Oregon’s Season Starts in October

Craig Strobeck Feature

Craig Strobeck

With three weeks of action in the books, the college football landscape is becoming clear.  Clemson, LSU, Stanford and Ohio State, are all top teams, but a Sept. 14th victory in College Station validated Alabama’s claim as the consensus No. 1.

Mariota's decision-making will be the key variable in Oregon's pursuit of a title in 2013.

Craig Strobeck

Mariota’s decision-making will be the key variable in Oregon’s pursuit of a title in 2013.

Oregon sits at No. 2, and Marcus Mariota is in the top-3 of everyones’ Heisman list.  The stats have been nice (1100 yards, 11 TD’s combined rushing/passing), but the legitimacy of Mariota’s Heisman candidacy (and the Ducks’ title hopes) will be decided over a 26-day period in October and early-November.

The Ducks trial-through-fire begins October 12th, when the Ducks fly north to the Puppy Palace (aka new Husky Stadium) to play Heisman-hopeful QB Keith Price and No. 17 Washington.  The Huskies play at Stanford the previous week, so this two-week span is make-or-break for their season, as well.  Expect a stiff challenge from the Huskies, but the Ducks’ speed will be too much for their northerly neighbors.

Mariota is now a home-run threat every time he touches the ball, through three games he averages 17.5 yards per carry.

Kevin Cline

Mariota is now a home-run threat every time he touches the ball; through three games he averages 17.5 yards per carry.

The Ducks then host WSU and No. 13 UCLA, before traveling to Palo Alto for an ESPN Thursday night matchup with No. 5 Stanford.  Assuming the Ducks handle WSU and Mariota outguns UCLA Heisman-hopeful Brett Hundley (he’s the real-deal), that Thursday night matchup will be a pivotal moment in the trajectory of Oregon football.  If we win, we’re essentially a lock for a spot in the final BCS Championship game.  If we lose . . . it’s just more fuel for the haters to say “Oregon football is a gimmick – what have they won? — yadda, yadda.”

Hopefully the Ducks run the table with the leadership and growth of No. 8, and he hoists the Heisman and a crystal football when the Ducks defeat ‘Bama, 43-35 in January.

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Brett Perez

Brett Perez

Brett is a graduate of Astoria High School and is currently a sophomore journalism student at the University of Oregon and member of the 2012-2013 Cheerleading team. He is an Eagle Scout from Troop 211 in Astoria, and enjoys rock climbing and all fitness pursuits. Brett's favorite sport is baseball, with football a close second. Minoring in Spanish, he hopes to work with Latinos in Major League Baseball in some capacity in the future, either as a scout or translator.