Oregon football is fresh off a comeback win over Cal in Week 7, but the Ducks know they have some of their toughest tests ahead of them, including a huge battle at UCLA on Saturday.
The Ducks will travel to Los Angeles for one of the biggest games of the season as the Bruins are one of a few teams that truly have a shot to win the Pac-12 title. If Oregon wants to prove to be a contender instead of a pretender, it needs to win this one away from home.
But Oregon has been far from impressive over the past few weeks. Duck fans want to see some changes to the offense and overall play from this team.
What do we want to see from the Ducks when they face UCLA on Saturday?
3. Fast start
When Oregon struggles this year, it’s because of slow starts. Usually when the Ducks are on upset alert, they’re letting teams get early leads and they’re forced to play from behind for 3-4 quarters.
Don’t believe me? Look at the close games that the Ducks have had against inferior opponents. They’ve started slowly in each of them. Against Fresno State, the Ducks were up just 21-13 at halftime and then found themselves tied heading into the fourth before Anthony Brown flashed some late-game heroics. Against Stanford, the Ducks were down 17-7 at halftime. In the Arizona game, Oregon was up just 24-19 heading into the fourth. And against Cal, Oregon was down 17-10 before scoring two touchdowns late to win.
Even in a 48-7 win over Stony Brook, the Ducks were up just 17-7 at halftime.
These slow starts need to cease to exist and it could start with an explosive first half against UCLA to really set the tone on Saturday afternoon.
Every Oregon fan will tell you that they want a fast start.