college game day

Oregon-Auburn College GameDay sign inspiration

Oregon-Auburn College GameDay sign inspiration

There are 32 days until Oregon football kicks off the 2019 season and the anticipation is palpable. In a few days, the Ducks will start their fall camp with a week one polarizing matchup against Auburn looming on August 31. 

The Ducks grasp the chance to upset Auburn in prime time and become the Pac-12’s best chance for a spot in the playoff. A win sends the underdog Ducks and the Pac-12 Conference into national relevancy, and a loss initiates an uphill fight; no team has ever rebounded from a week one loss to make the final field of four.

It’ll be a day-long dose of UO football in the national spotlight. Here is why I think Oregon will emerge from probable top-15 battle as the victors.

It’s also an opportunity for Ducks fans, who will likely be outnumbered, to shine at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It’s the first meeting between these teams since Auburn’s 22-19 win in the BCS National Championship game in 2011 and Oregon coach Mario Cristobal has emphasized the importance of fan support, especially on the road. 

[Initiate “Michael Dyer was down!!!” screams from every Duck fan reading this]

Whether you are making the trip to Texas or not, here is some College GameDay Oregon/SEC/Auburn-related sign inspiration. 

8 numbers you need to know about Oregon vs. Washington State

8 numbers you need to know about Oregon vs. Washington State

It's going to be a wild Saturday night. If you want to be the Duck fan with all the facts about No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 25 Washington State, here are some numbers to know. 

Back to back to back to back: Saturday will mark the first time since 1986 that Oregon has taken on a ranked opponent in four consecutive games.

The nation is watching: The Ducks will make their second appearance this season on ESPN’s College GameDay, which will make its first-ever trip to Pullman, Wash.

(On Tuesday night, the City of Pullman declared a state of emergency due to the crowds expected for ESPN's College GameDay) 

 

Oregon's offense is soaring: The Ducks have scored 30-plus points in each of their first six games. Only Alabama has also surpassed the 30-point mark in its first six games.

 

Streaking Herbert: Quarterback Justin Herbert has thrown 161 consecutive passes without an interception in Pac-12 road games and he's thrown a touchdown pass in 21 consecutive games.
 In six games with Herbert as the starter on the road in Pac-12 play, Oregon is averaging 33.6 points per game. 

 

Dillon Mitchell isn’t playing around: He leads the nation in receiving yards per game (154.3) in league play and has a Pac-12 best 12 20-yard catches.

 

Penalties: Oregon has the fewest number of penalties in the Pac-12 this season after ranking dead last in all four penalty categories in 2017.

 

Next man up: With true freshman Penai Sewell out with an ankle injury, right tackle Calvin Throckmorton will shift to left tackle and Brady Aiello will start at right guard. Justin Herbert joked on Tuesday that Throckmorton could play 7-8 offensive positions: “He could play quarterback or tight end. I’m not sure about receiver or running back."

 

Cougars are on a roll: Washington State has claimed 10 straight victories at Martin Stadium and is looking to claim its fourth straight win over Oregon for the first time since 1981-84.

 

 


 

College Game Day selects Oregon vs. Washington State

College Game Day selects Oregon vs. Washington State

ESPN's College Game Day is headed to Pullman, Wash. for the Pac-12 north matchup between Oregon and Washington State. It's the 2nd game Oregon has been featured on College Game Day after the show came to Eugene for the Stanford game.

Both teams enter the game 5-1, but the Cougars rested up on a bye week while the Ducks upset then No.7 Washington at home. 

It's a big moment in Washington State history, as College Game Day has never been to Pullman. However, the Cougars' flag has showed up behind the set for more than 200 straight weeks.

Five reasons why Oregon vs. Stanford is worth the hype

Five reasons why Oregon vs. Stanford is worth the hype

The undefeated No. 20 Oregon Ducks get the opportunity to upset No. 7 Stanford at home in front of the nation, in prime time (5 p.m. on ABC). The winner will take the early lead in the race for the Pac-12 North Division, be the front-runner for Pac-12 champion and announce its presence as a college football playoff contender.

