Saturday, October 7, 2017

Good Luck Ducks, Week 6: Yikes!

Oregon regroups after suffering significant injury losses, facing a familiar foe. 

It was almost comical how quickly and repeatedly Ducks players fell to injury last Saturday night. In the end, backup backs had run all over the Cal defense on the way to Oregon's 4th victory of the season, bringing the team closer to bowl eligibility. The toughest loss was Justin Herbert, aka the guy that Oregon could absolutely not afford to lose, and his broken clavicle. With two potential backup QBs having transferred out of the program before the season begun, the Ducks are left with a true freshman (Braxton Burmeister) and a fifth year senior (Taylor Alie) who has contributed most significantly on special teams in his Ducks career and had been set to play WR until those transfers.

With the injuries piling up (Royce Freeman was also knocked out last week's game), Oregon limps back to the field in Eugene to host the Washington State Cougars. WSU QB Luke Falk has his eyes on some conference records this season, including Marcus Mariota's TD mark (note: this was achieved in 3 seasons while Falk is in his 4th.) Indeed, Falk and the Cougs have had Oregon's number recently, and coming off of a win over USC, Washington State is highly favored to win this one as well. In fact, unlike typical seasons, it's probably the Cougars defense -- combined with Oregon's sudden question mark under center -- that has the Ducks most worried. Oregon's D has certainly improved, but will definitely have its hands full tonight.

The is the first of five straight tough games on the Ducks schedule, and if anything, it should be a valuable learning experience for what is largely a very young team. Even though the hopes of this season were largely riding on Herbert's shoulders, there are only so many opportunities to play college football games. Each one could be the one that the next Herbert or Freeman or... well... Onterrio Smith is realized.

Here are the links of the day:

Onterrio Smith destroyed the Cougars to the tune of 285 yards back in 2001.

Game time is 5:00 PM PDT. Broadcast channel is FOX. Your scheduled broadcasters are Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman and Holly Sounders. Go Ducks!

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