Oregon Ducks Look to Finish Season Strong


If the Ducks’ season follows its current pattern, they will lose to Arizona State in Tempe this Thursday. In a rollercoaster season, the Oregon football team has yet to lose two games in a row, nor has it won two games in a row. Following a win over Washington, the Ducks will now either continue their pattern and lose again, or perhaps end it and go into the toughest part of their schedule riding a two-game win streak.

The Arizona State Sun Devils have had a similar season to the Oregon Ducks. Both teams were ranked in the preseason Top 25, but now both teams are unranked and sit at a record of 4-3. Neither team will be able to achieve the success that was expected of them prior to the season, but both are attempting to turn things around and make the most of a “lost season”.

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While the Ducks have no chance of reaching their preseason goals of returning to and winning the National Championship, they have a chance to turn the season around and make this into a respectable year. Following a 26-20 road victory over Washington that wasn’t quite as close as the score would imply, Oregon enters what is likely their roughest stretch of the season on a positive note.

The Ducks’ remaining five games are Arizona State, Cal, Stanford, USC, and Oregon State. Only Oregon State has a record below 4-3, and the Civil War is almost always a tightly-contested matchup. It is a bit of a stretch but the Ducks have a chance to go 5-0 against these opponents, finish the season 9-3, and land themselves in a bowl game as they prepare to rebuild and compete for a championship in the 2016 season.

It is a little too late now, but the Ducks appeared to finally be putting things together against the Washington Huskies. With Vernon Adams fully healthy, Darren Carrington back from suspension, and Royce Freeman simply being Royce Freeman, the Oregon offense looked like the high-octane scoring machine that Duck fans have grown so accustomed to. The defense nearly blew the game in the fourth quarter, but the offense should only get better as Adams and Carrington become more adjusted.

As good as the Ducks may have looked against Washington, their remaining opponents will be much tougher to defeat. ASU, Cal, Stanford and USC have all spent time in the Top 25 this year, with Stanford currently ranked as the number 8 team in the country. However all four teams have lost at least one game and thus been proven beatable, and a fully healthy Oregon team playing at its best has the ability to defeat any of them.

Stanford will prove to be the biggest challenge, but upsets are common when it comes to these two teams matching up. The Cardinal upset top 10 ranked Oregon teams in both 2012 and 2013, and now the Ducks have a chance at revenge. The rest of the teams will not be easy either, but have all been proven vulnerable at some point in the season.

The 2015 Ducks have not looked like the same program that has dominated college football in the 21st century, but they have a chance to prove they are still competitive before the season ends. It will take everybody playing their absolute best, but winning out would prove that the “Duckade of Dominance” is still alive and well.