And lo, my friends, here we are, not only less than fourteen days from the official start of the 2021 Oregon Ducks Football Season, but we’re also on the cusp of yet another glorious edition of the true ‘Murican National Pastime— predicting college football games. And what a spectacle it shall be! If the Coronavirus pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that You People have become even more neurotic and opinionated in the intervening months, which should make for lots of
pissing and moaning thoughtful and lively debate!
With that, here are my official and completely worthless predictions. I’ve put veritable minutes into these picks, so take that into consideration when berating my choices in the comments section.
And no, this post contains no predictions beyond the regular season. This was difficult enough, I’m not about to try and figure out what’ll transpire beyond November. So strap in, hold on, and let’s see what this season portends.
Game One: Oregon vs. FSU
God, I know it’s petty, but I hate that they stylize their name as ‘FSU’. The only real FSU is Florida State University (thank heavens), who the fuck do they think they are? It’s like ‘Ole Miss’— it’s the University of Mississippi, you goddamn lunkheads, or is that too much for you to spell?
Anyway, even though I live in the Shangri-La that is Fresno, I know absolutely SQUAT about this year’s Bulldog squad— our local news stations are trash, and we cancelled our subscription to the local fishwrap after they raised their monthly rate to $75.00 for daily service. Seventy-five bucks for a ten page newspaper? Are they insane? I know, it’s dire times for the newspaper business in this year of our lard 2021, but still. Felt bad cancelling, but whatareya gonna do? So I seem to have gone off on a tangent here, sorry about that.
BOLD prediction: Oregon’s offense comes out flatter than this godforsaken valley in which I live in the first half, with only three Sir Henry Kattleman, Esq. field goals to show for their efforts. Thankfully the defense comes out sharp, holding CSUF to fewer than 100 total yards of offense, and scores on a scoop-and-score following a strip-sack by Kayvon Thibodeaux to take a 16-3 lead into the locker room.
The offense continues to struggle in the third quarter, and starter Anthony Brown is pulled in favor of freshman Ty Thompson, who provides the hoped for spark in leading the Ducks on two long drives, capped of by touchdown runs by CJ Verdell. The defense continues to shine, keeping the Bulldogs out of the end zone in the second half and securing the season-opening win.
Oregon 30, California State University at Fresno, 3
Game Two: Oregon at Ohio State
Jesus Creeping Christ, just thinking of this game makes me nauseous. Do we really have to play these fuckers in Columbus? I’m scared— HOLD ME.
BOLD prediction: Oregon’s offense surprises— fresh off his second half benching against CSUF, a revitalized Anthony Brown shows just what Brown can do for you, keeping the Buckeye defense off-balance throughout the first half on several sustained drives; Oregon’s defense creates havoc in OSU’s backfield, sacking freshman quarterback CJ Stroud four times and pressuring him on numerous other occasions. However a late special teams blunder— allowing a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown— kills Oregon’s momentum going into halftime, though the Ducks hold the lead 21-17.
The second half plays out similarly to the first, with the two teams trading blows throughout. Brown again shows that there’s no substitute for senior leadership in a hostile environment, racking up over 300 yards passing, 75 yards rushing and three total touchdowns. After all these long years, Victory against the vaunted Buckeyes appears close at hand.
BUT, because Fate is a motherfucker and keeps a tight grip on the Nice Things Chart, with less than three minutes left in the game and Oregon clinging to a four point lead, the Buckeyes force a Verdell fumble deep in Oregon territory, which Ohio State recovers and punches into the end zone for the winning score. The entire Duck fanbase is put on Suicide Watch.
fOSU 38, Oregon 35
Game Three: Oregon vs. Slippery Rock
Poor Slippery Rock. Why do athletic directors do this to their teams? I know the payout for games like this is $ubstantial, but WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?
Fun fact: The Slippery Rock University’s athletic teams nickname is The Rock. Okay, that wasn’t really all that fun. Sorry.
(NOT SO) BOLD Prediction: Oregon comes out angrier than Jefferson upon finding his Camaro trashed. The Slippery Rock University The Rocks don’t stand a chance. Women laugh. Men weep. Third and fourth-string Ducks achieve Glory. This game is over with 14:50 left in the third quarter.
