Though there have been times at which the Oregon Ducks have felt pressured, for the most part, the high flying Ducks have looked the part of a BCS National Championship contender.
Three non-conference victories over the Arkansas State Red Wolves, Fresno State Bulldogs, and Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles that resulted in blowouts coupled with blowouts against Arizona, Washington State, and Washington have led the Ducks to a 6-0 record and a number two positioning in the AP, Coaches, and Harris Poll.
Should the Ducks continue their impressive first-half play in the second-half of the season, they will likely be making their second appearance in the BCS National Championship game in just three years.
And yet, despite their impressive record and play, there are a few things that the Ducks need to shore up if they want to be true BCS contenders the rest of the year.
Here they are:
Defensive Line Pressure
Heading into the 2012 college football season, the Oregon defensive line was anticipated to be one of the best in school history. With players like Dion Jordan, Wade Keliikipi, and Isaac Remington leading the charge, the Duck defensive line definitely had the talent to be one of the best in the Pac-12.
While they have not played poorly, the Duck defensive line definitely needs to improve their play in the second-half of the season, especially if they want to contend with teams like the USC Trojans.
The loss of Remington (for the time being) creates even more of a necessity for the Ducks to find a way to put more pressure on opposing backfields.
Wide Receiver Consistency
Though the Ducks have a young wide receiving corps, they have received production from a lot of different players during the 2012 season.
Unfortunately, that production has not been as consistent as one would hope.
Productivity at the wide receiver position has come from a bevy of players, but the production from those players has been inconsistent at best.
An early injury to Josh Huff forced many other receivers to come into the game, but with Huff back in the rotation and Colt Lyerla showing he can be a more than dominant tight end, the Ducks should begin to see more consistent productivity in their air attack.
Offensive Line Play
Another portion of the Duck football team that people hoped to be more productive was their offensive line.
Though they are not playing poorly (like the defensive line), the offensive line definitely has some issues that they need to fix heading into the toughest portion of their 2012 college football season, particularly issues relating to the way Hroniss Grasu is delivering the snaps to Marcus Mariota.
Especially as of recent, the Oregon offensive line has let in more than enough pressure on Mariota to get the attention of their coaches and fans.
With much more improved defenses coming Oregon’s way, they will need to solidify their push up front if they want to contend for a Pac-12 and BCS Championship.