Oregon football has high expectations heading into the 2021 season — there’s no doubt about that.
Fans and media members are expecting big things from the Ducks this season. After two straight conference titles, the Ducks have been on the verge of a playoff run for a couple of years and 2021 feels like the year that they’ll finally break through and make the national semifinal.
Oregon hasn’t made the playoff since its first year — the 2014 season — and it seems like the Ducks have the pieces to make a run for the first time since then.
Mario Cristobal has assembled quite the roster and here’s why I think the Ducks will make the playoff in 2021.
3. Ohio State game will prepare Oregon for Pac-12 play
Getting Ohio State in non-conference play is going to be a blessing in disguise for Oregon football as the Ducks will not see a team as complete or as tough as the Buckeyes all season.
This game may very well end in a loss and that would be my prediction, but this matchup is only going to help the Ducks in the long run. This is going to be a good test to see how the Ducks stack up against a College Football Playoff favorite and one of the best teams in the country on the road. If they keep it close and have a chance to win late, they could realize that they have what it takes to make a run at the playoff.
Confidence can be built from this game no matter what and facing a team like Ohio State should make matchups with USC, Washington, and Utah seem like cakewalks.
The Ohio State game will be an eye-opener and it’s going to prepare the Ducks for the rest of Pac-12 play and help them run the table.