Here are 5 reasons why this game is worth the hype:

1. Heisman Trophy hopefuls and Sunday’s potential stars:

This match-up is basically an NFL scout’s dream. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert and Stanford running back Bryce Love are both potential first round NFL draft selections. Saturday is a chance for either (or both?) to put themselves on the top of draft boards and forefront of Heisman Trophy talk. Who will seize it?

Love is a 2017 Heisman Trophy runner-up. An offensive weapon with quick change of pace and explosive speed, at any moment he can burst through a hole and take it the distance. The senior sat out last week with an undisclosed injury, but will return against Oregon. Against the Ducks in 2017, Love reached the 100-yard rushing mark in less than five minutes (ouch!), and finished with 147 yards on 17 carries before leaving the game early in the third quarter.

Love isn’t the only Heisman Trophy hopeful throwing up statistics. Oregon is averaging 42.9 points per game in quarterback Justin Herbert’s 18 career starts.  He is tied for second in the nation with 12 touchdown passes in 2018. Through his first 19 games, Herbert’s 4,450 career-passing yards are the most all-time for an Oregon quarterback. Yes, even more than Marcus Mariota, who had 4,401 yards through 19 games.

It’s not just Herbert and Love that could shine on Sundays, eight of the top-100 NFL prospects will be on the field this Saturday. Jalen Jelks is left off of CBS’s list but is ranked as the 21st best prospect by NFL.com.

 

2. Oregon and Stanford; It’s like looking in the mirror...?

Oregon and Stanford’s star players have more in common than you might think. Besides being potential first-round draft picks, Herbert and Love both are biology majors that aspire to be doctors. In fact, Love decided to forgo the 2018 NFL Draft in part to finish his undergraduate degree so that when his NFL career is over he can made a quick transition to medical school.

Both teams want to control the line of scrimmage. Stanford coach David Shaw’s physical approach has proved successful, his career record for the Cardinal is 76-22. Two weeks ago the Cardinal sacked USC quarterback JT Daniels four times. 

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal’s smash-mouth approach emphasized weight-room gains for linemen and the entire Ducks team; including running back Tony Brooks-James(15 lbs) and Herbert (20 lbs).

(Side note- Oregon’s offensive line must win in the trenches to give Herbert a chance against a Cardinal defense that has allowed a nation’s best average of only 7.7 points per game.)

Both Oregon and Stanford are coming off of lackluster victories. The Ducks’ closer-than-expected 35-22 victory over San Jose State exposed uncertainty at the running back position while Herbert had an uncharacteristic performance and tossed two interceptions. The Cardinal were without Love in a 30-10 home win over UC Davis.

“We’re just really focused on Stanford and playing a great game,” linebacker Troy Dye said. “Our goal is to take the Pac and win the Pac-12, so we just have to go out there and start off on a great foot and get a win.”

 

3.  Eugene will be rockin’

I can guarantee one thing for Saturday. Autzen Stadium is going to bring it. Ducks fans have been waiting a long time for a match-up like this.

It’s perfectly timed with the University of Oregon's academic calendar. Classes begin next week, bringing students to Eugene (and Autzen's student section) just in time for this weekend's game.

Saturday will mark the 10th time the Ducks have hosted ESPN’s College Game Day. It'll also be the first time since September of 2014, against Michigan State, Oregon has been highlighted as the national game of the week. The show will air from 6-9 a.m. on ESPN, and will be staged in the grass area of Oregon's memorial quad. More info here.

Oregon is a 2-point underdog and it’s a night game. That is a combination for a rowdy Autzen Stadium, and Cristobal wants nothing less.

"It's very welcome. It's exciting," said Cristobal. "Autzen is unmatched as it is, now throw in the extra ingredient of GameDay, ABC, and everything that goes with it. We expect, we want, and we need Autzen to be Autzen at its finest. We expect that to happen."

