UW Football: Who will challenge for the Pac-12 North crown?

PULLMAN, WA - NOVEMBER 25: Chico McClatcher
PULLMAN, WA - NOVEMBER 25: Chico McClatcher /
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The case for Oregon

Will Oregon get their revenge tour this season? It seems unlikely that the Ducks can be real challengers in a tough conference, but they will undoubtedly make some noise in the North.

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Oregon fans watched as the Ducks’ 12 year win streak over Washington collapsed on Oct. 8. It was a crushing blow in an unusually underachieving year for Oregon.

The Ducks won’t be quiet for long, though. Oregon brings in the 23rd ranked recruiting class in the nation and has some talented returning pieces on offense.

Solid offense

In his freshman year, quarterback Justin Herbert took over the starting role and performed well. His 19 touchdowns to just four interceptions are an early sign of his poise as a young pocket passer.

Running back Royce Freeman returns once again after a 945 rushing yard season. His numbers dropped off due to a stalled offense, but his 1836 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns in 2015 cannot be forgotten.

Oregon remains incredibly liable on the defensive side of the ball. The Ducks surrendered at least 26 points in every single game last year, allowing 40 plus points in six games.

The real question for Oregon is whether or not the offense will be able to put points on the board fast enough. The Ducks may not be quite ready to rise back to power, but they will be a different team than a season ago.