Originally posted on The Duck Stops Here  |  Last updated 9/19/13
Oregon's 2013 football season is a quarter of the way finished, and it started out just the way fans hoped it would. The Ducks have been dominant and relentless. They're allowing 9 points a game and scoring 61.3. Mark Helfrich and Scott Frost look comfortable in new roles, Marcus Mariota found his aim, and the team discovered a couple of budding new stars in Johnny Mundt and Thomas Tyner. The defense has been stout on the front and tough in the secondary. Jason Quick of the Oregonian pointed out today that they're allowing just 3.4 yards per rush and 4.5 yards per pass completion. It's true that the competition hasn't been good, three inept offenses, but it's also true that the Oregon starters may play more during the PAC-12 schedule. Life's a beach: it never rains in Autzen Stadium, but late September in Oregon, there are a lot of great places to be on a bye week. Nick Aliotti remains unimpressed. The 20-year Oregon coaching veteran wants his unit to focus on a different opponent: how great they can be. “The enemy of great is good,’’ he told Quick. “We are trying to run away from good and be great.’’ Oregon plays the bye week perfectly. That's not at all derisive; at some schools the bye week becomes a grind. With the legendary two weeks to prepare coaches overload players on new schemes and extra drills, hammering the group with the need to stay focused. Instead, the Ducks concentrate on developing younger players at practice, and after today's workout Helfrich gave the team a long weekend off to recharge. Many players will use the extra time to go home, Mariota and Tyner included. The season is a grind for young minds, and it's good to get away from football for a little while. They'll come back on Monday with fresh legs and renewed enthusiasm. While the Ducks are idle, PAC-12 play heats up this weekend with the first conference showdown involving ranked teams when #23 Arizona State travels to #5 Stanford 4 p.m. on Fox. Both teams are 2-0. The game is a contrast of styles that should tell a lot about the conference race. Arizona State spreads the field and runs an attack a little like Oregon with a dual threat quarterback in Taylor Kelly and an offense built around Zone-Read. Kelly's thrown for 652 yards and 5 tds this season. Stanford likes to pound the ball behind a big offensive line, relying on their defense to control games. Their quarterback Kevin Hogan is efficient, mobile and doesn't make many mistakes. Tailback Tyler Gaffney has 40 carries for 236 yards and three tds so far, 5.9 yards per carry. Stanford is enigmatic. Highly-ranked and picked by many to win the PAC-12 Championship and challenge Alabama for the national title, they haven't looked dominating in two plain-vanilla wins over San Jose State and Army to start the year. Never seriously threatened in either game, they haven't had to show much of the playbook. The Cardinal has always had great success with their play-action passing game: this season wide receiver Ty Montgomery already has 10 catches for 211 yards and 2 tds, an average of 21.1 yards a catch. Against Army Hogan hit Montgomery for a 46-yard td; in the San Jose State he connected for a 40-yarder to Devon Cajuste. Most of the rest of the PAC-12 schedule are tomato can opponents in paycheck games. 2-1 Utah State travels to USC. The Trojans seem to have found an offense against Boston College, and in doing so they're reclaiming a piece of their legacy: so far this season they're running the football 62% of the time, a move that helps keep pressure off new quarterback Cody Kessler. 2-1 Oregon State is at 0-2 San Diego State. The Aztecs have allowed 41 points a game in their two losses. They rank 118th on defense, and 121st on offense, scoring just 13 points a game. It's a good weekend to go fishing, take a loved one on a walk, or clean the gutters. Tune in for a half of ASU-Stanford. Have one last barbecue, and when you crack open a cold beverage of your choice, drink deep, and enjoy the satisfying after taste of a 3-0 start. On Monday, everybody will have clear eyes and full hearts, with nine games to play for the conference title.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson being investigated for workplace misconduct

WATCH: Gronkowski refuses to discuss suspension, walks out of presser

Cousins complains refs unfairly target him on technicals

FIFA threatens to expel Spain from World Cup

Muhammad Wilkerson not traveling with Jets due to ‘coach’s decision’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Floyd Mayweather says UFC offered him $1 billion

Porzingis: Knicks fans should show Carmelo ‘love’ in return

Pete Carroll, Sean Payton fined for going onto field

Hot mic catches what LeBron James said to Lonzo Ball

Carlos Santana reportedly signs three-year deal with Phillies

Browns GM: Anything short of competing for division title in 2018 'unacceptable'

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker