Each week in the world of college football there are big games played that have national title implications and this week is no different. At the start of the season several teams were believed to have a legitimate shot at winning the title, but each week teams showed us who they were and now its the Oregon Ducks led by Heisman frontrunner Marcus Mariota turn to show us when they go to the farm to take rival the Stanford Cardinals.
Despite losing Chip Kelly to the NFL the Ducks offensive juggernaut has not slowed down one bit. Even after De’Anthony Thomas missed three games due to an ankle sprain the offense rarely missed a beat due to running back Byron Marshall and wide receiver Bralon Addison stepping up and showing out.
However, let’s be honest we have seen this all before, the offensive firepower and stats are impressive and the highlight plays are unforgettable but until they beat their Pac 12 nemesis a BCS championship will always be out of reach.
This Oregon team enters Thursday’s game healthy which was not the case last season, both of their lines resembled the walking wounded. Marcus Mariota has made tremendous strides in his game, he is now using his athleticism to extend plays which will make life difficult for Cardinal defenders
Although their offense will continue to hog the headlines Oregon will beat the Cardinals in the trenches, the place where championship are truly won or lost. The Ducks offensive line although inexperienced will be facing a wounded Cardinal defensive line that is scary but very thin due to injuries which will reduce the impacts of All American linebackers Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy.
The Oregon defensive line is no slouch either, and with the nation watching this will be their coming out party. Their line is deep and talented; it averages 6’5″ 300 pounds, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner are the headliners and at the end of Thursday night they both national commodities. The secondary led be All-American Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is stout and but the linebacker corp although talented will likely give up a few shots.
Every year fans are lead to believe that this year will be different, that this will finally be the year that the Oregon Ducks get a shot to dethrone and take down the vaunted Alabama Crimson Tide. But before Ducks fans talk Bama they must win the day, beat Stanford and handle things at the farm. Will they? Stay tuned…I know I will – A. Denmark
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Subscribe to podcast