Beating Ohio State isn’t something a lot of teams can say they’ve done over the past 8-10 years. The Buckeyes have been darn near unbeatable in the regular season, especially at home, but Oregon football was able to go into Columbus and steal a win from the No. 3 team in the country.
Before the year, just about everyone marked this down as a loss for Oregon and I was one of those people. I expected the Ducks to keep it close, but I truly didn’t see them going on the road to take down a College Football Playoff favorite like Ohio State.
I’m glad to eat all the crow.
With a 2-0 record and the toughest game on the schedule now out of the way, there are just 10 games standing between Oregon and an undefeated regular season.
The expectations from here on out should be an undefeated regular season, and we’re going to look at each game and why the Ducks should roll.
Breaking down the remaining Oregon football schedule
The first game on the schedule is Stony Brook. The Ducks should win this one easily because, well, it’s an FCS opponent and scheduled as a nice confidence-booster before Pac-12 play.
Following an easy win over Stony Brook, Oregon will host Arizona and there’s a good argument to be made for the Wildcats being the worst team in the Pac-12. This should be a cakewalk for the Ducks as long as they don’t look ahead.
The toughest game since Ohio State will be Stanford on Oct. 2 in Palo Alto, Calif., and I think that their win over USC was a little flukey, especially since the Cardinal were handled by an average Kansas State team in the season opener. The Cardinal just have too many question marks.
Oregon returns home to face Cal which will be a revenge game and Cal looks to have taken another step back this season. This comes before a huge road game at UCLA on Oct. 23 which is probably the toughest remaining game on the schedule. There’s also a good chance this is a battle of unbeaten top-10 teams. Oregon has shown it can play with anyone and it needs to make the Bruins one-dimensional, but I think the Ducks are far more talented. Chip Kelly and the Bruins are still a year away from really contending, in my opinion.
Colorado awaits next to close the month of October and I truly believe this will be a blowout in favor of the Ducks because of the Buffaloes’ offensive question marks. Karl Dorrell just doesn’t have contender-type talent yet.
A road game against Washington is up next and if we’ve learned anything from the first two weeks, it’s that the Huskies aren’t as good as we expected. The offense is really, really bad and the defense can be gashed on the ground (good news for CJ Verdell).
Utah splits Washington State and Oregon State home games to end the season and Salt Lake City will be a tough place to play, but BYU provided the perfect blueprint for beating the Utes. Maybe Charlie Brewer isn’t quite as good as we expected. The Washington State and Oregon State (revenge) games should be easy wins as both will be Pac-12 bottom-dwellers all year.
The only games Oregon needs to really be concerned about are Stanford, UCLA, Washington, and Utah, and I believe the Ducks are comfortably better than each of them.
The expectation should be winning out at this point.