After the No. 9 Oregon Ducks (1-0) defeated the Stanford Cardinal 35-14 this past weekend in their season opener at Autzen Stadium, I kept thinking one thing: The Ducks’ future is so bright, I gotta wear shades.
One of my biggest takeaways from Oregon’s much-anticipated debut was the youth of this team. According to the University of Oregon, the Ducks’ 110-man roster consists of 81 underclassmen (freshmen, redshirt freshmen and sophomores), making up approximately 74% of the team — the highest percentage in the FBS. Oregon is the youngest team in America!
In 2019, Oregon’s recruiting class was the strongest group in program history, ranked No. 7 by both ESPN and Rivals and featuring five-star recruit Kayvon Thibodeaux and four-star standouts Mykael Wright, Mase Funa and Mycah Pittman — just to name a few.
And this year’s class was ranked No. 9 (Rivals) and includes two five-star linebackers Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell. Most importantly, all of these players I mentioned were on the field against the Cardinal, making plays and helping the Ducks secure a critical win to start this short but exciting Pac-12 football season.
How youthful is Pac-12 football?
Eight teams rank in the Top 30 nationally in % of eligible underclassmen on their rosters
1. Oregon, 73.6%
4. Stanford, 71.6%
6. UCLA, 71.4%
9. ASU, 68.1%
11. Utah, 66.7%
12. Colorado, 66.0%
26. Arizona, 61.6%
30. USC, 60.5%
— SportsPac12 (@SportsPac12) November 12, 2020
First of all, the conference is well represented on that list and Washington ain’t on it! According to the Athletic Department, Oregon is one of three Power 5 programs to land the top recruiting class in its conference each of the last two years, while the Ducks’ 2019 class was the program’s first-ever to be the highest-ranked in the Pac-12.
And for 2021? Rivals has the Ducks’ verballed class at No. 3.
Did we see some questionable offensive plays in Tyler Shough‘s first career start for the Ducks? Yes, including an interception and a couple of scary near misses. In the passing game, did we see some flashes of brilliance from the sophomore signal caller? Absolutely. Shough completed 17 of 26 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown, with a handful of long completions to Pittman, Johnny Johnson III and DJ Johnson, a redshirt junior tight end who finished with five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown after switching from defensive end in the spring! Did we expect Shough to rush for 85 yards against Stanford’s defense? Not really, but I’m glad he did.
Embrace it; Oregon is the youngest team in Division 1! So the best team in the Pac-12 is also the youngest? When has that ever happened?
Now you tell me Ducks fans. Is Oregon too young to compete for a conference title and the College Football Playoff? Or is it time for Ducks fans to don a new pair of shades?
How bright is the future of Oregon football?
San Diego, California
Top Photo by: UO Athletics
Jordan is a lifelong Duck fan currently living in San Diego. Jordan graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, after serving a prestigious fellowship with the Washington State House of Representatives. Upon graduation, he worked as an English language teaching assistant for the Spanish Ministry of Education’s Ambassadorial Program in Monforte de Lemos, Spain. Jordan has worked as a journalist, writer, and editor in Oregon, Washington, Montana, and California, covering a wide range of topics, including sports, local politics, and crime. He is VERY excited to be writing about his beloved Oregon Ducks.
For Football Season: FishDuck Back to Seven Days a Week!
I had to shut down the daily articles on July 20th because I could no longer work the extra 3 to 12 hours per week of certain managerial/editorial duties. (beyond the usual ones with FishDuck)
I’ve had a blast writing without those duties, and now, due to a new agreement with the writers, I can announce that we will have articles seven days a week again. I wish to thank the writers publicly for their graciousness in coming to a solution, as now I still do not have do those extra duties with our agreement, and meanwhile the writers are back having fun creating articles as I am.
Everybody is happy! So below is the new schedule through football season:
Monday: Mr. FishDuck
Tuesday: Darren Perkins
Wednesday: Joshua Whitted & Mr. FishDuck
Thursday: Coach Eric Boles & Alex Heining
Friday: David Marsh
Saturday: Mr. FishDuck (GameDay Baby!)
Sunday: Jordan Ingram
A couple of writers could not join us as they have new projects in their lives, and cannot write for anyone at the moment–but perhaps we will see them back later.
Things rarely work out so well for all parties in agreements, but this time it has and truly….everyone wins!
Our 33 rules at FishDuck can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
FishDuck members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!