Despite Tumultuous Season, Oregon Ducks Can Still Win Pac-12.


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I’d say the low point of the Oregon Ducks’ 2015 season came after the overtime loss to perennial Pac-12 doormat Washington State. The lowly Cougars — who fell to FCS Portland State earlier this season — came into Autzen Stadium and bullied last year’s National Championship runner-up. The loss gave the Ducks three losses despite being just six games into the season. Furthermore, Oregon’s remaining schedule was enough to cast even more doubt into the minds of Ducks fans. With road games at Arizona State and Stanford, as well as Cal and USC at home, would this team even be bowl eligible by season’s end? How bad would the downward spiral for this once formidable program be?

As the fans and media deemed Oregon’s 2015 season lost, the Ducks themselves had no plans of throwing in the towel. Most importantly, right after the Washington State debacle — which showcased Oregon’s inability to stay competitive with the likes of Jeff Lockie and Taylor Alie at quarterback — the Ducks got their season long scapegoat back from injury. Since Vernon Adams’ return, the Ducks have taken on the appearance of a team Oregon fans are more accustomed to seeing. The defense is still putrid, but man, how about that offense?

The once down and out Ducks have ripped off three straight since October 10th and are now in a position to chase something more than just a Holiday Bowl bid. How about a second straight Pac-12 Championship? First order of business: Beat Stanford this weekend.

After a beatdown at Autzen Stadium in 2014, the Cardinal come in reloaded and poised to sneak into the college football playoff. Stanford still boasts the same stubborn Harbaugh era defense, but now possess an offense capable of dropping 30+ any given night. Against the Ducks, the Cardinal will stick with their trusted game plan: Eat up as much clock as possible, run the ball down the Ducks’ throats, and play solid defense. Mark Helfrich knows this, as do any Ducks with experience playing against Stanford.

And Oregon knows its only chance of upsetting the Cardinal will come from its offense. Drastic improvements from defenses don’t come around week ten of the season. In fact, a shootout is welcomed by Helfrich and co.

The Ducks are well aware of what it will take to beat Stanford. Just outscore them.