2023 Season Preview – Oregon Ducks

2022 Record – 10-3; 7-2 Pac-12

Bowl: VS. North Carolina in Holiday Bowl (W 28-27)

2023 Schedule

  • 9/2 – VS Portland State
  • 9/9 – at Texas Tech
  • 9/16 – VS Hawaii
  • 9/23 – VS Colorado
  • 9/30 – at Stanford
  • 10/14 – at Washington
  • 10/21 – VS Washington State
  • 10/28 – at Utah
  • 11/4 – VS California
  • 11/11 – VS USC
  • 11/18 – at Arizona State
  • 11/24 – VS Oregon State

2022 Recap

Oregon started off the 2022 season in Atlanta against the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs. It could not have been a worse game as the Ducks were on the wrong side of a 49-3 blowout. Many people automatically wrote off Oregon after that game, but Oregon was ready to bounce back.

Over the course of the next eight weeks, Oregon would dominate almost every game they played. Other than a close three-point win over Washington State, the Ducks won by an average of 28 points a game. This led into a great conference game at home against Washington.

The game against the Huskies would go back and forth all game long. Oregon kicked a field goal with just under four minutes left to go up seven. But Washington would bounce back and not only tie the game with a touchdown, but also kick a field goal to win the game 37-34 in regulation.

The Ducks bounced back in a big way the next week pulling out a 20-17 win against Utah. This put them on track to make it to the Pac12 Championship, but Oregon State had something to say about that. Oregon would lose to their in-state rival in the season finale, not only ending the regular season on a sour note, but also keeping the Ducks out of the championship game.

Oregon would play in the Holiday Bowl against North Carolina. As had been routine over the last three games of the season, this one went down to the wire. This time the Ducks pulled out the win 28-27 to finish the season at 10-3, 7-2 in Pac12 play.

2023 Preview

Bo Nix returns at quarterback after a strong 2022 campaign. He was injured against Washington and that ended up being the downfall for the Ducks making it to the Pac12 championship game. If he is as efficient again this season, this team will be competing at a high level once again.

There is a lot returning in the backfield as well. The top three running backs all return to give some strong experience for this team. The biggest question mark will be along the offensive line where there will be four new starters in place. If the line can gel and create the holes, this offense should be strong all the way around.

The defense was definitely a step behind the offense last season and will determine the success of this team in 2023. There was a lot more turnover on this side of the ball that will require new faces to jump in and step up.

Leading tackler Bennett Williams is gone but linebacker Jeffrey Bassa will be back after recording 62 tackles and 2 interceptions last season. The biggest updates due to the transfer will be at cornerback where Nikki Reed and Kyhree Jackson will both look to make a big impact.

2023 Projection

Sandwiched between two easy matchups against Portland State, Oregon has an interesting non-conference game against Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Red Raiders were an up-and-coming team in 2022 and could give the Ducks a strong matchup. In the end though, I believe Oregon will pull it out and finish the non-conference schedule at 3-0.

The conference slate for the Ducks is very interesting. It starts off with a couple games against Stanford and Colorado, two teams likely near the bottom of the conference this season. After those games, it seems like every other game will be a tough one for Oregon.

That includes two road games against Washington and Utah in October. If the Ducks can get past those, they have both USC and Oregon State at home in November. That’s a tough slate to go through and I don’t see Oregon getting through it unscathed. In fact, I think they will lose both the road games and the home game to USC. This will give Oregon a 9-3 regular season record and keep them out of the championship game in their last season before moving to the Big10.

Prediction – 9-3

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