Oregon football looks to be in a very good spot. A step back from recent success under Mario Cristobal was expected this season as he departed for Miami and was replaced by Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, but quite the opposite has been true thus far.

There are currently four schools with a realistic shot of making the Pac-12 conference game in Las Vegas: The aforementioned Oregon Ducks, the USC Trojans led by Lincoln Riley, the UCLA Bruins led by Chip Kelly and Kyle Whittingham’s reigning conference champion Utah Utes. All four have played like they can go out and win the conference, but with games between these four already taking place, there’s cause to believe in one school above all others.

After a blowout loss to Georgia in Week 1, the Ducks have been perfect. Here are three  more reasons you can expect to see them hoist the Pac-12 trophy in 2022.


3. Dogged Ducks defense

Lost in the glitz and glamor of Oregon’s offensive efficiency has been its surprisingly effective defense. It’s not the most stout unit in the conference by any means, but the Ducks’ defense is opportunistic and comes up big in big moments, like for wins against ranked opponents BYU and UCLA.