Duck Season in Peril

These are not the same Oregon Ducks. After giving up 42 points to Football Championship Series (FCS) foe Eastern Washington, questions exploded regarding Oregon’s defense. However, the Ducks responded with a 28-31 loss to the number five team in the country, the Michigan State Spartans. The defense played well and put the offense in a position to win in the final minute of the game. The Ducks were one overthrown pass from victory.Another victory ensued against the Georgia State Panthers, but the defense once again showed holes, giving up 28 points.
Another area of worry is the quarterback play. Transfer Vernon Adams played well, but was nursing a broken finger against Michigan State, leading to long time backup Jeff Lockie starting against Georgia State. He played adequately, but did not show the same efficiency that Oregon had last year with Heisman winner Marcus Mariota. Against the 18 ranked Utah Utes, Oregon’s weaknesses came unhinged.
The game started with hope, with Oregon’s defense providing enough stops to give their offense the ball. However, they were set back because the offense could do nothing. The only score in the first quarter came from a long kickoff return. Down two scores at halftime, Oregon still maintained hope going into the third quarter. Utah destroyed any notion of a comeback, scoring 28 unanswered points from trick plays, a punt return and long quarterback runs. Oregon went on to lose 20-62, their worst home loss since 1977.
Oregon rebounded with a solid 41-24 win against Colorado, with backup Taylor Alie playing most of the game. Oregon looked mostly unimpressive in the first half, but they took off in the second. Oregon followed with a double overtime loss to lowly Washington State. Each Pacific 12 (Pac-12) league game will prove a challenge for the Ducks if they do not greatly improve on both sides of the ball. The Ducks may be in for a long season.