The last two years the Ducks have been in position to play for a national championship, but they have been thwarted by Stanford. All Ducks fans know this and we all understand the importance of tomorrow night’s match-up against an incredibly strong Stanford defense. So will the third time be the charm for the Ducks? Or will they see another potential championship season be washed away by the Cardinal?
Marcus Mariota is the best player in college football, as the season presses on he continues to show his abilities and present his case for the Heisman. There is a real chance that this will be his last game against Stanford and you can bet that he has no plans to leave Oregon with an (0-3) record against them. He may be the nicest player in the nation but he also has a fire inside that is driving him to lead this team to a National Title. He won’t let Stanford stand in the way.
In last year’s game Oregon only rushed for 62 yards and allowed 274 rushing yards to Stanford. Although last year the Ducks didn’t have Royce Freeman, a spectacular true freshman who has rushed for over 100 yards in the previous three games and is averaging 93.5 rushing yards per game. Add into the mix the lethal versatility of Byron Marshall, playing out of the backfield or lining up as a receiver, who is averaging 103.4 all purpose yards per game and the Ducks offense is looking more than capable of challenging the physical Cardinal defense.
The Ducks defense has been burned a few times this season, there is talk that the defensive play of this team might be the difference between the Ducks making the College Football Playoff or missing out a third straight season on playing for a national title. Does anyone think that the defense is going to let that happen this year? With star players such as Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Troy Hill ready to play their final game against a team who has kept them from winning a National Title we can expect to see the defense showing up ready to put the doubters to bed.
Ever since the week five loss to Arizona the country has asked themselves if Oregon will be able to make it to the College Football Playoff. Ever since that game the Ducks have responded with their best play of the season, with Mariota setting some records on the way. With a Pac-12 North rivalry and a chance to pull the thorn out of their side the Ducks will be playing for more than just a win tomorrow night.
Top Photo by Craig Strobeck