2019 Football Preview – Pac-12 – Ducks
Looking for 2019 Oregon Ducks predictions? The Ducks’ 2018 season can be broken up into three clear stretches: the out-of-the-gate hot start, the mid-season hangover and the strong recovery.
After starting the year 3-0, a heartbreaking overtime loss to Stanford could’ve derailed the season. But Oregon continued forward, taking down No. 24 California, 42-24, and No. 7 Washington in overtime, 30-27.
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Head Coach: Mario Cristobal
2018-19 Record: 9-4
Oregon Ducks Odds to win the 2020 FBS Championship: +2500
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Then hit the lull, as the team went 1-3 in a stretch where the best team in their way was No. 25 Washington State. The team, though, recovered with a 3-0 close-out, including a bizarre but surprisingly entertaining 7-6 bowl win over Michigan State.
As of this publication, Oregon has the ninth-best odds to win the 2020 FBS title.
2019 Oregon Ducks Predictions: Team Strengths
Quarterback: You can’t talk about Oregon’s strengths without mentioning Justin Herbert right up front.
Oregon’s quarterback was not only a Heisman hopeful to kick off last year, but he had a real shot at being the first quarterback off the board in the 2019 draft. If he can perform at the level he did last year—and just as importantly, prove he can stay healthy—he has a chance to be mentioned among first-overall-pick candidates come the 2020 draft, and quite frankly, he has a chance to make his wide receivers look a whole lot better than they actually are.
Offensive Line: Herbert should find plenty of success this season in large part because Oregon’s offensive line is about as experienced as it comes at this level with multiple four-year starters and other experienced seniors. The Oregon running game should see a nice boost as well for this reason, as the backfield already deserves mention among the many offensive strengths this team is ready to showcase.
In particular, keep an eye on Penei Sewell. He missed the second half of last season, and the Ducks—assuming Sewell is healthy and able to stay healthy—will notice his presence. More importantly, so will opposing defenses.
2019 Oregon Ducks Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Wide Receiver: You’re going to see plenty of people call the receiving corps a strength—or at least a potential strength—in 2019. It’s not completely wrong. After all, there’s real talent from top to bottom.
Here’s the catch: Justin Herbert’s completion percentage declined a bit last year large in part because his receivers had bricks for hands. The one who didn’t? That would be Dillon Mitchell, aka seventh-round draft pick off to the Minnesota Vikings.
This group is not overly experienced at the wide receiver position and it definitely lacks star power. Or, at least we can say at this point it lacks the big-name prowess needed to gain much national recognition under Herbert’s shadow.
Defensive Front: There’s a lot of potential for this young group to convert into a productive group. But there’s also no denying that it struggled for important stretches last season.
In 2018, Oregon was just 83rd in sack rate. Two of their three best producers are gone from last year’s roster. Third-down conversions have potential to be a rough spot in 2019 if opponents are able to get themselves into favorable third-down situations.
Oregon Ducks Prediction:
Barring another significant injury, the Ducks should have the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year when it’s all said and done in Justin Herbert. He has proved that he can impact winning on a championship-level scale for this program, and while the talent around him may not be enough to actually get Oregon to a national title game, a Pac-12 ‘ship will be in the running—not to mention the potential No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft.
So that begs the question: If the Ducks are going to compete at a high level but not make the CFB Playoffs, where does that leave them?
If it weren’t for those pesky Washington Huskies, the Ducks would have a real chance to compete in the conference championship. But with UW the likely favorite to come out of the North, Oregon will take second place by the end of the year.
2019 Oregon Ducks Schedule
- 8/31/19 7:30 PM ET @AUB
- 9/7/19 TBD NEV
- 9/14/19 TBD MONT
- 9/21/19 TBD @STAN
- 10/5/19 TBD CAL
- 10/11/19 TBD COLO
- 10/19/19 TBD @WASH
- 10/26/19 TBD WSU
- 11/2/19 TBD @USC
- 11/16/19 TBD ARIZ
- 11/23/19 TBD @ASU
- 11/30/19 TBD ORST
What do you think about our 2019 Oregon Ducks predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2019!
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