2018 Record: 8-4
2019 O/U: 8.5
Oregon isn’t good enough to go toe-to-toe with Clemson or Alabama, but they’re the PAC 12’s best chance of sending a team to the playoff. The Ducks might have disappointed last season, but with a loaded offense led by Justin Herbert and a much-improved defense, they’re the best team in the Pac 12.
Both NFL fans and college football enthusiasts were shocked to hear that star quarterback Justin Herbert would be returning to Oregon for his senior season. Had he entered the draft he would’ve certainly been a top-15 pick in the first round. Herbert’s wide receiver room should be much stronger too, hopefully improving after their struggles in 2018. The Ducks led college football in drops last season.
This year, however, they’ll return two experienced starters in Brenden Schooler and Jaylon Redd while four-star recruits J.R. Waters and Lance Wilhoite enter the picture. The biggest addition, however, will be the addition of former Penn State receiver who should take over for Dillon Mitchell as Herbert’s go-to target. The biggest x-factor for this Oregon team will be their offensive line. The group was solid in 2018 and the Ducks will miraculously be returning all five starters in 2019.
Defensively, the Ducks weren’t anything to marvel at in 2018, but they got the job done more often than not. Senior linebacker Troy Dye is back and hoping to lead the Ducks in tackles for the fourth consecutive season. The secondary wasn’t the greatest, but they will be returning a fair amount of production. Three four-star recruits should help reload the front seven while four-star recruit Mykael Wright joins the battle at cornerback.
Oregon isn’t a perfect team, but they’re as close to a complete team as you’ll find in the Pac 12. Their schedule isn’t a cakewalk, but that should boost their image in the eyes of the committee late in the season. They do play both Auburn and Washington on the road however so I think they’ll pick up a couple losses
2019 Regular Season Record Prediction: 10-2
Team: Oregon State
2018 Record: 2-10
2019 O/U: 2.5
There really isn’t much to be said about Oregon State. The Beavers struggled in 2018 and they’re going to struggle again in 2019.
The offense is terrible, but it isn’t enough to carry them to any significant wins. Jake Luton is a decent quarterback, but even with top-tier weapons, he isn’t a strong enough factor to turn the tide in close games.
Running back Jamar Jefferson was just short of 1,400 yards on the ground in 2018, so the rushing attack should help Luton out at the very least. He also has a stud wide receiver in Isiah Hodgins to throw to, who should crack 1,000 receiving yards in 2019. Outside of their big three, however, they lack depth and if anyone goes down with an injury, it’s game over for the offense.
The defense, however, is where things start to get real ugly. In 2018 the Beavers had the worst statistical defense college football has seen in the last ten years. There are no meaningful recruits coming in for 2019 so there won’t be any improvement any time soon. They were 120th in the country in turnovers, so at least some of their struggles were bad luck. If nothing else it isn’t possible for them to get any worse, right?
Even during a disappointing era for the Pac 12, Oregon State can’t really compete with the teams around them. I struggle to picture them winning more than two games at the most.
2019 Regular Season Record Prediction: 2-10