Boy, how dominant has our Oregon Ducks football program looked over the past few weeks?
If you missed Our Beloved Ducks’ stellar performance against the USC Trojans this weekend, it was about what you’d expect (and more) for Oregon. The energy was electric, and our offense went up and down the field routinely through the run and passing game, which both thrived in extended drives or two-play bombs down field.
While the Ducks’ great performance didn’t rely on any one player, there were a handful you might consider today for MVP of the Oregon season. Today, it looks like three top candidates should be considered for the honor, while a handful of others are in close proximity.
Here are your standouts thus far in the 2023–2024 Ducks’ football season.
3. Bucky Irving
Irving has been spectacular from day one of the season, and really earned his touches all year long. Sitting at almost 1,300 all-purpose yards, Irving has been a special back as both a receiver and a homerun hitter between the tackles. There are some third down runs engrained in my memory that will always remind me what a special player Bucky has been in his time with the Ducks.
As the season wears on towards a thrilling end in the PAC-12, there’s no doubt that Irving has been a catalyst for propelling the Ducks to a top program in the country with Nix and Franklin. He surely should be in consideration for the honor of unofficial MVP of the Ducks this season.
2. Brandon Dorlus
Dorlus had a great 2022-2023 season, but this has been a special year for the interior defensive tackle who morphed into an edge-rush threat. While he’s only totaled five sacks on the season, his ability is tremendous, evident, and felt every game. Batting passes, forcing runs inside, and dominating the entire offensive line wherever he lines up does not go unnoticed.
Since Kayvon Thibodeaux left the program for the NFL Draft, there hasn’t been an edge rusher nearly as dominant. Now, the Ducks are getting on Dorlus’s final season as a Duck before his own journey begins as a pro player.
Honorable Mentions: Troy Franklin, Evan Williams, Will Stein
Franklin and Williams have been absolute x-factors on their respective sides of the ball, only increasing their contributions week after week. Williams has become a pass-rush threat, a great open-field tackler, and virtually a big-play machine by flashing in the biggest moments when the Ducks need him most. Franklin has catapulted himself as a top receiver in the country, offering that deep-threat range the Ducks have always longed for, combining it with true number-one receiver capabilities.
On top of their exciting play, Stein has been a stellar playcaller who is getting as much (or more) out of the Ducks since their incredible offensive tear with Kenny Dillingham at the helm in the past. He has given Nix every asset he could ask for to develop, utilized a variety of different skill guys to contribute on offense, and kept him upright all year. For an offense that was already great last year, this one might be even better.
1. Bo Nix
Realistically, none of this would be possible without Nix. He’s a simple answer, but probably the correct one. There would be no Ducks team this year without Nix.
We’ve seen this team a handful of times without the signal caller over the past two years, and it’s nothing to write home about. This season, he’s right in top contention for the Heisman Trophy, and it’s clear that he’s at the peak of his college game just at the right time.
For now, I might settle on Nix, and I feel comfortable with that resolution. That doesn’t mean you have to, though.
What do you think, Duck fans? Who’s this season’s MVP? Who’s going to put their stamp on the end of the 2023-2024 season to close out one of Oregon’s best in the last decade? Let us know in the FishDuck Forum with decorum.
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo By: Craig Strobeck
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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