Monday, September 24, 2012

Oregon offense keeps nation talking

   The University of Oregon has been a staple of the Associated Press national rankings for most of the past three years, and is a regular part of the Top 5 among national voters.
   Oregon's offense played a solid, although not spectacular, role in Saturday's 49-0 trouncing of Arizona at Autzen Stadium. The team's defense returning two interceptions for scores did plenty to help voters move the Ducks up from No. 3 past LSU and it's lame 12-10 victory over unranked Auburn.
   Oregon is doing its part rather routinely to stay on track to the Pac-12 title game. That game, though, is a week after ... the Civil War, which hasn't been much of a game for some time. Oregon State hasn't been much of a threat to the Ducks recently, but that seems to have changed in the past month because of OSU's defense. OSU has played well enough that it is a threat entering Week 5 to win the Pac-12 North.
   Oregon State?
   With a 27-20 victory over UCLA at the Rose Bowl and on ABC, the Beavers showed off they can beat a nationally-ranked team for the second time this season, and with a dominating defense that gave up only a few big plays - not consistent drives.
   Both Oregon and OSU earned rankings Sunday, Oregon up one spot to No. 2 and the Beavers moving from a few votes to No. 18 showing that much of the nation paid attention to not only the final score, but how the final score of Saturday's game came about.
   OSU's got a defense and a savvy offense that can put together consistent drives.
   Put the two Oregon schools together, and you can start to look at their schedules and ponder thatNov. 24 game - Oregon at Oregon State. The Civil War. Will that be the game that sends an Oregon school to the Pac-12 title game for the second-straight year?
   Stanford appears as the main test having moved to No. 8 after its win over No. 3 USC two weeks ago.
   USC dropped to No. 13, but looks like the team that will win the Pac-12 South and be the opponent in the title game.
   UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State all received votes in the poll Sunday.
Stanford gives the Pac-12 North a trio of ranked teams and a pair of exciting contests: OSU at Stanford, Nov. 10, and Nov. 17, Stanford at Oregon.
   The Pac-12 Title game will be played Dec. 1.

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