The Oregon Ducks’ football team has looked like a machine and no team on their schedule has been able to slow down dual-threat quarterback Darron Thomas, the nation’s best rusher LaMichael James and their explosive offense.
The last time the Ducks had been ranked that high was in mid-November 2007 when Dennis Dixon was the lead signal-caller. Unfortunately, the Ducks lost Dennis Dixon and their title hopes were dashed as Dixon suffered a season-ending injury in a loss to Arizona.
That was then, this is now.
Ducks’ fans and even the nation may have been a little apprehensive as Oregon played a nationally televised game against UCLA at home.
However, after the first quarter it became abundantly clear that there would be no slip-ups or bad fortune on this night.
Junior quarterback Darron Thomas had a career high in passing yards with a 308-yard performance and teammate LaMichael James continues to put up Heisman-type numbers on his way to another 100+ yard game as the Ducks humbled the Bruins, 60-13.
Oregon (#2 ESPN/USA Today, #1 Associated Press) didn’t fall in the trap of being another #1 team to lose the next week after been bestowed that honor. The Ducks took charge early and made sure there will be no upset in Eugene.
Senior Remene Alston has been utilized as a reserve for most of his career with the Ducks, but he had a career-night and got into the end zone three times. The 5’8 200 had a pair of short-yardage touchdown runs in the fourth quarter.
The Ducks have been dominant, but in the coming weeks the road will get tougher figuratively and literally.
On Saturday, October 30th, Oregon will travel to Southern Cal in a nationally televised game. Southern Cal is playing spoiler for awhile due to a NCAA verdict that originated from Reggie Bush’s tenure at USC. Despite all of USC’s problems, the Trojans can still pose problems and be an obstacle to the Ducks’ Rose Bowl and national championship aspirations.
On November 6th, the Washington Huskies’ visit Eugene. On paper, it appears to be a mismatch. However, senior quarterback Jake Locker is a projected first-round quarterback, so anything can happen.
On November 13th, a road game to Berkley against the California Golden Bears should be a cakewalk. California’s defense gave up 48 to Southern Cal , so can imagine Oregon’s explosive offense against the Bears’ defense? We may see another sixty-point or seventy-point game by the Ducks.
The final two games may pose the most tedious challenge. A ranked Arizona team will provide a tough challenge, but luckily this game is in Eugene. And finally, in-state rival Oregon State will conclude the schedule. Last year, the Ducks was able to squeak out a 37-33 win in Eugene. This time around it is on the Beavers’ home turf.
Oregon looks good now, but the Ducks will definitely be challenged in the next five weeks.