Oregon football: Ducks ready to boatrace the Pac-12

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Plus: Why Oregon is like a chocolate souffle.

1. Rank these opponents in terms of difficulty for the Ducks and justify: Stanford, Washington, UCLA, Arizona.

I would say they should be ranked as listed! Stanford is obviously the toughest challenge, and Arizona would appear to be the weakest. Washington and UCLA are relatively similar and although the Bruins are probably the better team overall, I would say that Washington's home field advantage in that game is a significant deal breaker for the Huskies. Combine the fact that Oregon gets UCLA after the Bruins face Stanford a week before with the trip to Seattle for a night game, and I would definitely say that Washington will be a bigger challenge for Oregon than UCLA.

2. Marcus Mariota is currently the Heisman Trophy favorite. In the modern era of Duck quarterbacks, where does he rank?

Considering the fact that Oregon fans were grouping Darron Thomas in with Joey Harrington, Bill Musgrave, Danny O'Neill, etc., Marcus Mariota is basically right on track to take his spot amongst the best quarterbacks in Oregon history. He would obviously top that list with a national title or a long list of BCS(/January) bowl victories, but of course, that remains to be seen.

3. What underrated players on the Ducks deserve more credit than they get for making the offense hum?

The most underrated part of the Oregon offense is everyone not named Marcus Mariota and De'Anthony Thomas. Oregon's receivers are very good this season, and this offensive line might be the most athletic line in the country at this point. Specifically, Hroniss Grasu, Jake Fisher, Tyler Johnstone and the rest of the O-Line are just perfect fits for the Oregon offense and really make the offense click.

4. If Oregon were a type of dessert, they would be __________ because ____________.

Chocolate Souffle, it's one of the best things on the menu, but you have to wait a while (AKA wait a few more weeks) to see how good it really is.

5. Oregon should dust their next two opponents, so what improvements would you like to see between now and the trip to Seattle?

There isn't much to improve on outside of penalties, which of course don't really affect the winner of the game, but avoiding another slow start in the next few weeks and a bigger role for Thomas Tyner would definitely calm the nerves of Duck fans.

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