It's not early anymore and the Oregon Ducks look like a contender
We’re in the thick of the season, where the tiniest of flaws can tank a race destined for greatness, and the Ducks are flying.
Until Saturday, it hadn’t been since 1957 that Oregon finished consecutive games with the same score. Oregon fell to the Beavers 10-7 to end that regular season, then dropped a 10-7 thriller a month later to No. 2 Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.
Oregon coach Len Casanova told reporters he still believed his team was the best in the country after that loss.
“I’m prouder of them than any team I’ve ever coached,” Casanova said, between puffs on a cigarette, of his 7-4 Webfoots who reached the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1919. And while his argument for Oregon as the best team in the land had flaws, the point remained that he saw UO on equal footing with anyone coast-to-coast.
Eugene belonged in the conversation.
In the decades since, those seven-win seasons eventually segued into expectations of eight and nine and 10-win seasons. Those decades between Rose Bowl appearances were replaced with trips to Pasadena booked in advance. And it makes sense that a program home to names like Mariota, Harrington, James and Herbert would wait 66 years to replicate the same specific performance one week to the next.
They have scored a lot of points over the years. Lot of variables there.
It’s a meaningless stat, but there’s almost something beautiful in this Oregon team, 66 years later, beating Colorado 42-6 eight days ago in Autzen and following it up with a repeat drubbing of Stanford Saturday afternoon on The Farm.
Is this Oregon offense the best the Ducks have ever had? Maybe not. But its fifth-year starting quarterback is completing 80 percent of his passes and the Ducks have turned the ball over one (!) time in five games.