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Will They/Won’t They: Stony Brook Edition

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3 Reasons Why the Ducks Will or Won’t Beat the Stony Brook Seawolves

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch via Imagn Content Services, LLC

After arguably their biggest win in the last few years over the then-third ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, the Oregon Ducks return home to Autzen Stadium to take on the Stony Brook Seawolves in what should be a resounding blowout for the Ducks before they start conference play.


Reasons Why They’ll Win

Talent Disparity

This should be the most obvious reason for victory Saturday. The talent gap between the Ducks and the Seawolves of Stony Brook is quite large. This Oregon roster is brimming with talent, after all, they just walked into Columbus and beat the Ohio State Buckeyes. This is nothing against the Seawolves of course, but it’s doubtful they have anyone who can hang with the Ducks for long.

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Running Game

The Ducks running game broke out in a big way on Saturday, rushing for a combined 269 yards, with 161 coming from CJ Verdell, who scored 3 touchdowns. The running game looked much improved vs the effort we saw against Fresno State, and when you add Anthony Brown’s running ability, it’s a good bet that the Ducks will run early and often to run the clock down.

Run Defense

Stony Brook likes to run the ball, they ran for 271 in their win against Colgate. Now, Justin Flowe is likely out for the year with a foot injury, and Kayvon Thibodeaux is unlikely to play, but the Ducks defense should be up to the task of stifling the Seawolves ground game. They held Ohio State to 4.1 ypc a week after the Buckeyes averaged almost eight yards per carry against the Golden Gophers. The Ducks had success against the Buckeyes, and they’ll almost certainly build off that performance against the Stony Brook Seawolves.

Reasons They Won’t Win

Icarus

Hear me out here. There aren’t many reasons why Oregon shouldn’t roll Stony Brook this Saturday. But there is the cautionary tale of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun which melted his wax wings. Oregon is flying high after beating the third-ranked team in the country, and it’s possible they don’t take the Seawolves seriously, although that doesn’t seem unlikely. Our “friends” in the north are a cautionary tale that even a Power-5 team can fall to a smaller school. While it seems far-fetched, stranger things have happened in college football.

Being Too Sloppy

I’m really fishing for reasons here. If Oregon gets too careless with the football and turns it over too many times, it could allow Stony Brook to hang around too long in the game, and that is certainly something the Ducks don’t need before they begin their slate of Pac-12 matchups.

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Injury Bug

Even writing this down makes me uncomfortable. Injuries are apart of football, and the Ducks are no exception. Kayvon Thibodeaux hasn’t played since Week 1 and likely won’t play this game. Justin Flowe and Cam McCormick are out for the remainder of the season, and Dru Mathis and Mase Funa are also dealing with injury issues. Now, here’s to hoping that the Ducks avoid further issue this week, but unfortunately this part of football is somewhat unavoidable. If the Ducks get hit especially hard with injuries, (frantically knocks on wood) it could make it that much harder for this game and games to come.

Coming up with reasons that Oregon might lose in this game was especially difficult. It’s clear to most fans that anything can happen in college football, upsets happen all the time. However, this seems like a contest that should be over closer to halftime rather than the end of the game. The starters should take control early, and the backups will take care of mop-up duty later on.

Oregon 49, Stony Brook 10