ESPN bumps Oregon Ducks up to No. 8 in latest power rankings

·3 min read

Oregon has seen a small bump in the rankings this week following a nice win over the UCLA Bruins on Saturday afternoon.

The latest USA Today Coaches Poll moved Oregon up two spots to No. 8, and the AP Poll went even further than that, making the Ducks the 7th-ranked team in the nation.

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After the 34-31 win that shouldn’t have been that close, ESPN moved Oregon up to No. 8 in their latest power rankings, nothing that it was a solid victory, but the Ducks played with fire once again by playing down to their opponent.

It appears the Ducks are making a habit out of playing down to their competition until they can’t afford to. At the Rose Bowl Saturday, it happened again. Unranked UCLA put together a picture-perfect first quarter, going up 14-0 and making the Oregon defense look like it was made out of Swiss cheese. But Oregon responded with a 34-3 scoring run over the next two quarters, including a 43-yard touchdown run from Anthony Brown that seemingly put the game away. Oregon’s defense forced Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to beat the Ducks with his arm instead of his feet, and in the fourth quarter he nearly did. Thompson-Robinson led two touchdown drives while the Bruins defense picked Brown off twice. Yet the comeback collapsed at midfield as Thompson-Robinson exited the game with undisclosed injury.

The first and fourth quarters were tough for the Ducks, with a couple of early touchdowns given up to start the game, and a pair of inexcusable interceptions late that allowed UCLA back into the game. However, it’s quite possible that Oregon played some of its best football in the second and third quarters, going on a 34-3 scoring run to take control of the game. At one point in the game, the Ducks fired off these consecutive drives:

  • 12 plays, 87 yards — Touchdown

  • 12 plays, 80 yards — Touchdown

  • 6 plays, 75 yards — Touchdown

  • 4 plays, 22 yards — Touchdown

  • 4 plays, 24 yards — Fumble

  • 3 plays, 62 yards — Touchdown

The unfortunate fumble from Kris Hutson set them back a bit in the third quarter, but the defense was able to turn UCLA over on downs the ensuing possession, and the Ducks took the ball down for another score.

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Flashes of greatness in 34-31 win over UCLA keep Oregon's postseason hopes alive and well

We wrote on Saturday that the Oregon win over UCLA proved a lot about this team. It showed that they have the ability to play as one of the best teams in the nation at times, and if they can harness that, they should absolutely be considered for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

This ranking shows a similar feeling. If the Ducks keep winning, there’s no doubt that they’ll be hanging around in early December.

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5 takeaways from Oregon Ducks' impressive 34-31 win over UCLA Bruins

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