Colorado is licking its chops at the opportunity to exact payback for its recent blowout losses to the Ducks.
“I just have to go into games with a clear head and take it one play at a time”, he began. No one believes they will exhibit any mental toughness in a hard road environment to blow away the Buffs this Saturday. Nicholls returns to Southland Conference play by hosting McNeese State on Saturday. Remember when we buried USC after they lost to Stanford?
If anyone would have said the state of Oregon football would be at a crossroads entering week five against Colorado you would have thought they were insane. Oregon simply has too much talent to be taken down by one facet.
Confidence is what coaches and players have been stressing since training camp because the team is older, more experienced, bigger and stronger than it was in MacIntyre’s previous years. And, whether it be with Travis Wilson or Devontae Booker, the Utes kept the Ducks honest with the run game while destroying them with the passing game.
The Ducks, though, see this as a crossroads in their season. But if the Ducks lose to Washington, a team they have absolutely dominated over the last decade or to Oregon State, a team they haven’t lost to since that 2007 season, fans will be running through the streets of Eugene as if the sky is falling. Backup Jeff Lockie looked marginally better than Adams against Utah, but was still unable to get anything going. Now, the storyline is much scarier for Duck fans: Oregon football is no longer the all-powerful, high-octane powerhouse out west. Furthermore, after its monumental 62-20 loss at home to Utah, Oregon is on pace to have its worst season since 2007. In the last four games between the two schools, Oregon has outscored Colorado 54-10.
As I pointed out earlier, the Ducks have come back from this kind of despair before.
Now last in the Pac-12 in almost every major category, the Oregon defense has nowhere to go but up. Adams’ finger injury and general wear looks to be a perpetual nag. While both of those tactics can work well, opposing defenses are no longer anxious about the big-play potential synonymous with Oregon’s offense since the program became “elite”.
While the starter at quarterback is uncertain, Byron Marshall will not play at receiver following an injury against the Utes. DeForest Buckner, Doug Brenner and Tyrell Crosby are questionable.
Even well-oiled machines have trouble not breaking down with this many injuries.
The University of Oregon entered the 2015 football season with a giant elephant in the locker room: How could the program possibly fill the void left by Marcus Mariota?
One of those story lines will have another chapter added Saturday night. Freeman has looked beastly so far this season, and will be put to the test now that the Ducks really need to lean on him. “We have athletes to compete with these teams in the Pac-12”.
The Ducks are still a talented team.
“The quarterbacks, a lot of times, when I’m coming out of my breaks they are already running or already had pressure”, he says.
Will Oregon pull off the win or does Colorado earn their fourth win? Still, Oregon is not a bad team; in fact, this team can still win the Pac-12 north. Offensive Coordinator Scott Frost must utilize his array of dynamic players like freshman phenom Taj Griffin and established wide receiver Bralon Addison in different formations like the wildcat.