Saturday, October 11, 2014

Good Luck Ducks, Week 7: Stagger or Swagger?

Following its first loss, cracks are starting to become crevasses.

Let's face it: Oregon is just not a very good team right now. Despite the fact that Oregon got completely hosed by officials against Arizona, the reasons the Ducks couldn't find a way to win against the Wildcats go far beyond some horrible (and rather vindictive feeling if you ask me) calls. The O-line can't protect anyone. They can't open any holes for their backs to get through. The Ducks simply can't play football the way they're accustomed to if this happens. Two straight games where Marcus Mariota has been repeatedly flattened and where the backs have had nowhere to run but straight into the backs of their own teammates (as well as the arms of their opponents) have proven that something is seriously wrong with the Green and Yellow (and Silver, Black, occasionally Pink... etc.)

The Ducks face a UCLA team with similarly lofty expectations, a highly touted quarterback (Brett Hundley) and heaps of protection problems of their own. It's almost like looking into a mirror, except that it's an ugly mirror of gold and powder blue and entitlement. I have no idea what to expect today, but I wouldn't be surprised if it somehow involves backup quarterbacks before the clock runs out.

With upsets happening en masse last week, the door is still wide open for both of these teams to climb back into playoff consideration. For that to happen, something big will need to change, and it will need to start today.

Oregon was dominant in last year's meeting. That seems like a long time ago.

Game time is 12:30 PDT with national coverage on FOX. Go Ducks!

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