College Football Preview: The 2015 Oregon Ducks
Oregon Ducks Preview 2014 Record 13-2 Lost National Championship 42-20 vs Ohio State
Overview: Its time that everyone realizes that the Oregon Ducks are one of the best teams in college football. Oregon hasn’t lost more then 3 games in a season in six years. The ducks are coming off of an incredible year where they finished as national champion runner ups losing to Ohio state in the National Championship game. Oregon has also lost one of the greatest college quarterbacks in Marcus Mariota, but it looks like Mark Helfrich has this team ready for another great season.
Offense: The Oregon Duck’s offense was pretty much unstoppable last season. They tired defenses out by running play after play with literally no rest in-between. They finished 10th in the nation in passing yards per game with 312 yards and 22nd in rushing yards with 234.5 yards. Oh yeah they also averaged 45 points a game! A large part of this success was thanks to the Heisman trophy winner Marcus Mariota who is now currently a Tennessee Titan. Now there is no way of replacing Mariota but Coach Helfrich will have to try to somehow. It looks as if Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams will win the starting job. Last season at EWU Adams passed for 3,483 yards and 35 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, so there is no question this kid can play. Oregon has an abundance of Running backs but Royce Freeman will be the man in the backfield for the Ducks this season after running for 1365 yards and 18 touchdowns his freshman year. Oregon is loaded with experience and talent at wide receiver; they return all five of their top receivers from last year. Including Byron Marshall who hit the 1000 receiving yard mark last year.
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Defense: Everyone is always hyped up about the Oregon offense and never talks about the defense this team has. Oregon’s defense had an outstanding year holding teams to an average of 23 points a game. Oregon got some good news this offseason when 6’7” Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner decided to return for his senior year. Buckner was probably their best player on defense last year recording 81 tackles with 13 of those for losses. Oregon returns two senior linebackers Rodney Hardrick and Joe Walker who combined accounted for 156 total tackles. Oregon has a lot of experience in the front seven and this will help out the somewhat young secondary.
Special Teams: Both Kicker Aidan Schneider and Punter Ian Wheeler return this year. Last season Aidan wasn’t needed much although he was good when they did need 3 points, as he went 11-12 in field goals last year. Just like Aidan, Wheeler wasn’t needed much but when they did somehow get stopped on offense he averaged 39 yards a punt.
Overall: If Mark Helfrich can find a quarterback that does not turn the ball over in this style offense, Oregon will have no problem repeating as Pac-12 champions. The Ducks have way too much experience on both sides of the ball not too. Look for Oregon to have yet another double digit win season and possibly another spot in the playoffs.