How Will The Oregon Schools Do In 2011?
The college football season in the Beaver State begins on Saturday with the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers entering this season’s campaign with two very different sets of expectations and two very different opening day opponents.
Oregon State’s Mike Riley will look to get his team back into a bowl game after a disappointing 2010 season with a win over FCS No. 24 Sacramento State, while Chip Kelly’s squad prepares to follow up a monster season by beating a very solid No. 4 LSU team in Arlington, Texas on Saturday night.
Can the Ducks follow up a godlike opening day blowout of New Mexico last season?
Well one thing is certain, the “Eugene Machine” has all the right components necessary to pull off a victory over the Tigers, and all eyes will be on this year’s Cowboys’ Classic, as it is likely to have huge national title implications.
But Ducks fans have to be a little nervous after seeing the result of the last SEC team the Ducks faced in Auburn in the national championship game last season. The day ended with the Tigers kicking a last minute game winning field goal that shattered Oregon’s dreams of ending a magical season with a national title.
They will definitely have their work cut out for them this weekend. Still the I expect the Ducks will use their offensive firepower to overwhelm LSU’s defense.
Meanwhile, the Beavers shouldn’t have any problem in their season opener on Saturday, playing host to Sacramento State.
However, the Hornets are no yawner, and are on the rise, but that’s not the reason why Saturday’s game at Reser Stadium might not be a mismatch.
It’s because the Beavs will be without four of its leaders – wide out James Rodgers, tight end Joe Halahuni, defensive tackle Kevin Frahm and cornerback Brandon Hardin – all due to injury. That shouldn’t matter against a Big Sky Conference school, but with all the other questions marks with which the Beavers enter the season, it might.
If OSU will can weather early injuries, while squeezing out enough wins to be bowl-eligible, it’s possible for a team that has 15 first-time starters to have enough to win
Ryan Katz and the OSU offense, with or without injured receiver Markus Wheaton, will show sparks of what will come on a more regular basis later in the season. The Beaver defense will make mistakes, but show more speed than the unit did a year ago.
Nevertheless, if they want to show improvement after turning in a 2010 campaign in which they went 4-5 in the conference, 5-7 overall, and missed out on postseason play. They will no doubt be looking to get off to a solid start.