Photo by Allan Johnstone
Oregon Football

Yahoo Says Ducks #18

August 8, 2018
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So far the Ducks haven't garnered a ton of respect in early polls. Which is not all that hard to believe given the changes, last season and the way Oregon finished. 

First year head coach Mario Cristobal probably likes having the target off his back for now. For the Ducks its likely a little easier to maneuver in the weeds and lay low entering week four. (Stanford)

But an easy schedule, an improving defense and one of the best quarterbacks in the country makes this team dangerous. 

Yahoo.com agrees. 

According to Sam Cooper of Yahoosports.com, he thinks Oregon is No. 18 in the country.

Ironically he's got the Ducks one spot ahead of Willie Taggart's FSU squad, which he placed at No. 19. USC is behind FSU at No. 20 with Utah at No. 24. The countdown is coming in reverse order so No. 17 and below have yet to be revealed.

As for why Cooper puts the Ducks in his top 20:

Oregon was 6-2 last year with Justin Herbert starting at quarterback and 1-4 without him. The Ducks started 4-1, but the season derailed after Herbert broke his collarbone. He returned late in the year to get the Ducks into a bowl game, but it was tough not to wonder what could have happened had Herbert stayed healthy.

At Pac-12 Media Day, Cristobal gushed about the steps Herbert has taken to improve, especially as a leader.

Taggart wanted Leavitt and his 3-4 scheme to follow him to Florida State, but the veteran coach decided to stay in Eugene. And with seven starters back, the Ducks have the chance to be one of the better defenses in the Pac-12, provided they give up fewer big plays.

The schedule is soft early, too. That will give the defense a chance to really gel before the Pac-12 slate begins.

The Stanford game comes in Week 4 after a cakewalk non-conference slate: Bowling Green, Portland State and San Jose State. Three weeks later, after a trip to Cal and a bye week, the Pac-12 favorite Washington Huskies will visit Eugene. Those two games could ultimately decide the division — and beyond.

Tags: Football, Oregon
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