When the 2013 season began three months ago the Ducks had a team that was made to compete for a National Championship with veteran players on both sides of the ball. Everyone circled one game on the calendar. November 2nd and the date with Stanford on the farm. It was the benchmark by which Oregon would be tested and since they failed that test and also lost last week to Arizona, the Ducks now find themselves mostly playing for pride this week. The BCS is out of the picture for the now two loss Ducks. Oregon also has fallen out of favor with post season awards. Several Ducks including Quarterback Marcus Mariota and Cornerback Ifo Ekpre Olomu were seen as contenders until this week. Not anymore. Oregon’s offensive troubles, although not all Mariota’s fault and their Defensive Meltdown has caused the once talk of the Pac 12 to dwindle into oblivion.
So they are left with one regular season game left. The 2013 version of the Best of the Best when it comes to the State of Oregon, the Civil War. For the Beavers they come in after being roughed up by Washington last weekend. But Beavers Quarterback Sean Mannion is still one of the top passers in the Pac 12 and OSU Wide Receiver Brandon Cooks showed enough to be named a finalist for the Belitnikoff Award this week, which goes to the best Wide Receiver. He also had several catches this past week against the Huskies that were Sportscenter worthy.
The pride of the State is not the only thing on the line for Oregon. It will also come down to Bowl position within the conference and if the Ducks head to San Antonio(Alamo) or San Diego for their bowl. The Ducks are also looking at some statistical accomplishments with their 6th straight 10 win season and a potential 4th straight Top 10 ranking to finish out the year.
Regardless of the outcome Oregon will face even more questions heading into the 2014 season. Several key players may be looking at their future options and opt to leave early to play on Sundays next season. For some that have been injured, like Marcus Mariota it may be a good time to stay for another year. Only time will tell. Right now the focus is Friday’s game.
The Ducks and Beavers take the field Friday Afternoon at 4pm PT on Fox Sports 1.