Saturday, November 23, 2013

Good Luck Ducks, Week 13: Cats and Ducks Living Together

After the running game sputtered for the second consecutive week, it's safe to say that Byron Marshall's run as top dog of the conference's running backs is as over as his team's national title hopes. While the final score was considerably more favorable to Oregon than the previous week, one can imagine that the Ducks will shake things up a bit in the backfield for their final two conference games.

What has changed is Oregon's overall prospects, in that they are no longer as bleak as they seemed following the crushing loss to the school with the "zany" tree mascot. Stanford lost to USC, putting Oregon back in the Pac-12 North driver's seat. This week, the Ducks face Arizona and elite running back Ka'Deem Carey. Arizona will be fighting mad this week and back on their home turf following last year's shutout, so this won't be the proverbial cake walk.

While Marcus Mariota is still very limited in his mobility, last week saw his arm as precise as ever, as he delivered laser after laser to his receivers while generally staying near the pocket. This is probably a better sign for his NFL prospects than it is for the Ducks. I think this game has all of the makings of a classic first half nailbiter turned second half slaughter. Don't go out to the mailbox to check your mail in the third quarter or you'll probably miss the Ducks putting up 21 points somehow.

Oregon's last visit to the "Zona Zoo" at "Bear Down" Field was never close.

Game time is 12:30 PST in Tucson with national coverage on ABC or ESPN2 depending on your region or the whim of the TV fairies. Or Obama. Go Ducks!

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