebackers look.  I believe Oregon will be just fine but the ‘backers are a definite question mark.  This could be Oregon’s best defense ever.  The defensive line is ridiculously deep, and the Ducks have the best secondary in the nation.  If they can get the linebackers to control the middle, Oregon should have a monster year on defense.  I love the Ducks’ offense, but I can’t wait to see how our defense is going to dominate games.

2. Freshmen

This will be the first game that we, as fans, get a chance to see the non-redshirting freshmen in live-game action.  I predict that the starters will be on the bench by halfway through the 3rd quarter, so there should be plenty of game time for the youngsters.  Seeing the new freshman class each year is like test driving that car you always wanted.  You can finally get a feel of what the team’s future could potentially look like.  I am especially looking forward to the kicking game to see if Oregon’s touted freshman Matt Wogan, gets in on the action.

Kickoff!!

Kevin Cline

Kickoff!!

1. Kickoff

Kickoff!  Kickoff!  Kickoff!  Duh! Obviously, I am most looking forward to kickoff.  The official start of the season and something special for Duck fans around the world.  The second the season ends I am thinking about this moment, and I know I am not alone.  This kickoff has extra special meaning also as it will officially start the Mark Helfrich-era of Oregon Duck football.  I’m sure there are many people who are also curious if Nicholls State will be brave enough to kick the ball DAT’s direction when they get a chance.   For their sake, they better not; but for ESPN’s top 10 plays, I hope they do!

While I could go on and on about what I am looking forward to for the first game of the 2013 season, these are officially the my top 5.  You fans obviously have many things that you are excited to see during the first game also.  I would love to hear back from some of you about your thoughts on the season opener and the 2013 season.  Until we meet again . . . Go Ducks!

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