Time: 7 pm CST
Location: Autzen Stadium – Eugene, Ore.
Following a harrowing 35-32 loss to Nebraska last season, Oregon would tumble to a 4-8 record which led to the immediate dismissal of Mark Helfrich. The Ducks would bring on South Florida’s Willie Taggart to right the ship.
On offense, the Ducks return eight starters including one of the best offensive lines in the Pac-12. Justin Hebert looks to take over for Dakota Prukop and Royce Freeman returns as an electrifying force in the backfield. Oregon’s 2016 offensive output was actually their worst in 10 years but with an experienced group returning, opportunities for the Ducks to put up points by the dozens should return.
Defensively, there seems to be nowhere to go but up as former defensive coordinator Brady Hoke’s swiss cheese-level unit allowed an average of 41 points per game which ranked No. 126 out of 128 teams. Jim Leavitt left his gig as Colorado’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the same title with the Ducks. With nine returning starters, it’s hard to think Leavitt can’t lead some manner of revival immediately.
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