Why the Ducks Can Make a Big Splash in the Pac-12 This Season

OregonReigns Editorials

While the 2022 football season is still a few months away, things are already looking promising for the Oregon Ducks. Quite a few experts and journalists have tipped the Ducks to do well this season, In 2021, the Ducks finished top of the Pac-12 North Conference, and they could definitely do it again this season.

In fact, ESPN recently released its top 25 list for the 2022 college football season, and the Ducks made the cut. The sports broadcaster listed the Ducks as the third-best team in the Pac-12, showing that lots of people clearly think highly of the team’s chances this season. In addition, USA Today Sports also listed the Ducks in their top 25 college football teams, placing them at number fourteen in the overall rankings.

College football betting also avid NFL betters an earlier chance to lock in futures odds. While the latest NFL odds are already out, the college football season commences sooner. In the Pac-12, could the Ducks build on last season’s success and make the college football playoff? Some experts certainly seem to think so. But let’s take a look at the reasons why.

Gary Breedlove

Oregon attracted a superb coaching staff, and Junior Adams has proven his recruiting mettle already.

A New Coaching Staff

In January, the Oregon Ducks finalized the new coaching setup, hiring all new assistants along with head coach Dan Lanning. Lanning was appointed in December 2021 and had previously spent four years at Georgia, where he was responsible for one of the best defenses in the country. While he has never been a head coach of a college football team before, he has plenty of experience in organizing successful college teams as a coach and assistant.

While the Ducks’ offensive and defensive coordinators will be Kenny Dillingham and Tosh Lupoi, the team will also have a co-offensive coordinator and a co-defensive coordinator who will assist with day-to-day operations. With an all-new coaching staff, the Ducks will be hoping they can improve on last season’s performance that saw them fall just short of the Pac-12 Championship and make the playoffs. Former coach Mario Cristobal left to take the job in Miami, and a change in coaching could certainly help the Ducks find success once more.

A Quality Defense

Everyone knows that Championships are won on defense, so it’s great for Ducks’ fans to see that the defense is looking stronger than ever. Last season, Oregon was far too generous in giving away yards and points, and it looks like that will improve a lot this season. Lanning was an excellent defensive coach while at the Bulldogs, and he’ll be bringing some fresh ideas to the team.

Outside of the coaching change, the defense will also be bolstered by talented linebackers Noah Sewell and Justin Flowe. Noah Sewell is currently projected to be the next first-round NFL draft pick, showing just how much talent he has. If he’s taken in the first round of the draft, it would be the fourth year in a row that the Ducks have had a first-round NFL pick.

Jerry Thompson

Noah Sewell blocks a key third down pass.

A Talented Offensive Line

Everything so far looks like Oregon is building a solid side with great fundamentals in offense as well as defense. The team’s quarterback position will likely be contested between Bo Nix and Ty Thompson. Nix, who just transferred from Auburn, put up impressive numbers last season. He threw 2,294 yards while making three interceptions, tied for second place overall.

Meanwhile, Thompson is a freshman with a lot of promise as a five-star recruit from high school in Arizona. The Ducks look to have a strong offensive line that will be able to build a solid running attack, enough to cause problems for any other side in the Pac-12.

OregonReigns
Lakeside, Oregon
Top Photo by Gary Breedlove

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