The Oregon Ducks football team, fresh off a win against UCLA, is hoping to factor into the national championship game this season. In the final year of college football’s Bowl Championship Series, the Oregon Ducks are currently sitting third behind Alabama and Florida State. If the Oregon Ducks want to play in the 100th Rose Bowl, they’ll have to make it past a tough Stanford football team, currently ranked 5th, this Thursday night.
In facing the Pac-12 North rival currently nipping at their heels, the Oregon Ducks will have to keep their high-scoring offense at full-throttle against a stingy Stanford defense, one which knocked the Ducks out of a potential second consecutive BCS Championship appearance.
“Last year it was the defense of Stanford, they shut down Oregon, held them to just 14 points,” said ESPN college football analyst Trevor Matich. “The way that they did it was a combination of alignment, assignment and just winning physical battles.”
“I expect Oregon to adjust. I don’t expect them to let them do it again.”
One of the improvements Statich sees out of the Ducks squad lies with sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota throwing the football.
“Oregon is better this year at throwing vertically down the field. Last year they threw a lot to the line of scrimmage, Stanford came up and gummed it up short.”
Given Florida State’s light schedule, Oregon needs a lot of production from running back Bryan Marshall and will rely on Mariota’s mobility to bolster the running attack. Top dog Alabama is set to square off against 13th-ranked LSU this Saturday, but one analyst, and Florida State football alum, would rather see the Ducks and Seminoles in the big game this February.
“If you asked me about sheerly the most entertaining match-up, I would have to go with Florida State-Oregon,” said Danny Kanell, former Seminoles QB. “And it’s no offense to Alabama, but we’ve seen what they do. We’ve see their M.O. out in the field.”
“You put Oregon’s high-powered offense with Marcus Mariota against Jameis Winston and Florida State’s offense, combined with these defenses, I think you would have a spectacular display of offensive football… I want to see high points, I want to see a lot of numbers put up. That would provide it.”
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