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Ducks Flying High Entering Pac-10 Play by Sean Larson

We all knew the infamous zone read offense that the Oregon Ducks have mastered gives opposing defenses nightmares. This season however, Chip Kelly and the Ducks have taken it to a whole new level. In the first three games this year against New Mexico, Tennessee, and Portland State respectively, the Ducks have outscored their opponents 189-13.
They began the season with a record breaking performance against New Mexico, shutting out the Lobos 72-0. Oregon racked up a school record 720 yards in total offense. Darron Thomas shined in his hyped up debut as the starting quarterback, completing 13 of 23 passes for 220 yards and two scores. But the true star of the day was RB Kenjon Barner, starting in place of LaMichael James who was serving a one game suspension. Barner ran for 147 yards and scored 5 touchdowns, all in the first half.
The next week, the Ducks traveled to SEC country to take on the Tennessee Volunteers in front of over 100,000 fans in Knoxville. Tennessee jumped out to an early 6-0 lead after a series of big runs. Then, after the game was delayed for over an hour to lightning, the Thunder Green Lightning Yellow Ducks created a storm of their own, scoring 45 unanswered points on their way to a 48-13 victory. This was a huge win for not only the Ducks, but for the Pac-10 conference as well. Many people believe the Pac-10 is not an elite football conference like the SEC, and this win solidified the Pac-10's case that they are just as elite as any other conference.
Oregon finished their non-conference schedule with an in-state game against Portland State. Oregon set a new school record with 528 yards on the ground, and racked up 668 yards of total offense on their way to their second shutout in three games as they defeated the Vikings 69-0. The last time Oregon posted two shutouts in one season was in 1964.
The Ducks are flying high going into conference play, as they lead the nation in points per game (63.0), scoring defense (4.3 points per game), total offense (611.7 yards per game) and total defense (193.3 yards per game). Oregon has scored 189 points in 180 minutes of football so far in 2010, averaging 1.05 points per minute. In the first three games, Oregon has climbed six spots in the AP Poll up to #5 in the nation. However, the path to either a second consecutive Rose Bowl birth or a ticket to the national championship won't be easy. Currently, four of Oregon's Pac-10 foes are ranked in the top 25 (#14 Arizona, #16 Stanford, #20 USC, #24 Oregon State). If Oregon continues to play the way it has this season, the Ducks could be flying south again in January. Only this time, they just might pass Pasadena and fly right on to Glendale, Arizona for a chance at a national title.

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