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Are The Oregon Ducks A Smart Bet In 2014?

Under head coach Chip Kelly, the Oregon Ducks were one of the most exciting teams to watch in College Football history, but they never made it to the National Championship game. Now under head coach Mark Helfrich they will look to be in the ‘Big Game’ taking advantage of the playoff system that will be in place this season.

The oddsmakers have the Oregon Ducks listed as heavy favorites at +600 to win the 2014 college football championship, but their defense needs to keep up with their high-paced offense to win in 2014.

NCAA Future Odds For Oregon

  • Week 1 Odds Vs. South Dakota are not available
  • To Win The 2014/2015 College Football Championship: +600
  • To Win the PAC 12: -300
  • Regular Season Wins: Over/Under 9.5

How Will Oregon’s Offense Look in 2014?

Senior QB Marcus Mariota is back and according to his head coach better than before he suffered an MCL injury late in the 2013 season, but he is drawing criticism for a fall course load that consists of only golf and yoga. Is it fair?

Predictably, that sat off a firestorm from people mocking Mariota, Oregon’s academic standards, the concept of a student athlete, etc. Miller clearly got the point, so the next tweet should have put an end to that.

“He’s 100% true. He’s 100% dedicated to the team, and 100% credible. A lot of guys talk a good game. Everything that guy does is gospel…That’s huge. I think it speaks to the type of guy he is, the type of team he is, and certainly hopefully to the type of program that we have," head coach Mark Helfrich said of Mariota.

After completing 245 passes for 3655 yards and 31 touchdowns, and four interceptions in 2013, Marcus Mariota is listed +550 to win the 2014 Heisman Trophy, only Jameis Winston from Florida State (+300) and Braxton Miller from Ohio State (+500), have better College Football Future odds than him.

The best news for the Ducks offense this year is that all five starters in the offensive line are back for this season. Junior tailback Byron Marshall, who rushed for 1,038-yards in 2013, will exploit the experience in front of him to raise his NFL draft stock.

The only bad news for Ducks couldn’t be worse. Mariota lost his top 4 targets during the offseason and will be looking for inexperienced targets downfield all season.

How Will Oregon’s Defense Look in 2014?

New defensive coordinator Don Pellum will try to patch a few holes the Ducks defense that showed in 2013. Most specifically their tackling fundamentals and their game plan against teams with pro-style rushing attacks, which left the Ducks exposed last season.

Oregon allowed 20.5 points per game in 2013 which lead to being ranked 13th best in the nation, however because of the speed that the aforementioned offense plays at the defense doesn’t get the necessary time in betwen times to rehydrate, rest and strategize.

The defensive line led by starters DeForest Buckner, Alex Balducci and Arik Armstead will look at tape from the Arizona and Stanford games from last season in hopes of improving.

Defensive back Senior Ekpre-Olomu experience will help this will be the player this team looks at for leadership.

Oregon Ducks 2014 Schedule

  • Saturday, August 30 vs South Dakota 10:30 PM ET | Pac-12 Network
  • Saturday, September 6 vs Michigan State 6:30 PM ET | FOX
  • Saturday, September 13 vs Wyoming 2:00 PM ET | Pac-12 Network
  • Saturday, September 20 @ Washington St | TBD
  • Thursday, October 2 vs Arizona 10:30 PM ET | ESPN
  • Saturday, October 11 @ UCLA | TBD
  • Saturday, October 18 vs Washington | TBD
  • Friday, October 24 vs California* 10:00 PM ET | FOX Sports 1
  • Saturday, November 1 vs Stanford | TBD
  • Saturday, November 8 @ Utah | TBD
  • Saturday, November 22 vs Colorado | TBD
  • Saturday, November 29 @ Oregon State | TBD

Oregon Ducks Final Analysis

Mark Helfrich is on his second year as Head Coach of the Ducks, and he knows this is the last year for QB Marcus Mariota; for both coach and player, the Ducks have no other option, but to get to the College Football playoffs and showed it was the system which didn’t give them a fair shot in the past.

2014 Oregon Ducks Projected Starters On Offense



Marcus Mariota-Jr (6-4, 215)



Byron Marshall-Jr (5-10, 207)



Bralon Addison-Jr (5-10, 181)



Darren Carrington-RFr (6-2, 192)



Keanon Lowe-Sr (5-9, 186)



Pharoah Brown-Jr (6-6, 241)



Tyler Johnstone-Jr (6-6, 277)



Hamani Stevens-Sr (6-3, 312)



Hroniss Grasu-Sr (6-3, 297)



Cameron Hunt-So (6-4, 282)



Jake Fisher-Sr (6-6, 293)


2014 Oregon Ducks Projected Starters On Defense



DeForest Buckner-Jr (6-7, 286)



Alex Balducci-Jr (6-4, 297)



Arik Armstead-Jr (6-8, 296)



Tony Washington-Sr (6-3, 245)



Tyson Coleman-Jr (6-1, 225)



Rodney Hardrick-Jr (6-1, 231)



Derrick Malone-Sr (6-2, 220)



Dior Mathis-Sr (5-9, 175)



Ifo Ekpre-Olomu-Sr (5-10, 195)



Tyree Robinson-RFr (6-4, 200)



Erick Dargan-Sr (5-11, 212) (ST)



Matt Wogan-So (6-2, 197)