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Resilient Ducks Hold Steady In The Polls
Release Date: 10/27/2013
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by Rob Moseley

Oregon continued to hold steady in the polls Sunday morning, in the wake of Saturday's 42-14 victory over then-No. 12 UCLA in Autzen Stadium.

The Ducks remained No. 2 in the USA Today coaches' poll, a component of the Bowl Championship Series standings that were to be released later Sunday. Oregon (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12) gained one point in the balloting, but also took away a first-place vote from No. 1 Alabama and another from No. 3 Florida State.

The Ducks are also solidly No. 2 in the Harris Poll, another BCS rankings component. Early projections Sunday suggested that the Ducks would pass the Seminoles in the BCS rankings this evening, moving up to No. 2 behind the Crimson Tide.

In The Associated Press top 25, which is not a BCS component, Oregon also remained No. 2. The Ducks received three first-place votes from media.

The Ducks beat the Bruins behind a stout defense that ranks ninth nationally in points allowed per game (16.9), seventh in yards allowed per play (4.41) and sixth in pass efficiency defense (101.79 rating). Outside linebacker Tony Washington is up to third nationally with four forced fumbles and sixth with 7.5 sacks, and cornerback Terrance Mitchell is sixth in the country with four interceptions.

Oregon also got a resilient offensive effort against UCLA, sparked by Byron Marshall, who replaced De'Anthony Thomas in the second half. Marshall is now up to 19th nationally in rushing yards per game (109.88) and tied for first in rushing touchdowns (12).

Sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota remains fifth nationally in passer rating (178.49), is ninth in total offense (349.0 ypg) and is 16th in passing yards per game (285.1).

Saturday evening's game was attended by several national media pundits who wrote about the Ducks.

George Schroeder of USA Today wrote that the coaching change from Chip Kelly to Mark Helfrich hasn't resulted in any philosophical changes at Oregon. Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports said that was his biggest question about these Ducks, too, but that Helfrich is "acing the test" so far.

Matt Hayes of The Sporting News noted that UO fans want a crack at Alabama in the BCS Championship game, but said the Ducks will need to be better than they were Saturday if they are going to challenge the Crimson Tide.

Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated turned his spotlight on Oregon's defense, which kept the Ducks in the game until the offense got rolling. Mark Schlabach of ESPN also focused on the UO defensive effort against the Bruins.

The Ducks now have a few days to rest and recover before beginning preparations for their Thursday night showdown at Stanford on Nov. 7. Oregon will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, then begin the five-practice pregame routine for the Stanford game on Saturday.

The Cardinal (7-1, 5-1) beat Oregon State on Saturday, leaving Oregon as the only Pac-12 team still unbeaten in conference play. Stanford is up two spots to No. 6 in the AP poll this week, and is No. 7 in the coaches' poll.

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