NCAA's Oregon Ducks defence feeling just Ducky

Oregon Ducks fans. (Reuters)

Oregon Ducks fans. (Reuters)

TODD SAELHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:03 PM ET

It says right here, ‘Don’t feed the Ducks.’

Because they might come back to bite ya.

But here we are nine weeks into the NCAA college football season, and everybody’s giving the Oregon Ducks a reason to bite back.

Hard.

Nobody’s giving them respect despite an undefeated 8-0 campaign to this point.

And that disrespect runs so deep that even the computers have caught the bug, keeping the Ducks from their rightful place ahead of Kansas State and Notre Dame— despite last Saturday’s dominant 70-14 win over Colorado — at No. 4 in the BCS Standings.

Ya, I get it — Kansas State deserves the No. 2 spot with a tenacious season so far, and ever-impressive Notre Dame laid a beatdown, on the road to boot, on No. 8 Oklahoma. Both have bodies of work that should, indeed, have everybody singing their praises.

But where’s the love for a Quack Attack that’s the highest scoring team in the nation (53.4 points per game) and has destroyed two Top 25 teams (Arizona and Washington) so far?

Especially since they’re quacking on all cylinders with an undeniably legitimate defence? The Oregon ‘D’ has stepped up to allow just 19.4 points a tilt, and it’s been particularly strong against high-octane opponents. The proof was in a shutout of offensively-charged Arizona 52-0 in Week 4 and just 21 points allowed against host Arizona State two weeks back.

Further to that (or is it ‘feather to that?’), it seems the Ducks have licked last year’s penchant of falling to Earth whenever they flock to the national spotlight. Again reference that win over ASU.

Last year, they opened with a big TV loss, 40-27 to the LSU Tigers in Dallas. And after climbing back into contention, they then lost on a national broadcast to the No. 18 USC Trojans.

A whole lot more will be known this Saturday, when the results are counted from Oregon’s visit to USC to play an angry battalion of Trojans.

And guess what? It’s on national TV (Fox, 5 p.m.).

FIRST & GOAL

Did you know the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders signed former Ducks QB Darron Thomas to their practice roster earlier this month? … Two reasons to believe in Notre Dame again — QB Everett Golson is a winner, and linebacker Manti Te’o is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate … Michigan QB Denard Robinson is down but not out. The dual-threat is a go for Saturday’s tilt vs. Minnesota despite leaving midway through last week’s loss to Nebraska with a sore elbow … On the QB carousels of Texas and Oregon State, David Ash will get the start for the Longhorns with Case McCoy standing by, while Cody Vaz gets the call ahead of Sean Mannion. My take? It’ll be McCoy and Vaz mopping up the campaign for each program … Talk about rubbing salt into a wound in Wisconsin and Florida. Both Top-25 teams drop crucial contests and respectively lose starting QB Joel Stave (broken collarbone) and talented

WR Solomon Patton (broken arm) for the year. Ouch!

FOURTH & INCHES

Hype up all you want about LSU-Alabama meeting again in an SEC battle royale this Saturday. Yes, it’s clearly a huge game on the horizon, but — like last year — it’ll be all Crimson Tide when it counts. Told you just as much last December and January … If you saw the ugly scene that was the dislocated knee of South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore last week, know that he’s vowed to come back next season. That’s the stud running back’s birthday gift to himself. No. 21 turned 21 Monday … It’s truly four-down football at Maryland this year — as in four downed QBs, after Caleb Rowe became the Terps’ fourth pivot to go down with a season-ending injury. What now? Picking between LB Shawn Petty or TE Brian McMahon, Petty gets the call under centre for Saturday.

todd.saelhof@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/SUNToddSaelhof


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