2014 Oregon Ducks Season and Schedule in Review
The 2014 season for the Oregon Ducks, from the PAC 12, was one full of the highest of highs and lowest of lows. The Ducks entered the 2014 season with a Heisman hopeful at the quarterback position in Marcus Mariota. He was the Heisman favorite entering the season and he didn’t disappoint as he became the 80th all-time winner of the most prestigious individual trophy in the sport of college football.
Oregon had a rollercoaster ride of a season where at times they look unbeatable and at other times, they appeared to be average at best. This happens to every team through the course of a season, but Oregon has the experience of competing in big time games that the rollercoaster ride is a part of who they are now.
Oregon suffered a horrible loss on October 2, 2014, when they lost at home to the Arizona Wildcats. At the time of the loss, it appeared to be devastating and would put an end to their College Football Playoff hopes. As the season progressed, however, the Wildcats of Arizona proved to be one of the best teams not only in the PAC, but in all of college football.
Arizona would make the PAC 12 title game and face the Ducks in a rematch. The Ducks used their first meeting as revenge and handle the Wildcats with ease beating Arizona 51-13. The Ducks’ offensive line, which was beaten up with injuries in their first meeting, was back together and healthy in the PAC 12 title game and it showed in a big way.
The Ducks advanced to the first ever College Football Playoff as the number two overall seed. Their reward for the high seed was having to face the 2013 national champion Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles were clearly not the same team in 2014 as they were in 2013, when they easily ran through the regular season all the way to a national title victory in Pasadena.
The Florida State vs. Oregon matchup was focused mainly on the quarterback position because the fact the 2013 Heisman winner, Jameis Winston, was going up against the 2014 Heisman winner, Marcus Mariota. The game was hyped as if it was a national title game, but the end result fell well short of expectations.
The Ducks rolled over Florida State with ease beating the Seminoles 59-20. The Seminoles were overmatched in the second half, which prevailed the Ducks to the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship game.
The Ducks entered the national title game against Ohio State as favorites to win it all. The Buckeyes entered the game with a third string quarterback, Cardale Jones, and the Ducks seemed primed to win their first ever national title in college football.
This was anything but the case as Oregon lost to the Buckeyes 42-20 in the first annual College Football Playoff national title game. Oregon’s magical season came to a sudden halt, which in return sent Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota off to the NFL and the Ducks searching for answers for their future.
Oregon’s future is uncertain with Mariota leaving for the NFL. I tend to follow the Oregon Ducks’ program very closely and I certainly have my questions about how the future will look in Oregon, as it pertains to the football program.
I feel with their facilities, coaching staff and most importantly, their ability to recruit top level athletes that they will be fine with the offensive system they run to perfection at times.
The future will certainly be interesting to watch in Eugene, Oregon as the Ducks continue to search for that elusive first ever national title in college football.