5 Reasons Why Oregon Football Fans Should Be Excited For 2014 Season

By Jeff Hauser

5 Reasons Why Oregon Football Fans Should Be Excited For 2014 Season

Oct 2, 2010; Eugene, OR, USA; General view of the Autzen Stadium exterior before the NCAA football game between the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5 Reasons Why Oregon Football Fans Should Be Excited For 2014 Season

Oct 2, 2010; Eugene, OR, USA; General view of the Autzen Stadium exterior before the NCAA football game between the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Associated Press No. 3 ranked Oregon Ducks enter the 2014 season with high expectations of a Pac-12 Championship along with the possibility of being part of the first ever four-team playoff for a national championship. Quarterback Marcus Mariota leads the Ducks' offense again this season with the speedy high-powered attack of multiple play makers. Here's five reasons why Ducks fans should be excited for the 2014 season.

5. Byron Marshall's return for junior season

May 3, 2014; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Byron Marshall (9) runs the ball at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

5. Byron Marshall's return for junior season

May 3, 2014; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Byron Marshall (9) runs the ball at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back Byron Marshall led the Ducks last season accumulating 168 carries for 1,038 yards rushing with 14 touchdowns. Marshall didn't reach his full potential last season as the backup option to De'Anthony Thomas. Marshall returns to Oregon for his Junior season being a well rounded threat and has the ability to turn heads this season. It's not speed but balance of power that makes Marshall a force out of the Ducks backfield.

4. Mark Helfrich's second season

November 7, 2013; Stanford, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich talks into his headset during the second quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

4. Mark Helfrich's second season

November 7, 2013; Stanford, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich talks into his headset during the second quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The second season for Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich should bring better results than his first season. The Ducks suffered tough losses in 2013 against the Stanford Cardinal and Arizona Wildcats, derailing their hopes for a possible Pac-12 championship. Helfrich has adopted the same offense ran by former coach Chip Kelly, averaging 45.5 points per game. Expect more of the same this season for Helfrich and the Ducks.

3. Marcus Mariota's Heisman possibility

Nov 29, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon State Beavers defensive end Devon Kell (94) runs after Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) at Matthew Knight Arena. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

3. Marcus Mariota's Heisman possibility

Nov 29, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon State Beavers defensive end Devon Kell (94) runs after Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) at Matthew Knight Arena. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Marcus Mariota decided to return to Oregon for his junior season and put of the NFL for another year. Last season, Mariota threw for 3,665 yards, 31 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He's a clear front runner for the Heisman trophy along with last year's winner Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston. Mariota is the best QB in college football and will lead the Ducks who are favored to win the Pac-12 championship.

2. Autzen Stadium's home field advantage

November 6, 2010, Eugene, OR, USA; A general view of Autzen Stadium before a game between the Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

2. Autzen Stadium's home field advantage

November 6, 2010, Eugene, OR, USA; A general view of Autzen Stadium before a game between the Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Autzen Stadium will host a home field advantage this season for the Ducks with 8 of the 12 games being played in Eugene. Oregon will have huge top 25 match-ups with the Michigan State Spartans and Stanford Cardinal making the trip to Autzen. The Ducks have only lost four games at home since the 2008 season, the last loss came against Stanford on Nov. 17, 2012 with a score of 17-14 in overtime.

1. A run towards the National Championship Playoff

Jul 14, 2014; Irving, TX, USA; The new college football playoff championship trophy unveiled during a press conference at the college football playoff headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

1. A run towards the National Championship Playoff

Jul 14, 2014; Irving, TX, USA; The new college football playoff championship trophy unveiled during a press conference at the college football playoff headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks have the best opportunity to make a national championship playoff run this season. The Ducks will be tested by having to go on the road to play the No. 7 ranked UCLA Bruins on Oct. 11. Many believe this will be the first Ducks/Bruins meeting of the season with both teams favored to play in the Pac-12 championship. The Ducks should take care of business and be one of the four teams in the playoffs for a national championship.

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