Tomorrow will mark the last game at Autzen for the 2014 season, the final appearance at home for many seniors destined for the NFL next year. As it will be the final appearance for stars such as Jake Fisher, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Troy Hill and Keanon Lowe, we can expect a splendid show against a soft Colorado team which has been allowing over 38 points per game while only scoring 30.
Fisher, who was missed dearly in the middle of the season, is a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy, the award for college football’s best interior lineman. Senior cornerback Ekpre-Olomu is a semifinalist for the Bednarik award, Jim Thorpe Trophy and the Lott IMPACT Trophy. And this is not mentioning the leading Heisman Candidate Marcus Mariota who is also looking to bring in the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien awards this season.
In addition to the national awards, Andrew Greif of the Oregonian wrote about some of the Oregon records that we should see fall tomorrow afternoon. The incredible play of true freshman Royce Freeman should continue against Colorado’s 101st ranked rushing defense who are allowing over 200 yards a game. Freeman is only 55 yards from becoming Oregon’s first true freshman to ever rush for 1,000 yards and is a single rushing touchdown from having the fifth-most in a single season.
As if Colorado didn’t already have enough to worry about, they can’t forget about Byron Marshall, who rushed for 1,000 yards last season and has totaled 902 yards (rushing and receiving) this season. Marshall has been able to line up in the backfield as well as on the perimeter for the Ducks this season, excelling in both roles. Marshall has brought down 46 catches for 595 yards to be Oregon’s leading receiver as well as averaging 7.9 yards per carry in his 39 attempts.
The injuries that the Ducks have faced all year, which will keep Hroniss Grasu out for Saturday and Pharaoh Brown out for the rest of the season, have not been able to stop them so far. In a finale for many of our beloved Ducks tomorrow, don’t expect them to slow down now.
Top Photo by David Pyles