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Oregon Ducks season preview

8/8/2014

Previewing the 2014 season for the Oregon Ducks.

2013 record: 11-2, 7-2 Pac-12, 30-7 win over Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl

Final grade for 2013: B. Even with 11 wins the Ducks fell below expectations.

Key returnees: QB Marcus Mariota, CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, C Hroniss Grasu, LB Derrick Malone, RB Byron Marshall

Key losses: RB De'Anthony Thomas, CB Avery Patterson, WR Josh Huff, WR Bralon Addison (injury)

Instant impact newcomers: DL Tui Talia, CB Arrion Springs, WR Jalen Brown

Projected winning percentage (ESPN Stats & Information): .864

Chances to win the conference (ESPN Stats & Information): 53.3 percent

Most important game: Stanford, Nov. 1

Biggest question mark: Oregon has the talent to play for a national title -- as long as that talent can perform. Can the Ducks avoid the road bumps they’ve suffered recently or will it be same old, same old?

Best-case scenario: 12-0

Worst-case scenario: 8-4

Over/under win total (Bovada): 10.5

Upset special: The Ducks will be favored in every matchup (barring anything insane), but the teams that have the best chance of upsetting Oregon would be Oregon State and Washington.

They said it: “We love [Mariota’s] ability to turn nothing in something. He never gives up on a play. I think that’s kind of what makes Marcus him, and I wouldn’t have him change anything in his play. I think that attack mindset is what wins us games ... he could be more aggressive in my opinion.” -- OT Tyler Johnstone