Five Reasons Our Ducks Will Dominate the Buckeyes

Hroniss Grasu back on the field protecting Mariota.

Fans, we are six days away from the biggest game of our season and our Ducks are the talk of the town… everywhere. We will face the Ohio State Buckeyes, who defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl to advance to the title game.

I watched the Ohio State game and give them props as they played a good game. I have heard many Duck fans writing off Ohio State, saying things such as, “Oh, it’s just Ohio State… we’re gonna kill ’em.” As a loyal and loving Duck fan I can say that in the back of my mind, that is the mindset I privately have going into any game. However, the logical and sport analysis in me knows that anything can happen in any game.

In an article on FoxSports.com, reporter Steven Lassan discusses the top five reasons our Ducks will defeat the Buckeyes in this National Championship game.

1. Marcus Mariota. ”When Oregon and Ohio State kick off on Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas, Marcus Mariota will undoubtedly be the best player on the field. The junior claimed the Heisman after throwing for 4,111 yards and 40 touchdowns and adding 731 yards and 15 scores on the ground.” There’s really not much else to say there. Lassan’s No. 1 reason makes perfect sense to me! We all know Mariota is truly and undoubtedly the best.

Marcus Mariota.

Craig Strobeck

Marcus Mariota.

2. Defensive Improvement. “Considering Oregon’s pace of play on offense, the Ducks are always going to struggle to rank among the nation’s best in total defense. However, yardage allowed is an overrated stat for judging the effectiveness of defenses, and first-year coordinator Don Pellum has settled in over the course of the season.” Throughout the entire season people have called our Ducks defense “soft” and it’s frustrating. After what our defensive men did on the field in the Rose Bowl, I would be absolutely baffled by anyone saying such things of our defense again.

Hroniss Grasu back on the field protecting Marcus Mariota.

Craig Strobeck

Hroniss Grasu back on the field protecting Marcus Mariota.

3. Improving Health. “Oregon coach Mark Helfrich and his staff have done a nice job of navigating several critical injuries this season. Though the Ducks lost receiver Devon Allen to a significant knee injury on the opening kickoff against Florida State, this team is in much better shape in terms of health than it was earlier in the year.” It’s no secret that throughout the entire season we have had at least one valuable player out with an injury each game. In the Rose Bowl we had three of our MVPs out (Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Pharaoh Brown, and Allen) but did we not still beat FSU into the ground? There isn’t a player on our Ducks team standing on the sidelines that isn’t going to step on that field and not give 110% for his team. However, it was evident that having center Hroniss Grasu back out there next to Jake Fisher on our offensive line was a relief. And, having Thomas Tyner back on the field was a breath of fresh air and so exciting for Duck fans to see him back out there healthy and doing his thing.

4. Winning the Turnover Battle. “The Ducks lost only 10 turnovers in 2014 — the fewest in the nation — and forced 30 (tied for 10th). How good (or fortunate?) has Oregon been? The Ducks were the only team in the nation to record a zero or positive margin every game this season. Ohio State, meanwhile, lost 22 turnovers in 14 games but has a +10 overall margin.” I’m sorry… what were they saying about our “soft” defense again? Thirty forced turnovers?! That’s all I have to say about that.

Byron Marshall.

Craig Strobeck

Byron Marshall.

5. Skill Talent. “Few teams in the nation that can rival Oregon’s depth and overall talent at the skill positions. Freshman running back Royce Freeman became the workhorse for the ground game, recording 1,343 yards and 18 touchdowns on 242 attempts. Freeman’s 18 rushing scores led the Pac-12, and he recorded three 100-yard efforts over the final four games. Tyner’s return will help take some of the workload off Freeman’s shoulders, and the Ducks can use all-purpose threat Byron Marshall on the ground (7.5 yards per carry) when needed.” Lassan goes on to point out that Keanon Lowe, Dwayne Stanford, Evan Baylis and Charles Nelson are all key skills players that Ohio State will need to watch out for.

Going into this game, I am confident in our Ducks to come out with a win. I’m not saying I know our Ducks are going to win because Ohio State is going to play like they have nothing to lose (because they don’t), but I am extremely confident in our Ducks dominating the field come Monday, January 12.

 Top Photo by Craig Strobeck

Print Friendly

 Volunteer Position Openings:

--Media Management/Supervisor:  We are looking for someone beyond college age who can help manage students and mentor in a number of different departments. Expertise is not required as organizational skills and interest in guiding others.   --Assistant Football Analyst: Love college football and enjoy watching it for hours? We need associates to view games and find the techniques/teaching points we identify for them in advance.  You will be recognized in publications, and could have the opportunity to move to full Analyst.   --College Football Analyst: We are looking for Coaches, or retired coaches to help create analysis videos (we do the video part) that will be viewed by thousands, and will help young football players as well as fans understand the game much better. The national recognition will help your resume' as well as make an impact upon the game we all dearly love.   --Video Specialist: We are looking for help in the Eugene/Springfield area to assist with the shooting and editing of analysis videos.   All Positions: Send a resume' with full contact information and any writing samples you have to charles@fishduck.com  Again, these are volunteer positions donating five hours a week each.

McKalie Bellew

McKalie Bellew

McKalie Bellew just moved to Oregon from Arizona. She is a sophomore at Lane Community College and moved here to pursue her dream of studying Sports Journalism and Broadcasting at the University of Oregon. Her passion for sports is admirable and her determination and hunger for success in the sports field is fascinating; if you ever have the chance to talk to McKalie face-to-face about sports, you’ll know how much she loves these games just by the way her eyes light up during the conversation. When unable to attend Ducks home games you can find her in front of a television on the edge of her seat, cheering her crazed-fan-head off. McKalie appreciates your feedback and constructive-criticism to help her become a better writer and reporter.

  • MAITAIDUCK

    They just have that Mindset and Focus that it takes to win a Game of this Magnitude! I will help you out here as in Oregon will win it’s 1st Championship in Football!