Proving something against Colorado? Really?
Yes. Even this week our Ducks need to continue to bring their A-game. Despite our Oregon Ducks football program crushing it this season thanks to Bo Nix, this team needs to leave no doubt the rest of the year for a chance at the College Football Playoff.
Today, the high-flying Ducks led by head coach Dan Lanning matchup as heavy favorites against a struggling Colorado team, and look to improve to 8-1 on the season.
Let’s face it. All things considered, this should be a fairly easy matchup for our Ducks to come out on top of. After knocking off UCLA and hanging 42 points on Cal in a sloppy performance on the road, there’s no reason to believe that Oregon can’t win this game handily. Still, the Ducks have a huge target on their back now. Their elite-program status has to be convincing week after week, and today is no different.
Here are a few key points I believe the Ducks can prove, and need to prove against the lowly Buffalos today.
First Shutout of the Year for Oregon Ducks Football
It’s tough to do on the road, but I want to see this defense take another leap in the form of a big ‘ole goose egg. If the Ducks can prove that they’re capable of shutting teams out, that would bode well for the defense long term, which is the considerably weaker side of the ball for this Oregon team.
Let’s see Brandon Dorlus and co. continue to grow up front, and get some elite linebacker play from Noah Sewell and Justin Flowe. Then we can talk about seeing a shutout in weeks ahead.
Bo Nix Further Legitimizes Heisman Candidacy
It’s going to be an uphill battle the rest of the year, but Nix has become a top-five Heisman Trophy candidate quickly. I think we all hoped he’d progress to take command of this offense, but the heights he’s reached are well beyond our expectations.
Today, I see a zero-turnover, highly-volatile offense executing another textbook gameplan behind him. His lack of mistakes has really changed the game for this Ducks’ offense. Let’s see him pass well, and hopefully, have to rely on his legs less than a week prior.
Defensive Backs Bounce Back, Tight Ends Continue to Thrive
J. Michael Sturdivant had a much stronger showing last week than we would have liked to see in our secondary. Although the Cal game was never close, this week’s matchup still warrants a bounce-back performance from the secondary as a whole. Luckily, Christian Gonzalez and Trikweze Bridges look up to the task as the rising superstars of this secondary.
I didn’t enter this season with high expectations of the secondary, but I see the cornerbacks and tight ends as the most-improved position groups of the season. Although we expected them to be good, we couldn’t have guessed they’d be this good. Let’s see our DBs prove they can continue to lockdown passing offenses, and the tight end group prove they’re a top-five group in the country.
The Ducks Take Zero Games Lightly
Overall, I expect a complete performance from our Ducks today. There’s no reason this group shouldn’t be able to dominate up front, in the secondary, and on the ground. I fully believe Nix is a real Heisman candidate, and with 11 total touchdowns (!!!) in the past two games, expect more of the same today.
But enough from me, Oregon fans. What do you think Oregon needs to prove today? What kind of shot do you give them at a College Football Playoff appearance? Is this more than a tune-up game for playing against Utah? Let us know in the FishDuck forum with decorum. Go Ducks!
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo By: Nancy Paiva
Alex Heining is an Oregon alumni from the graduate class of 2021. After studying sports business and media studies, he has moved into the field of digital marketing as a copywriter and content manager in the Los Angeles area. Still, he loves his Ducks and goes to local high school games all over the Los Angeles and Orange County area to check out new recruits of the future (and a SoFi game or two with the pros). On any given Saturday, expect to find him doing martial arts, playing the guitar, or screaming at the tv over a missed holding penalty.
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