So far, this season has been played out just as it was scripted: Mark Helfrich has effortlessly made the transition to head coach, Marcus Mariota is even better than last year and has yet to throw an interception, even with De’Anthony Thomas sidelined after an ankle injury, Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner have catalyzed the Ducks’ offense running the ball, the secondary is playing as it was predicted to play – lights-out, down-field coverage, etc.
With such a promising start to the season, fans cannot help but look ahead and speculate about the dream match-up everyone desires to see – Oregon vs. Alabama. Ever since the Tennessee game in late September, “We want Bama,” has resonated through Autzen stadium, echoing louder and louder with each home game. This past week on campus, students began to sell green and yellow “We Want Bama” shirts at the EMU. Alabama is on everyone’s mind.
The game Saturday against UCLA showed that the Ducks are in fact human, as they struggled to find their rhythm on offense in the first half. Going into halftime with the score tied at 14 apiece, the “We want Bama” chant was nonexistent, as fans seemed to be in shock with the Oregon’s struggle.
The Ducks, known for being a second-half team, came out firing on all cylinders, putting up 28 points in the second half, while shutting out the Bruins.
College football is the epitome of the cliché “taking the season one game at a time.” One loss and the Ducks’ national championship hopes would be crushed. Yes, the Ducks are a “second-half team,” but if they want to compete with the consecutive National Championship winners in Alabama, they must learn to put together a full game and cannot repeat the same first-half performance against UCLA.
So for now, let’s simply look ahead to next week – “We want Stanford!”