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Breaking Down the 2013 Oregon Ducks Football Schedule

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Oregon Ducks: Breaking Down the 2013 Schedule

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon Ducks will be without Chip Kelly as the head coach for the first time in quite a while. When looking at the Ducks sideline, it will be odd to see Mark Helfrich standing in the place where Kelly made his home.

Although Kelly is gone, he left behind one of the best offenses in college football. The Ducks are one of the most exciting teams in all of college football and their plays are almost flashier than their endless amounts of uniforms.

Playing in one of the most daunting stadiums in college football is always a tall task for any team traveling to Eugene and returning some key offensive weapons will make the task just that much taller.

Returning stellar sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota will be huge for the offense. The dual-threat signal-caller led the Ducks to 12-1 record in 2012 while passing for 2,677 yards, 32 touchdowns and a 68.5 completion percentage.

While he passed for an enormous amount of touchdowns for a freshman, possibly his most impressive statistic is the fact that he only threw six interceptions. Yeah, that’s a pretty talented young man. Add another year of experience to the guy who seemingly had ice water in his veins as an 18-year-old kid, and you have one of the best quarterbacks in the country and a possible Heisman candidate.

Don’t forget this team is also returning receiver/running back, De’Anthony Thomas. What does this mean? Well one of the best quarterbacks in the country coupled with a guy who caught 45 passes for 445 yards and ran the ball 92 times for 701 yards while racking up 16 total touchdowns could be the recipe for a national title run.

Let’s see how the Ducks stack up against the rest of their schedule in 2013.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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Aug. 31: Nicholls State

nicholls state
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon faces Nicholls State in a nice warm-up game in a scrimmage-like feel. The Ducks should have their way with this team and move on to the next.

PREDICTION: Nicholls State 3, Oregon 55

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Sept. 7: at Virginia

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia is losing starting quarterback Michael Rocco and running back Perry Jones which makes the offense look a bit grim in 2013. Coming off a 4-8 record in 2012 just means that they have the possibility of finishing even worse without some key offensive players.

PREDICTION: Oregon 42, Virginia 14

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Sept. 14: Tennessee

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

A showdown with a lesser SEC team will prove to be a good tune-up game for the start of the Pac-12 season. Tennessee finished 1-7 last season in the SEC and proved that they had trouble beating top teams.

PREDICTION: Tennessee 24, Oregon 45

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Sept. 28: California

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

California had just an overall awful 2012 season. Finishing 3-9 was an underachievement, to say the least, but hiring former Louisiana Tech head coach, Sonny Dykes, was a step in the right direction. Too bad they will need some time to adjust to the new coach.

PREDICTION: Cal 21, Oregon 42

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Oct. 5: at Colorado

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon will make the Colorado Buffaloes look pretty silly in this matchup. The Buffs were just awful last season and although they are returning 17 starters and under new leadership, there won't be a significant improvement from their 1-11 mark.

PREDICTION: Oregon 52, Colorado 10

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Oct. 12: at Washington

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Washington proved it can beat the best last season in their upset win over Stanford. They will be playing at home, but I just don't think their defense will be able to stop the potent Oregon attack.

PREDICTION: Oregon 31, Washington 27

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Oct. 19: Washington State

washington state
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon will likely have its way with yet another team as Washington comes to Eugene to take on the Ducks. The Cougars haven't been a solid football program in a while and they are hoping new head coach Mike Leach will turn them around.

PREDICTION: Washington State 15, Oregon 45

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Oct. 26: UCLA

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Mora put UCLA on the map last season with a 9-5 record and yet another appearance in the Pac-12 title game. However, they won't be able to keep up with the Ducks in what could end up being a shootout.

PREDICTION: UCLA 31, Oregon 41

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Nov. 7: at Stanford

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanford Cardinal may be the only true tough test on the season for the Ducks. It will be tough to take down the reigning Rose Bowl champs on the road and with a devastating defense from the Cardinal, this could be the Ducks most frustrating game all year.

PREDICTION: Oregon 21, Stanford 24

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Nov. 16: Utah

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Utes had a disappointing 5-7 season in 2012. However, they will likely be a bit improved with a returning starting quarterback in Travis Wilson and running back Kelvin York. Not enough firepower to take down the dangerous Ducks.

PREDICTION: Utah 13, Oregon 43

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Nov. 23: at Arizona

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

This game will definitely be a high-scoring one. Arizona is coached by the infamous Rich Rodriguez and he has turned the Wildcats into a legitimate offensive power. Both teams are fun to watch and this could be a scary road game for the Ducks.

PREDICTION: Oregon 37, Arizona 31

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Nov. 29: Oregon State

oregon state
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State will go into this in-state rivalry ranked higher than they have been in a while. The Beavers will likely put up a good fight, but quarterback Sean Mannion and running back Storm Woods will likely fall a bit short when the game enters crunch time.

PREDICTION: Oregon State 24, Oregon 35

Oregon finishes 11-1 and makes their second straight BCS bowl game.