When the Oregon Ducks play host to the Arizona Sun Devils on homecoming from Autzen Stadium, we at ATQ want to focus on you, the fans! Instead of my normal game day routine Saturday, I will be watching from the student section as a fan.
Your opinion on the team, coaches and Pac-12 is what counts. At the end of the day, you’re the greatest motivation of the players. And for that, we need your input.
Forget player interviews, I want to talk to you. I will be speaking with alumni, current students, game day employees and tailgaters during Saturday’s game. No stone will be unturned.
It has been a frustrating season for Oregon supporters, no question. Every team that has defeated the Ducks moved onto unprecedented new heights thereafter.
For example, an unranked Nebraska team defeated the Ducks in non-conference play, 35-32, from Lincoln. A month later, the Cornhuskers remain unbeaten at 7-0. They are currently ranked No. 7 in the nation.
1-loss Colorado entered Autzen Stadium for the first game of the Pac-12 season. Since their monumental, 41-38, victory in Eugene, the Buffaloes have only gained steam. Colorado is ranked No. 23 in the country, and could be the most underrated team in the land. It was their win against Oregon that catapulted them forward.
Upon registering their, 55-31, victory against the Ducks in Pullman, Washington State has yet to lose a game in conference. Standing at 5-2 overall (4-0 in conference), the Cougars have high hope entering the stretch run.
Week 6 brought a completely different animal to the home of the Ducks. The No. 4 Washington Huskies (7-0) exited Eugene after tallying 70 total points. The program-boosting win snapped a 12-game win streak against Oregon, and has energized their entire sports program.
Needless to say, the lift from beating the Ducks can carry a program forward. This exhibits the pure greatness of the program. Only after beating Oregon, can a team truly exhale. The importance that is placed on beating the Ducks in the Pac-12 is second to none.
Nevertheless, positive signs emerged during the second half of the California game last week. Not only did we witness Justin Herbert toss five second-half TD’s, six overall. But, we also watched a defense take some pride in their work finally.
After throwing four first half scores, Oregon’s defense limited Cal QB Davis Webb after halftime. The second half turnaround was a sign of encouragement. However, some may want to dismiss the fact that Cal was just dismantled by USC, 45-24, on Thursday.
ASU boasts one of the best rushing attack’s in the Pac-12. Oregon currently possesses the worst rush defense in the conference. Saturday will be a true test for Brady Hoke and company. Las Vegas has the men from Eugene as a home favorite.
This game could define Oregon football for 2016. With a win, the Ducks keep hope alive for a strong finish, and a possible bowl appearance. Yet, another loss could spell the end of the Mark Helfrich era. Regardless, we will witness every play together from the stands at Autzen Stadium.
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