After a very promising start to 2021, Oregon Football fell off big time. Read to find out what to expect from the Ducks this season.
Here’s Where the Oregon Ducks Stand Heading Into the Fall
The first four weeks of the Oregon Ducks’ 2021 campaign couldn’t have started better. They took down Fresno State, Stony Brook, Arizona all in convincing fashion, and most notably, beat CJ Stroud and the Buckeyes in Columbus by seven.
However, week five was the beginning of Oregon’s decline last season. They lost in overtime to a very beatable conference rival in the Stanford Cardinal. The Ducks got back on track after that loss, winning their next five, all against conference rivals, but that loss to Stanford was killer.
Two more trouncings at the hands of the Utah Utes and a loss to the Oklahoma Sooners in Alamo Bowl finally put the Ducks in their place. They finished the 2021 season ranked 22nd which is pretty disappointing considering how it began and all the missed opportunities they gave away.
The Ducks have a high ceiling but a lot of work to do come this fall.
Fall 2022 Preview
The Ducks will be in a good position to start the season if all goes according to plan. NCAA.com ranked them 11th in the nation back at the end of January, and that’s a spot they’ll be able to move up from if they can win consistently next season.
Oregon will open the 2022 season against the defending champion Georgia Bulldogs. While Ducks fans may be scared seeing that game on the schedule, this is actually a great chance for Oregon to establish themselves as a CFP contender from the get-go. They aren’t ever going to get another shot at the national title if they can’t win the big games consistently.
With the departure of Kayvon Thibodeaux, Verone McKinely III, Mykael Wright and graduating quarterback Anthony Brown, the Ducks have a lot of replacements to make. The main thing that Oregon has going for them is the prowess of their program.
While Oregon is certainly taking a loss in the on-field defensive department with the departures of Thibodeaux and McKinely III, they’ve recently hired former Georgia Defensive Coordinator Dan Lanning. Lanning was very successful in his build up of the Bulldogs’ defense as a formidable force in the SEC, and their recent national championship speaks volumes to that.
On the quarterback front, Oregon now also has former Auburn QB Bo Nix to likely take over for this upcoming season and also help freshmen quarterbacks Ty Thompson and Jay Butterfield to feel more confident taking over once Nix moves on from the collegiate level.
There’s still a lot of talent for the Ducks on both sides of the ball, but right now the team needs to be in recruitment mode and focus specifically on bolstering a defense that is losing two key players.
Ducks’ 2022 Schedule
Oregon will obviously face an immediate test by facing the defending champs in Georgia. However, if they can clear that week one hurdle the rest of their schedule is more than manageable. Other than Georgia, they’ll face ranked opponents in BYU and Utah weeks 3 and 11, respectively.
In 2022, Oregon has a chance to do what they failed to do last season: win and win consistently. There are always trap games out there, but if the Ducks can come out strong and take down Georgia and BYU to start the season, they should have no problem handling PAC-12 opponents like Stanford, Arizona, UCLA etc.
If the Ducks can do that, they won’t have to worry about falling in the rankings, and their only other big test of the season will come in that week 11 matchup with the Utes. That’ll be a prime chance for Oregon to get revenge for last year’s two losses to Utah.
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