A hidden weapon for the Oregon defense

At Oregon, the best defense really is a good offense, and this year Don Pellum’s defense will benefit from an under-appreciated asset: An offensive line that can control the fourth quarter. Oregon returns 108 starts on the offensive line, and they’ve all gotten bigger and stronger in the off season. They feature a three-year starter […]

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Oregon defensive forecast: cloudy with a chance of excellence

Since Rich Brooks left for the Rams Oregon has rarely been a team to rely on the defense. In as many ways as possible the Ducks are tradition-busters, inverting stereotypical formulas like “defense wins championships.” Chip Kelly made them into a Top Five team winning games 52-31 and 53-32. It’s just a better fit with […]

Week 5 opponent UCLA could be Ducks toughest test

Oregon has had a “Stanford problem” for the last two years, but in 2014, it could become a UCLA problem. To win a conference championship and contend for a national one, the Ducks will probably have to beat the Bruins twice. Jim Mora is 19-8 after two seasons, 10-3 last year with a win over […]

Ducks need a leap from Lowe in senior season

The best play Keanon Lowe made last year was a block. He cleared out standout safety Deone Buchanon to spring Thomas Tyner for a 66-yard touchdown run against Washington State, an effort that typified the solid, steady role Lowe plays for the Ducks. He’s been the consummate team player at Oregon, playing on every one […]

How to turbo charge the Oregon offense in 2014

Scott Frost and Mark Helfrich will have to get innovative to stay ahead of the rest of the PAC-12 and achieve the high expectations that have been set for the Ducks this year. While 24 of 39 media members at PAC-12 Media Days pick the Ducks to win the conference,  Aaron Fentress and others speculate […]

The best interview with Marcus Mariota ever

Rick Neuheisel of the PAC-12 Network has a wide-ranging discussion with Oregon’s record-setting quarterback, in the film room and on the beach. They talk about everything from footwork to surfing.  

Week four opponent Washington State lurks on the arid plain

Ruthless, cunning and resourceful, Mike Leach counts Geronimo as a personal hero. In the off-season he co-authored a book about the Native American chief with Washington State English professor Buddy Levy, drawing life lessons from the leader who led an undermanned, under equipped force in a 50-year battle with the American military. Outnumbered 233-1, Geronimo […]

Ducks cooking up a secret sauce for 2014

Writer Jeff McClane of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote a feature story last week about Chip Kelly’s philosophy as coach of the Eagles, and a quote in the story points to something crucial about the team he left behind. Kelly still practices his legendary attention to detail, even to insisting his players don’t cut across the […]

The most disrespected 1000-yard rusher in college football history

Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner are great talents with a dazzling futures, but their backfield mate Byron Marshall is almost an after thought to some Oregon fans despite rushing for 1038 yards last season and 1484 in his two-year Duck career. Marshall averaged 6.2 yards a carry in 2014 with 14 touchdowns. He put together […]

Does the “Helfrich effect” doom the Ducks?

This week at SB Nation in a segment they named “Easy Call,” columnists Dan Rubenstein, Spencer Hall, and Bud Elliott discussed the PAC-12 Conference over a beer and a fried fish sandwich. The sandwich looked delicious, but Hall’s comments on the Oregon Ducks were harder to swallow. He said the Ducks were likely to fall back […]

Week three opponent Wyoming committed to becoming “Cowboy tough”

In week three of the 2014 football season the Ducks host Wyoming of the Mountain West Conference, a team undergoing an intriguing and dramatic transformation. After going 5-7 last season with a spread offense, athletic director Tom Burman fired coach Dave Christensen, who resurfaced as offensive coordinator at Utah. Kyle Whittingham demoted ex-Beaver, ex-Miami, ex-Wyoming […]

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Spartans come bearing their shield in 56 days

Three key games define Oregon’s season in 2014, one each in September, October and November. Every week is important, but the showdowns with Michigan State on September 6th, at UCLA on October 11th, and Stanford on November 1st will determine whether Oregon can achieve a dream season, the conference title and a spot in the […]

One month till training camp, Ducks poised for favorite’s role

For cold-hearted objectivity, nothing beats an oddsmaker. Those guys outguess the public for a living. Yesterday online bookmaker bovada.com set the odds for for the PAC-12 Championship, and the Ducks come in as the favorite at 6-5. From a bookie, that’s staggering optimism in a 12-team league. California and Colorado were the long shots at […]

66 Days until Duck football: Coyotes vow to “Beat Oregon”

The Ducks are playing the wrong Dakota. They host South Dakota in 66 days, Saturday night at 7:30 in Autzen Stadium, but the Coyotes were 4-8 last season and won just one game the year before that. Meanwhile North Dakota State has won three straight FCS Championships, 15-0 in 2013 including a season-opening upset victory […]

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Getting to know the new Oregon Ducks: Braden Eggert

In the Napa Valley they  play The Big Game in November, the annual showdown between Napa High School and crosstown rival Vintage. The Kiwanis Club presents a thousand dollar check to the winner, with the loser receiving $500. They get to ring the KVON victory bell. A capacity crowd comes to Memorial Stadium, the Napa […]

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