“What’s the Beavers’ record going to be this season?”
Like my compadre Raju, I too am hearing lots of theories. Everywhere from 2 wins to 12. It is not a huge stretch to say that the truth will lie somewhere in between, but here are my thoughts.
Game 1 – Weber State. This is a convincing Beaver win. Weber State has been crushed by Division I teams in the last few years and this will be no different. OSU will dominate the lines and will create unreal expectations for week two. Verdict: W, 1-0
Game 2 – Michigan. Like most games this year, I have to temper my faith in our coaches with reality. Michigan has a lot of issues and they are returning a really bad offensive line on a team that really struggled last year. But it is in Michigan, and there is a reason I so vehemently hate Harbaugh. Verdict: L, 1-1
Game 3 -San Jose State. I expect there to be quite a bit of focus by the Beavers after what I think will be a close loss to the Wolverines. They will come in and dominate up front again, en route to a big win. Verdict: W, 2-1
Game 4 -Stanford. Is OSU going to be able to run against a stout but inexperienced Stanford defense? If so, they win. Stanford has a boring offense run by a QB we have seen for three years. I don’t expect Hogan to all the sudden be Andrew Luck and I don’t expect Stanford to be great this year. I am going to give this a win because Stanford is here and Hogan is good fro a few bad mistakes on the road per game. Verdict: W, 3-1
Game 5 – Arizona. I want this to be a win. I want Arizona to be the team that everyone figured out and that the loss of some stout offensive linemen is too hard to overcome. But Arizona is too good on both sides of the ball and we are playing down there. Even with the bye week, I just am worried. Also, being in Arizona means they will assuredly injure someone important to us. Verdict: L, 3-2
Game 6 – Washington State. At this point, I think WSU will be in trouble as they have a horrid defense and are starting a new QB. I think the difference in this game will be the defenses, and I think OSU’s will be pretty good with everyone being a bit more seasoned in Sitake’s scheme Verdict: W, 4-2
Game 7 – This is going to be a tough game. They have this circled from last year and it is probably one of their must win games. I think Colorado is on their way up and I really believe they take another step this year. In the past, I would put this as a let down game, but as close as it was last year, I think the Beavers pull it out. Verdict: W, 5-2
Game 8 – Utah. Utah is not happy with us. Not just the school, the whole state. I think playing there in the altitude and with that crowd will be too much. I also think it will be the last time in a while that we lose to the Utes. Verdict: L, 5-3
Game 9 – UCLA. This is a rough one. UCLA has a great defense and our offense is potentially going to be one dimensional. I think the UCLA offense will struggle at times, but this game concerns me, especially after a rough and physical game the week before. No bueno. Verdict: L, 5-4
Game 10 – Cal. Our offense will have to show up. This is a good tune up game for playing the ducks because we are going to have to cram it down their throats after they score quickly. If the Beavers can control the tempo of the game, they can win. I just think Cal is going to shock some people this year. Verdict: L, 5-5
Game 11 – Washington. Washington may have one win by this point of the season. Beavers Win. Verdict: W, 6-5
Game 12 – Oregon. Who knows? if USC dominates them, if the Beavers get rolling, if the ducks lose any key players, if the Beavers stay healthy? I think this season for the ducks, if Lockie had started, would have looked like the last four games of 2013 for the toilet seats. Shaky. With Adams, I am a little more concerned, but again, he has to show he can do it week in and week out. I just think the most horrid streak in all of sports will reach 8 this year. Verdict: L, 6-6.
Like Raju, I have us at 6-6. I can see Stanford being a loss and I can honestly see Arizona and UCLA being wins. Utah also has to go six games staying healthy. So there is a lot of play here. Ultimately, I feel like I have a better handle on what the opponents will look like than the Beavers, so this could all be for naught. But right now, I think 6 wins is a pretty safe bet, but I can see as many as 9 and as few as 4. And that is what makes the season so exciting!
Go Beavs! (PRO)