Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 1/25/13
Looking Ahead The Oregon Ducks capped off their 2012 college football season with a big victory over the Kansas State Wildcats in the 2013 Tosito’s Fiesta Bowl. The win gave Oregon their second consecutive BCS Bowl victory and ended up positioning the Ducks in the No. 2 spot in the final polls of the season, matching their best finish in school history (Oregon also finished No. 2 in 2001 after a victory over Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl). That being said, as good as 2012 was for Oregon and their fans, 2013 has a little more promise. Marcus Mariota will only further develop his skills during the offseason after wowing the nation in his first year at quarterback, De’Anthony Thomas is anticipated to step into an even bigger role on offense, Byron Marshall is ready to show the nation why he was so heavily recruited by the Ducks, and Oregon’s secondary looks to be more solid than ever. Yes, Oregon fans, 2013 could be the year (barring any NCAA sanctions, I might add). Already looking ahead to what could be one of the most anticipated seasons in Ducks football history, let’s take a gander at the best and worst games that the schedule has to offer while filling our void of Oregon football news. (A reminder: Since the addition of Colorado and Utah to the Pac-12, Oregon will not face two opponents in the South Division every year. This year the Ducks will not play USC or Arizona State in the regular season). Best Games at Washington – Seattle, Washington (October 12, 2013) The Washington Huskies are one of those teams that has the potential to be better than they really are but can’t seem to find that next level. Mariota and Thomas will be the duo leading Oregon in 2013. (Photo: AP/Ted S. Warren) They're kind of like that ignorant little brother that keeps proclaiming that they want to become great but sit there and expect everything to be given to them, Well, if Steve Sarkisian can actually put together an impressive offseason of coaching, the Huskies should finally break mediocrity in 2013 and start to challenge the Pac-12 North once again (and by challenge we don't mean beating up on Colorado). Keith Price will return to his team looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2012 campaign and Bishop Sankey looks to be one of the top backs in the Pac-12. Plus, what could be better than christening the new Husky Stadium with Oregon’s 10th consecutive victory over the Dawgs? vs. UCLA – Eugene, Oregon (October 26, 2013) The Bruins were one game away from heading to their first Rose Bowl since 1999 but could not come up with the plays to overtake a very impressive Stanford team that would go on to beat Wisconsin. Though they did stumble in their last three games (UCLA also lost their bowl game against Baylor), the Bruins have plenty of potential for next year when they visit Autzen Stadium. Revenge will come next year, Stanford. (Photo: Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian) Brett Hundley looks the part of a top quarterback in college football and, while they will need to replace Johnathan Franklin at running back, the Bruins have plenty of young talent on their roster to make things interesting in the Pac-12 South this season. Oregon will need to be on their toes for this matchup as UCLA could very well come in as one of the hottest teams in the nation, And, with a big game slated for the following week, Oregon fans and players could be looking ahead to a greater foe. at Stanford – Palo Alto, California (November 7, 2013) This will undoubtedly be, once again, the Pac-12 game of the year as well as a game that will likely decide the Pac-12 North. The rivalry between these two teams is quickly becoming one of the best in the nation, both consistently finding a way to win games despite losses during the offseason. Don’t expect the 2013 matchup to lose any “umph” as both these programs will likely head into this game unscathed and looking towards a berth in the 2014 and final BCS National Championship game. Worst Games vs. Nicholls State – Eugene, Oregon (August 31, 2013) Take your check and thanks for playing, Colonels. at Colorado – Boulder, Colorado (October 5, 2013) Almost like the game listed above, except Colorado won’t get a check for taking a pounding. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE DUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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