Oregon 63, Slippery Slope 7
Game Four: Oregon vs. Arizona
So this is what I know about the Arizona Wildbeardowncats— apparently their head coach is a Steve Sarkasian impersonator named Jedd Fisch whose claim to fame is coaching UCLA for two games in the aftermath of Jim ‘I know it was you, Fredo’ Mora’s firing in 2017.
BOLD Prediction: Oregon’s offense continues to click, the defense continues to dominate, and NFL general managers continue to experience a buzzing deep in their loins over Thibodeaux’s play. Arizzzzzzzzona lost all five of their games in 2020— I see no reason why that trend shouldn’t continue into 2021.
Oregon 45, Bear Dead 10
Game Five: Oregon at Stanford
The sun goes up, the sun goes down, David Shaw is the head coach at Stanford, and runs the most vanilla program west of the Pecos. Long gone are the days of Captain Neckbeard, The NERDS!, and Christian McCaffrey. Pencil this team in for the Gasparilla Bowl.
BOLD Prediction: On a damp and chilly night in Allo Palto the Oregon Duck offense find it tough sledding in the cow pasture of Stanford Stadium. Luckily the defense continues to play lights out, with KT climbing into the Heisman race with another off-the-charts performance, sacking hapless Stanford quarterback Jack West four times, forcing a fumble, and batting down three passes. The Right Honorable Henry Kattleman and his golden foreleg ties his career high with a 47 yard boot betwixt the uprights.
Oregon 31, sTnafrdo 13
Game Six: Oregon vs. California
Oregon comes back from a rugged BYE to face the toothless Berkeley Bears at Autzen, looking for revenge for the Ducks’ inexplicable loss to Cal in 2020. On paper this game appears to be a complete mismatch. On field turf, grass, or LSD, too.
BOLD Prediction: Oregon coach Mario Cristobal licks HIS chops while watching his Ducks make mincemeat of the Calbears. Anthony Brown strafes the Cal secondary for a career high 425 yards passing and four touchdowns, while Thibs has a merely pedestrian game with ‘only’ 1.5 sacks and an INT.
Oregon 42, Cal 17
Game Seven: Oregon at UCLA
Nice of Oregon to stop by and wish Chip Kelly well in his last game as the Bruins’ head coach.
BOLD Prediction: This game gets out of hand early. Oregon’s running game comes alive, with Verdell, Dye, and Dollars each running for over 100 yards. Noah Sewell decides to remind folks that Oregon’s defense is more than just Kayvon and the ten dwarfs with three sacks, a fumble recovery, and four passes defended. Thibodeaux has his fourth multi-sack game of the season for good measure. Kelly wishes he’d never left Eugene. YOU HAVE BEEN BANNED FROM BRUINS NATION, AND NOW SO HAS CHIP.
Oregon 49, fUCLA 14
Game Eight: Oregon vs. Colorado
Crap, the game before HIHWW. Time for the proverbial letdown, right?
BOLD Prediction: WRONG. Colorado continues to be the surprise of the conference, coming into Autzen 6-2 and ranked sixteenth in the AP poll. Oregon is tested like it hasn’t been since the second game of the season against Ohio State. The Ducks go into halftime trailing at home for the first time all season. KT is lost for two series with a mild calf strain. Sphincters tighten. But Mykael Wright busts the second-half kickoff for a touchdown and the Ducks never look back. Sewell continues his mid-season surge with a sack, two forced fumbles, and an INT. Buffalo burgers are back on the menu.
Oregon 45, Rocky Mountain Meh 28
Game Nine: Oregon at washington
lossington comes into this game angry, having just lost a nail-biter to stnafrod the week before to even their record at a middling 4-4. The natives are getting restless, and the sniping within the football complex has made the papers up at The Mistake by Montlake.
Meanwhile, at 8-1 the Oregon Ducks have risen to number three in the polls, behind only undefeated Alabama and Ohio State (FFS). NOW it’s time for that letdown, right?