 

4. A brief history lesson to boil your blood

Over the last decade, Oregon and Stanford are 4-4.  The teams have rich history of spoiling the other’s seasons.

It started in 2009 when unranked Stanford and freshman quarterback Andrew Luck uprooted the then-No. 7 Oregon’s first season under head coach Chip Kelly, handing the Ducks their only loss in conference play.  

The next season, revenge was sweet for the Ducks. 2010 was the year Oregon blasted the entire conference en route to the national championship game.

In 2011, the Cardinal were riding a 17-game home winning streak and Luck was a Heisman front runner. No. 6 Oregon handed undefeated No. 3 Stanford its first loss on the season and ending its BCS Championship Game hopes.

2012, not so sweet for Oregon. David Shaw got his first win in the series when No. 14 Stanford shut Autzen Stadium down in overtime with a 17-14 victory over the undefeated No. 1 Ducks.

For the second-straight year, in 2013, Oregon was undefeated heading into the Stanford game. Duck quarterback Marcus Mariota was limited due to a knee injury. The Ducks lost 20-26, putting Stanford into the Rose Bowl for the second season in a row.

In 2014, Mariota was healthy and No. 5 Oregon smoked Stanford 45-16 on their way to the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Oregon’s last victory over Stanford came in 2015 when the unranked Ducks upset No. 7 Stanford 38-36 at Stanford Stadium, keeping the Cardinal out of the Playoff.

The Cardinal has dominated in the last two matchups.

Stanford pummeled Mark Helfrich’s final Oregon team 52-27 during the 2016 meeting at Autzen.

Last season, Stanford destroyed Oregon under Willie Taggart, 49-7, in a game in which the Ducks were without Herbert and with plenty of penalties (nine for 109 yards).

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn5gK2wlJ86/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

5. Future

We are barely midway through September but the first game under the lights for Oregon could have some major future implications for the Ducks.

A win would give the Ducks a chance to make a run at the Pac-12 North title, and legitimize the idea that Oregon is back as one of the Pac-12's best teams. Not to mention, upsetting Stanford (in Nike swag) would play well on the recruiting trail.

“You need to meet a team like this head-on,” Cristobal said. “You have to play your best football.”

Among the prospects in Eugene on Saturday will be 5-star quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, who announced his visit on Twitter.

Uiagalelei is the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the 2020 class, according to 247sports.  

There is a lot on the line, it’s show time for Oregon.

Oregon football holds steady at No. 20 in AP Poll

Oregon football holds steady at No. 20 in AP Poll

The Ducks (3-0) remain steady at No. 20 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll after escaping non-conference play undefeated. 

Oregon's 33-22 victory over San Jose State extended its streak of consecutive non-conference home wins to 24. The closer-than-expected win left the Ducks unsatisfied and was marked with inconsistent offensive play and an uncharacteristic performance from quarterback Justin Herbert.

UO opens Pac-12 play against No. 7 Stanford next Saturday in Autzen Stadium at 5 p.m. Get your signs ready... College Game Day returns to Eugene for the game

Is Oregon ready for Stanford?

"I think it’s time to go find out," said coach Mario Cristobal.

The only other Pac-12 team in the AP Top 25 is No. 10 Washington. USC dropped out after losing to Texas. 

Some highlights around the nation: Oregon State's former defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake and BYU upset No. 6 Wisconsin. Washington shut down Utah in 21-7 victory. Texas beat formerly ranked No. 22 USC 37-14 to give second-year coach Tom Herman his biggest win in burnt orange. 

More Ducks:

Oregon Ducks fly into conference play on the back of their defense

GameDay headed to Eugene for Stanford vs. Oregon

Oregon Quarterback Justin Herbert is seeing Redd

Oregon football most valuable program in Pac-12 conference

Official: 4-star WR Jalen Hall off Oregon football team