Ducks Look to Cut the Tree This Weekend Against Stanford

McKalie Bellew of interviewed defensive back Erick Dargan during Tuesday’s press conference at the University of Oregon’s Hatfield-Dowlin Complex.

The Oregon Ducks have inserted themselves right back into the college playoff picture. After three straight wins following a tough loss to the Arizona Wildcats during Week 6, Oregon finally looks like the Pac-12 juggernaut that many expected it to be. Although the Ducks’ defense has been shaky to say the least, their explosive offensive attack and their versatility has proven to be their bread and butter.

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Craig Strobeck

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If there is one team that has most often given Oregon problems and derailed their dreams of a national championship, however, you can look no further than the Stanford Cardinal. Between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the Ducks averaged 551 total yards of offense. In the last two meetings against Stanford, Oregon has been held to an average of 358 total yards — well below its regular average. Many critics have wondered if Oregon can compete with the size and strength Stanford possesses.

If the Ducks ever had anything to prove, the time is now. Oregon is currently ranked 5th in the nation, and a win against a tough Stanford team would impress the playoff committee.

Dargan, Oregon’s defensive back, is ready for the challenge Stanford presents. “I feel confident, especially with the way our defense is starting to play,” he said. “I think each week we’re getting better and better, and we just have to keep working and have a great week of practice.”

Stanford has built a reputation for being the most physical and powerful team in the Pac-12. Dargan says Oregon’s defensive line will have to outwork Stanford’s hefty offensive line. “We have to stop the run and be physical with them,” he said.

This will be one of the most anticipated Pac-12 match-ups of the season, but are the Ducks ready? “We’ve just gotta be ready to play,” Dargan said. “I think we’re real and I think we’re ready.”

Top photo by Craig Strobeck

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