Oregon Ducks College Football Preview
The Oregon Ducks enter the 2017 NCAA Football Season with a ton of questions to answer. At the front of those questions might be the most important of the bunch for their fans, experts who make college football picks and everyone who follows college football. Can the Oregon Ducks bounce back in 2017? This comes after a disappointing 2016 NCAA Football season that saw the Ducks pick up just two wins over their nine-game schedule in route to a last place finish in the Pac-12 North Conference.
Those struggles pointed the Ducks in a new direction late in the season one that led to the firing of Mark Helfrich. Now with Willie Taggart as the main man on campus the hype is slowly buzzing about the direction the program is heading in 2017. Haggart joins the Ducks after spending the last four years coaching South Florida. Over that stretch, those teams finished 24-25 overall and 18-14 in the conference. With that said he guided the team to a 10-2 season last year and a trip to Birmingham Bowl.
For the Ducks to succeed this season they will need to see improvement on both sides of the ball. Last season the Ducks saw their offense struggle at times while their defense allowed 41.4 points per game last season. Luckily the team returns some talent including at the quarterback and running back positions on the offensive side of the ball, meanwhile the defense will have all but three of their main rotational players back from last season.
A fast start for Taggert’s bunch could have the fans excited, the experts excited and even the sports betting experts looking to make their college football betting picks excited. Will the Ducks prove us all wrong in 2017 or will they struggle to the back of the Pac 12 for a second straight season?
Here is our 2017 Oregon Ducks College Football Preview.
Oregon Ducks Offense Preview
The Ducks are loaded on the offensive side of the ball as many of the key starters return this season. That includes Justin Herbert who will have the play calling duties while Royce Freeman elected to come back for his senior season. Overall the offense should be one of the more electric ones in the country and one that should find the end zone a ton.
For the Ducks all that success will revolve around Herbert who will be looking to make most of the starting quarterback duties after taking over after the fifth game of last season. Over that stretch, Herbert showed his play making abilities throwing for 1,866 yards to go along with 19 touchdown passes to just four interceptions.
Behind Herbert, the team will turn to their ground game that not only features Freeman but also a speedster in Tony Brooks-James. Last season the two combined for 1,716 yards and 18 touchdowns. The talent continues on the offensive line where Tyrell Crosby is expected to be plugged back in to a group that returns four starters from last season.
The biggest question on the offensive side of the ball for the Ducks in 2017 is what talent
Florida Gators Defense Preview
Entering the 2017 the Ducks biggest question marks come on the defensive side of the ball despite returning a bunch of players from last year’s team. This comes after the team struggled to slow down opposing offenses last year including allowing over 40 points in six different games last season (all six games the team loss). Those struggled led the team to not only land Taggert but also bring in Jim Leavitt as defensive coordinator.
Now Leavitt will be in charge of turning the Ducks around on defense this season. Leading the charge for Leavitt will be graduate transfer Scott Pagano who elected to leave Clemson to join the Ducks. Pagano will anchor the defensive line for the Ducks while Henry Mondeaux and Elijah George play on the outside.
Behind those three the team the line backing corps is is pretty thick led by Troy Dye who recorded 12 tackles for a loss last year to go along with 91 tackles and 5.5 sacks. Rounding out the line backing corps is A.J. Hotchkins, Fotu Leiato and Jimmie Swain.
Rounding out the defense is a secondary that returns three of four starters from last year’s team that ranked near the bottom of the NCAA against the pass. While the three starters will look to continue to grow the team was able to land three four-star cornerback recruits including two top overall 100 players.
If Leavitt and the Ducks defense can get it turned around, the Ducks will become a fan favorite and one popular college football picks.
Oregon Ducks 2017 Schedule
September 2nd – SUU
September 9th – Nebraska
September 16 – @ Wyoming
September 23rd – @ Arizona State
September 30th – California
October 7th – Washington State
October 14th – @ Stanford
October 21st – @ UCLA
October 28th – UTAH
November 4th – @ Washington
November 18th – Arizona
November 25th – Oregon State
Key Matchups – Stanford, Washington & UCLA
Potential Upset – Nebraska & Wyoming