Ducks Reloading For 2012
While NHL hockey news is picking up right now with the postseason beginning, college football is never far away and one of the most intriguing stories for the upcoming season is Oregon, who have become a national powerhouse under head coach Chip Kelly thanks to their loud uniforms and high-paced offense that led them to their first Rose Bowl win since 1917 last season.
The Oregon Ducks lost their top two offensive players to the NFL; will they be able to stay atop the Pac-12?
A BetOnline.com review of the Ducks’ 2011 would show a third consecutive Pac-12 title for Oregon, which meant their third BCS appearance in a row and a 45-38 win over Wisconsin was the icing on the cake as the Ducks won the “Grandaddy of Them All” for the first time in 95 years.
But now Kelly will have to replace quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James, a former Doak Walker winner and one of the top running backs in the country.
Players that are familiar with betting software would tell you that the players that are following in their shoes, pivot Bryan Bennett and back Kenjon Barner, have a lot of pressure on their shoulders because they’re going to be the keys to Oregon’s success this season.
Barner is a junior and has some experience as he ran the ball 152 times for 939 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011, so he won’t be going into this with cold feet. Bennett was 25-of-46 for 369 yards with six touchdowns and no picks, but those were mostly in garbage time during his freshman season.
He could have stood for one more year of seasoning (and to be honest, Thomas could have stood for one more year of college), and he is mobile enough to run the spread that Kelly has been running.
However, he may be a better passer than Thomas ever was and that will be huge in terms of their odds at online betting sites.
The defense may have to carry a bigger load this season, but one problem area could be the secondary, where the Ducks could be starting three freshmen, including both at the corners.
The Ducks were 88th against the pass last season and things could get even worse in 2012, so the offense can’t afford much of a slip-up.
However, Oregon could be in a better position than Stanford, who the Ducks have battled with in the North Division.
The Cardinal have to replace Andrew Luck, who will probably be the No.1 pick in the draft, and the Ducks may have better players waiting to step up.
Oregon should still challenge USC for the Pac-12 title game, and there is an excellent chance you’ll see this matchup at your favorite betting sites in December.