Colorado 2012 Schedule Preview: Oregon Ducks

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Running back De'Anthony Thomas #6 of the Oregon Ducks runs the ball past Dezmen Southward #12 of the Wisconsin Badgers at the 98th Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

After USC, Colorado will have to travel up to Eugene to take on the Oregon Ducks. Colorado's chances are bleak in consecutive games as they could only put up 2 points last year in their contest at Folsom Field. It's hard to see this being a good game and with Oregon running that electric offense at Autzen, the margin of victory could be even larger than last year.

Oregon

Oregon comes into the season ranked 5th in the nation in the AP and the Coaches Poll. Every season Chip Kelly has been at the helm, Oregon has won the Pac-10/12 Title and they are poised to make a run for another one. They have to replace quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James, but De'Anthony Thomas will help Oregon fans forget anyone departed from last year's offense.

Offense

A starting quarterback still hasn't been named and the competition breaks down into a battle between Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota. Check Chip Kelly's history at quarterback and it's pretty safe to say they'll be fine. Oregon has so many strengths in their offense that it's hard to see quarterback being too much of an issue with possibly a couple hiccups here and there. At wideout, Josh Huff and Rahsaan Vaughn look to be the starters with De'Anthony Thomas being thrown into the mix. A new face on the Ducks this year is Colt Lyerla, who has to replace David Paulson. The line returns Hroniss Grasu, Carson York, and Nick Cody and is in good shape. Running behind them will be Thomas at times and also Kenjon Barner. Bottom line, it's Oregon, they're going to be good on offense with Chip Kelly calling the shots, and their speed cannot be matched.

Defense

Defensively, the Ducks are very strong returning seven starters and look out for John Boyett and Dion Jordan. Jordan led the team with 7 and a half sacks last year and opposite him is Boseko Lokombo. Their pass rush has the potential to be this very strong this year with these two. Along the line, massive recruit Arik Armstead should be interesting to watch as he splits time with Taylor Hart. While Jordan is the best linebacker on Oregon, Michael Clay will be a force while Dior Mathis and Erick Dargan can provide more help in the secondary.

Outlook

For Oregon, a BCS berth is expected. However, hard to think that Oregon fans will be happy with that considering a National Championship is still missing up in the Pacific Northwest. Chip Kelly missed out in 2010, but the conference titles keep coming. This year, it comes down to their matchup with USC and the Pac-12 title game. Win both of those and Oregon might be heading to Miami in January. It's possible that Colorado wins this game just like anything is, but if they win, it'll be up there with the greatest upsets ever.

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