Make no mistake about it, Stanford is weighing heavily on the minds of all Oregon Duck’s coaches, players and fans. Beating Stanford is the goal for Oregon in 2014 and anything less will be a disappointing season.
Oregon wants to beat Stanford more than anyone else this season.
Mark Helfrich is in his second season with the Ducks replacing Chip Kelly. Helfrich did well enough for his first season going 11-2, with one loss coming to that pesky bunch from Palo Alto, California. The other was a complete shocker with the Ducks being humiliated by the Arizona Wildcats, 42-16. Otherwise they looked pretty good.
The Spring Game for the Ducks didn’t show the casual fan much.
Jeff Lockie had been named the back up QB before the game and quickly afterwards other back up QBs Jake Rodrigues and Damion Hobbs announced they would be transferring out. Seems to be a bit of a sport for QBs to transfer in the middle of their careers and often it is a mistake. Personally, I thought Rodrigues looked better than Lockie and I feel he gave up too quickly. Hobbs is an athlete but is a bit unpolished for now.
The Ducks are down to Mariota, Jeff Lockie and walk-on Taylor Alie at QB.
Oregon also lost it’s top WR in Josh Huff. Other top WR, Bralon Addison is also out with a torn ACL. Duck fans should not worry because they still have plenty of talent here such as Chance Allen, Darren Carrington, and especially Devon Allen. Allen had a nice Spring in football, and maybe even a better Spring in Track for the Ducks’ Track and Field team. Devon Allen was highly recruited out of Arizona and is an excellent hurdler in track.
He’s going to try his hands at playing Wide Receiver for the Ducks. Loyd played football and basketball in high school at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman. Apparently, they are a powerhouse in basketball as well as football, but I’ve always wondered who they play out there. Las Vegas and Reno are about the only cities in the state. In spite of that, Bishop Gorman puts out a ton of talent and they wind up at schools all across the country.
Loyd is an excellent return man as well as a potentially great talent at Wide Receiver. Should be a big surprise for the Ducks in 2014.
Expect improvement out of the Duck defense in 2014.
Arik Armstead returns at Defensive End. Many believe his greatest potential lies at Offensive Tackle and at 6-8, 300 I would agre with those with that opinion. He is a monster on either side of the ball.
Tony Washington and DeForest Buckner are tough up front.
The Ducks also return outstanding LB Derrick Malone and top CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.
Rodney Hardrick and Torrodney Prevot are good at LB, too.
If the Ducks are going to out play the Stanford Cardinal this season, they are going to have to beat them at their own game. Having a great offense is awesome, obviously, but they are going to have to beat the Cardinal with great defense.