Saturday, September 20, 2014

Good Luck Ducks, Week 4: Cougars Gonna Coug

Oregon faces their first conference test against a team leading the nation in passing yards.

Coming off another perfect non-conference run, Oregon makes a run up to the Palouse tonight for the first time since 2010. Last week's win over Wyoming was pretty comfortable, if not quite the rout that the gambling folks were predicting. Wyoming may be tougher than people realized. It could also be a sign that the youth and inexperience is starting to show up on the field for the guys in the green helmets (or whatever color they're using this week). More likely than not, however, is that I'm probably concerned about a whole lot of nothing.

The Ducks have a legitimate shot at #1 in some polls after this weekend is over thanks to a serious upset alert down in Florida. Florida State will be missing their super-sketchy Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback due to suspension and will be doing it while facing a ranked opponent in Clemson. While an Oregon victory over Washington State tonight isn't exactly a résumé-builder, there is always a war of attrition at the top of the football table.

Tonight, the Ducks face Conor Halliday's Cougar Air Raid Attack (Cat Raid?). Halliday has already passed for 1465 yards in just three games, though they lost two of them. (The one game they won was against FCS Portland State.) Still, Halliday lit up the Ducks last year in a record breaking performance that Oregon certainly isn't likely to have forgotten. Oregon won the game, but many of the yards were piled up in garbage time, something that stuck in the craw of now retired Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti. Halliday could and likely will burn the Ducks secondary tonight, but Oregon has the talent to give up some points and still come out victorious. Honestly, I'm pretty nervous about this one and am not sure what will happen. The Ducks haven't lost to the Cougars since 2006, a season in which they finished 7-6 and unranked. This doesn't seem like it will be that kind of season.

Highlights of last season's matchup with Washington State, with a spotlight on one of the nation's top defensive backs -- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Pink helmets, yikes!

Game time is 7:30 PM PDT with national coverage on ESPN. Go Ducks!

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