Oregon has been at the top for a few seasons now, and they should be right back there competing again this season. It will be tough to replace quarterback Marcus Mariota, but the team should win the Pac-12 North, and inside the top 10 nationally.
On offense, the starting quarterback position should go to Vernon Adams, a senior transfer from Eastern Washington. He will have a solid group of returners around him. So, while there might be some drop off on offense, it should not be that noticeable. Adams led the FCS a year ago with a passer rating of 183.13, and he average 9 yards per play. Running back Royce Freeman will be back, and he is already rumored to be in the running for the Heisman trophy. He will team up once again with junior Thomas Tyner. The two of them combined last season for 2,000 yards. The wide receiver position is equally as stacked, with Byron Marshall and Dwayne Stanford coming back, and they will be joined by Bralon Addison who is back after a knew injury. Sophomores Devon Allen and Darren Carrington remain question marks at this time, however, due to injury and suspension respectively. The offensive line only needs to replace four-year starting center Hroniss Grasu, which granted will not be easy to do. Matt Pierson, a walk on to the team, looks to be ready to take over the position.
The defense will be strong once again with defensive end DeFores Buckner surprising almost everyone in deciding to return for his senior year. He is the strongest player on the front seven. Senior inside linebacker Rodney Hardrick and Joe Walker will be back, but they need to learn to make their way into the backfield with far more frequency. In addition, outside backers Tyson Coleman and Christian French will be back working hard to add to their already impressive sack totals. Look for the defense to get even more aggressive this season under Defensive Coordinator Don Pellum. At the secondary position, the Ducks are a inexperienced and young at the cornerback roles. Sophomore Chris Seisay will be back, but he has yet to prove himself. Sophomore Arrion Springs and true freshman Ugo Amadi will be back as well, along with safeties Reggie Daniels and Tyree Robinson. Again, Oregon appears to be a safe bet to win the Pac-12 North division, but they will need to hold off Stanford to do so. Assuming they can do that, look for them to end the year somewhere around the #8 spot in the nation.
Led by Head Coach Mark Helfrich, the Ducks will look to be another contender for the National Championship with a talented team that is in the tough Pac 12 division. But with tough games against Michigan State, Utah, USC will prove to be tough tests for the Ducks as they attempt to prove their dominance in college football.
Courtesy of Fishduck.com