While Chip Kelly is no longer the head coach of the Oregon Ducks, there is still loads of talent on this roster and they have been considered a heavy favorite to come out of the Pac-12 and win the national title. With a couple tough games on their schedule, I don’t see them going unbeaten, but this team will be one you’ll need to watch out for coming off a 12-1 season.
The Ducks are the second school in their own state to be taking on an FCS school in week one. With a nice little warm-up game against Nicholls State, they should be ready for a nice stretch of winnable games and a big victory in game one will start the ball rolling. The Colonels had a very poor offense last season with Landry Klann passing for just over 2,000 yards with eight touchdowns and a whopping 14 interceptions.
The run game wasn’t much better as the Colonels’ leading rusher had just 598 yards and the next closes finished with 251. Nicholls State has to be happy that Oregon’s defense wasn’t in the top-25 last season and they have a chance to get at least a field goal on the board — maybe.
Losing Jordan Piper will be a huge loss for the Colonels as well in 2013 as he recorded 107 tackles last season to go along with 1.5 sacks. He was a leader on that side of the ball and no one comes close.
Trying to stop a devastatingly potent Oregon offense won’t be possible, especially with Heisman candidates in quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back De’Anthony Thomas running all over the field and running up the score.
Nicholls State will be traveling to Oregon to take on the Ducks at 4 p.m. EST on Saturday, Aug. 31. The game will be broadcasted on FOX Sports 1.
PREDICTION: Nicholls State 3, Oregon 63
Related: Oregon Preview