Another game, another win, another stat sheet explosion for the Ducks. Marcus Mariota is all but assured the Heisman with his sixth game this season of 300 or more yards passing. Royce Freeman and Byron Marshall executed to perfection; both breaking the 100 yard barrier for rushing and receiving, respectively. So, can the Ducks carry that momentum into this weekend’s Pac-12 title game against the Wildcats?
Oregon fans have been screaming that, had the offensive line been in tact, the Ducks would not have fallen to Arizona at the beginning of October. This Saturday the team has the chance to prove just how good it is with a highly anticipated rematch against the Wildcats.
Andrew Grief of The Oregonian wrote a brief preview of what we can expect in Santa Clara this Friday. While the Ducks will likely be without senior Hroniss Grasu the offensive line has been rejuvenated with the presence of Jake Fisher, Andre Yruretagoyena and Matt Pierson. With a line that has had time to mesh this season, Mariota should have plenty of time to pick apart the Arizona defense. Despite being sacked five times, Mariota was still able to pass for 276 yards and two touchdowns against Arizona in October.
While the Ducks have had time to get healthy, the Wildcats have had the opportunity to run out their freshmen duo of quarterback Anu Solomon and running back Nick Wilson. Leading Arizona (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) with 3,424 yards and 27 touchdowns, Solomon has shown he has talent beyond his years. Wilson, another true freshman, has put up Freeman-type numbers, rushing for 1,263 yards and 16 touchdowns.
The Pac-12 title game is sure to be a crowd pleaser and should draw excellent attendance from both teams. We saw that our Ducks have no problem drawing a crowd to Santa Clara in our win over Cal on October 24th. Wildcat fans are going to want to witness their team attempt to end our hopes of a berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff and head south with a conference title on top of it.
Top Photo by Kevin Cline