Two Potential Pac-12 Trap Games For the Ducks

Darren Perkins Editorials

Which unheralded Pac-12 programs will rise up and possibly defeat our mighty Oregon Ducks?

Last year, of course, the 2nd of October went down in infamy as one of the worst Oregon performances in recent history, as the Ducks fell to an awful Stanford team that finished 3-9. Good teams will almost always have a close call or two during the season against lesser foes, but good teams almost always find a way to pull these games out.  

Washington State

The Cougars have proven to be a thorn in the Ducks’ side in recent years, and played Oregon well last year. WSU brought in highly-ranked transfer quarterback Cameron Ward to run what appears to be a return of the Air Raid offense to Pullman. New head coach Jake Dickert has hired several new assistants with ties to Mike Leach, and Ward ran the Air Raid the past two years at Incarnate Word in Texas. As if the Air Raid has not created enough fits for the Ducks over the years, you can now add “quarterback mobility” to the equation as Ward is a highly mobile quarterback — something the Cougars lacked during Leach’s tenure. So, get ready.

Oregon flirting with Justin Wilcox will bring some added drama to this year’s game. 


Cal beat the Ducks in 2020 and played them very close last season. But, the main reason I put Cal in this position is because I am a sucker for a Hollywood ending. And, to me, the idea of Justin Wilcox beating the Ducks after having been offered the Oregon job but sticking to his gut and staying at Cal makes for a bit of the dramatic. I mean, who would turn down Oregon to stay at Cal? Especially considering that Wilcox is “Oregon family.” If I was not an Oregon fan, I would want to see him beat the Ducks. So, there it is. Other than that, I do not think Cal stands a chance.

The nice thing about heading into 2022 is that Oregon’s biggest liability in making the Ducks vulnerable to upsets now resides in Miami. Of course, Dan Lanning is a first-time head coach, so we cannot say for sure that we know what to expect — but of course, could he manage a game any worse?


Darren Perkins
Spokane, WA
Top photo credit: Gary Breedlove

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