Oregon Ducks 2010-2011 Season Preview

2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 33
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 35

2010 was supposed to be the year of the duck. After a 10 win 2009, the Oregon Ducks were brimming with confidence that they could repeat as PAC 10 champions. While that dream remains intact, it took a serious setback due to some off the field issues of its star player.

Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was great last season, and a potential Heisman trophy candidate in 2010. That was before his involvement in a theft at an Oregon fraternity got him suspended for the entire season and he transferred to Ole Miss. Now, a position of strength has become one of uncertainty. Senior Nate Costa and sophomore Darren Thomas will be competing for the starting spot. Both have shown potential in limited experience in the past, but neither has the command of the offense and athletic ability of Masoli.

Oregon Ducks College Football Cheerleaders

Star running back LaMichael James also had legal trouble this offseason and will miss the season opener. He rushed for 1,546 yards and 14 touchdowns with a 6.7 yards per carry average. He is a tremendous back who will carry the offense without Masoli. Speedy Kenjon Barner provides great depth at the position.

The second leading receiver, tight end Ed Dickson, is gone but the majority of the receiving corps is back. Jeff Maehl returns after catching 696 yards along with D.J. Davis and Lavasier Tuinei. The offensive line returns all five starters and will provide stability for the offense.

Oregon’s defense was underrated last season and returns eight starters. Defensive end Kenny Rowe led the PAC 10 with 11.5 sacks and will likely play opposite converted tight end Dion Jordan. Casey Matthews leads the defense from his middle linebacker spot. Eddie Pleasant will move from outside linebacker to safety, giving the Ducks one of the best safety duos in the nation. John Boyett led the team in tackles from the other safety spot, and the two should make plays all over the field.

The Ducks’ title hopes took a blow with the loss of Masoli. The team still has a lot of talent though and will surely be in the fight for the PAC 10 title.

Oregon’s odds to win the PAC 10 : + 150

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