BOLD Prediction: Are you fucking high? NO. Oregon is firing on all cylinders now, with a balanced rushing and passing attack on offense to compliment Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter’s absolutely lethal defense. Oregon holds the huskies to under 275 yards of total offense. Jimmy Lake’s seat suddenly gets a bit warm.
Oregon 38, washingtwoandfifteen 14
Game Ten: Oregon vs. Washington State
Oh dear, Cougs gonna Coug. Washington State is a team in complete disarray, coming into Autzen losers of six in a row including two forfeits due to Covid-related roster issues. Head Coach and first-class knucklehead Nick Rolovich was fired after being plastered by U$C in September, and it’s been downhill ever since.
BOLD Prediction: Too bad for WSU college football doesn’t have a mercy rule. Oregon absolutely bludgeons the overmatched Cougars; up 38-3 at halftime, Cristobal begins pulling his starters early in the third. Ty Thompson, in his first game action since the season opener against CSUF throws for 200 yards and runs for another fifty, while Sean Dollars gains 150 on the ground and rushes for three touchdowns. The Duck’s D pins their ears back and sacks Cougar quarterback Jayden De Laura, in his first game back from a season-long suspension, eight times. De Laura later wishes he’d remained suspended.
Oregon 55, Wazzu 9
Game Eleven: Oregon at Utah
10-1; ranked number two in the country. The talking heads predicting a ‘Bama-Oregon showdown in the title game in January... you know where this is going, don’t you?
BOLD Prediction: DOOM. Oregon and Utah haven’t played since the Ducks’ surprise blowout win in the 2019 PAC 12 Championship. And Utah hasn’t forgotten. The nineteenth ranked 7-3 Utes play like the number two ranked team in the country, and Oregon, on a cold and blustery night on the frozen tundra, have few answers, and the Ducks go down to
HAHAHA, NOT THIS TIME, ASSHOLES.
Oregon, down by double-digits most of the game, suddenly finds it’s offensive footing late in the fourth, capping a 17-play, 94 yard drive with a CJ Verdell touchdown dive to cut Utah’s lead to four at 28-24.
THE NICE THINGS CHART IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE NICE THINGS CHART. On the ensuing kickoff, special teamer Bryan Addison punches the ball loose from return man Britain Covey, and returns the fumble for the unlikely touchdown to give the Ducks the lead which they will not relinquish. Surrender Cobras outnumber snowflakes as the Rice-Eccles faithful go deathly quiet.
Oregon 31, Yoots 28
Game Twelve: Oregon vs. Oregon State
The Game Formerly Known as The Civil War. The Platypus Bowl. The Marion Berry Bowl. Whatever. The final game of the regular season for both teams, the Ducks are due for a letdown after their cardiac performance the week before; the surprising Beavs are 7-4 and looking to improve their bowl standing.
Yaaaaah, no. NO LETDOWNS. NOT THIS YEAR.
BOLD Prediction: A closer than expected game only due to some uncharacteristic sloppiness on the part of Oregon’s offense. Anthony Brown has his first multi-INT game as a Duck, with one pick being returned for a touchdown late in the second quarter. But once again the D rides to the rescue, with the defensive backfield picking off four Sam Noyer passes including two in the end zone in the third quarter, stuffing potential game-tying drives both times. Oregon continues it’s renaissance under Mario Cristobal, finishing the regular season ranked number two in the nation and with the best record in the PAC-12 at 11-1.
Oregon 34, Dem Beavs 24
SO, there you have it; a sterling record of 11-1 heading into the conference championship game and the Great Unknown. What do y’all think? Do you have as thick of rose-colored glasses as I? Or are you more pragmatic. Take the poll!
What will the Ducks’ final record be?
This poll is closed
12-0 WE WANT BAMA! WE WANT BAMA!
11-1 HERE NATTY, NATTY, NATTY
10-2 ROSEBOWL SOUNDS PRETTY DAMN GOOD
9-3 The Alamo Bowl again?
8-4 Any bowl game is better than the alternative, right?
7-5 Just wait ‘til next year!
6-6 THIS ISN’T WORKING OUT LIKE I EXPECTED
5-7 HOLD ME, MAMMA
4 Wins or Fewer: FIRE CRISTOBAL, FIRE MULLINS, FIRE EVERYONE!