Writer Aubrey Wieber of the Oregon Daily-Emerald doesn’t think much of Oregon’s 2013 football team.
Jake Fisher screams vengeance on anyone who predicts mediocrity for the 2013 football squad (not really, but there’s nothing mediocre about Jake Fisher). Don Ryan, oregonlive.com photo.
The writer posted a best/worst case scenariofor the upcoming season. In the article he characterizes hopes of a potential national title bid as “lazy and unrealistic.”
The best the Ducks can hope for, Weiber says, is to revenge last season’s loss to Stanford and limit slip-ups against the rest of the conference to one. Another trip to the Rose Bowl is the best this group can do.
More likely in Wieber’s viewpoint is that Webfoot fans are over-projecting and too optimistic. De’Anthony Thomas could get hurt. Byron Marshall might fizzle as an every-down back, and the running game could be a shell of what it was in the Chip Kelly era without a dominant rusher.
Another very plausible scenario is that the defense struggles after losing so many impact players. With so many players rotating in to the starting role, some hiccups are to be expected. Playing in the Pac-12 with up-and-coming programs like UCLA and Washington, nothing comes easy. Oregon could be in trouble.
Of course, Weiber also identifies LaMichael James as Oregon’s leading ball carrier last season, and Kyle Long as the team’s best lineman (Long was great, drafted in the first round by the Bears, but Hroniss Grasu, Tyler Johnstone and Fisher are NFL material too). So his prognostication of impending mediocrity may be greatly exaggerated.
Offshore betting site 5Dimes puts the Ducks over/under regular season win total at 10.5 games. For entertainment purposes only, based on the news from fall camp, the progress of the receivers and the energy provided by the defensive line, the over looks like a very solid proposition.
Smash and Dash will be an effective combo in the backfield. DAT will dazzle in his multiple roles. Mariota shines in year two. Coleman and Walker lead a lethal quartet of inside linebackers. Oregon blasts Stanford in the rematch, holds off a late-season unexpected close game challenge with two Matt Wogan field goals and speeds to a perfect regular season.
The worst case scenario is 11-2. A week into fall camp, after the unveiling of The Hat and reports of Mariota’s laser-sharp passing to Addison, Huff, Hawkins and Allen, the worst case scenario seems like a dim, shrill, panicky screed. Mediocrity is not an option.