Oregon played for the Pac-12 title last football season, but the Ducks might be poised to take a bit of a step back this year as they lost a lot of talent off that team as well as head coach Mario Cristobal to Miami. Let’s break down Oregon this year. Here’s the preview for your College Football Betting Odds.
Oregon Ducks 2022 Season Betting Guide
Oregon reached the 2021 Pac-12 title game – after winning it the previous two years — but was fairly easily handled by Utah 38-10. Utah took an early 14-0 lead, tacked on a third touchdown late in the second quarter and then capitalized on a breakdown by Oregon to add on one more score on the last play of the half. The UO offense never got rolling, with the Ducks managing just 221 yards.
Oregon quarterback Brown also had two first-half interceptions, one that was returned for a touchdown and another that set up Utah’s field goal on the final play of the first half. Oregon averaged just 6.1 yards per passing attempt and managed only one explosion play of 20 yards or more.
That loss cost Oregon a chance to play in the Rose Bowl and instead it was sent to the Alamo Bowl, where the Ducks were pounded 47-32 by Oklahoma. Oregon allowed scores on eight straight possessions and didn’t click offensively until after halftime. The Ducks played under interim head coach Bryan McClendon and the rest of the staff that worked for former head coach Mario Cristobal, who left the program for Miami after the loss to Utah in the conference title game. The Ducks also endured a number of opt-outs and early entries to the NFL Draft.
The new head coach is Dan Lanning, the defensive coordinator last year of national champion Georgia. He will be a first-time head coach after spending the last four years at Georgia, the previous three leading one of the best defenses in the country. Before landing on coach Kirby Smart’s staff at Georgia, Lanning made stops at Pittsburgh as a graduate assistant, Arizona State as a recruiting coordinator, Sam Houston as a defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator and Memphis as a linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator. He was part of Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama in 2015 as a graduate assistant.
Lanning is the Ducks’ third head coach since Willie Taggart took the job after the 2016 season, and fourth since Chip Kelly left for the NFL after the 2012 season.
The likely new starting quarterback this year is Auburn transfer Bo Nix. The move reunited Nix with his former position coach and offensive coordinator during his freshman year at Auburn, Kenny Dillingham, who left the Tigers after one season. Dillingham spent the last two seasons as Florida State’s offensive coordinator before he was hired by Lanning to the same position.
Nix, a talented dual-threat quarterback, was the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2019 and spent the last three seasons as Auburn’s starter. Last year, Nix threw 11 touchdowns and three interceptions in 10 games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Ty Thompson could push Nix for the top job in camp.
“Competition breeds excellence,” Lanning says. “Ultimately we’re going to have competition at every position across the board, quarterback included.”
Top running back Travis Dye is also gone, having transferred to USC. He rushed for 1,271 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2021, and led Oregon with 46 receptions. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Dye earned honorable-mention All-Pac-12 honors in each of the past two seasons. He took over for the injured CJ Verdell as Oregon’s primary ball carrier last October, and he had 153 yards and a touchdown in the Ducks’ Alamo Bowl loss to Oklahoma.
Verdell is gone too, leaving Byron Cardwell and Sean Dollars to pick up the carries, along with transfers Noah Whittington (WKU) and Mar’Keise Irving (Minnesota). They’re all versatile, quick backs, but each will have something to prove in the absence of Verdell and Dye. The offensive line returns almost entirely intact. Center Alex Forsyth will try to play a full season after back problems limited him in 2021, and the Ducks have a couple of potential pro prospects in T.J. Bass and Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu.
Defensively, All-American pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux was the No. 5 overall pick by the Giants. Defensive back has been a strength of Oregon football through many years and coaching regimes. The Lanning era begins with the Ducks having to replace the most recent stars from the secondary, Verone McKinley and Mykael Wright.
Oregon opens the season against Lanning’s former Georgia team in Atlanta on Sept. 3 and the Dawgs are 17.5-point favorites. We think the Ducks lose that one as well as two in regular-season Pac-12 play but that could be enough to return to the title game – there are no divisions in the Pac-12 this year.Oregon Expert Prediction9-3 record, possible return to Pac-12 title game but won’t win it