While the Oregon Ducks come in to Saturday's matchup with Arizona as heavy favorites, these two squads have a history of playing very competitive football. The Ducks have come out on top more often than not in recent years, but the Wildcats have always found a way to make UO sweat and have even come close to pulling off a couple of upsets in the process.
Head coach Chip Kelly has been on-hand for these close contests. He knows that UA has pushed the Ducks to their threshold in the past and understands that anything is possible this Saturday at Arizona Stadium.
"Every game we've played them since I've been here has been a nail-biter," Kelly said. "And we're preparing for that this week."
UA has started the season losing big to two top-10 teams and Oregon's level of talent is right up there with the best in the nation. The Wildcats' shortcomings against elite teams are well documented, but Kelly believes that Arizona is still a tough matchup for UO.
"For whatever reason, both teams match up well against each other," Kelly said. "They've been epic games where you trade shots and see who's standing at the end."
Nick Foles is arguably the most recognizable name on the UA roster. The quarterback has been able to build a reputation of being one of the best and most accurate passers in the country. He has been able to put up big numbers against the Ducks' defense and Kelly is well aware of what Foles is capable of doing in the passing game.
"Foles seems like he's been around a long, long time," Kelly said. "He's big, he's accurate, he's tough. He throws always where it's supposed to be. It's a prolific passing offense."
The talk around the country in recent weeks has been the possibility of conference expansion. The decision has been made to leave the Pac-12 as is (for now), but the news served as a potential distraction leading up to the recent conclusion. Kelly did his best to avoid that discussion altogether and has been focusing on the game against Arizona on Saturday.
"I have no thoughts," Kelly said Sunday night on his weekly conference call with reporters. "Until it's officially going to happen — there's been so many different teams, so many different scenarios — I'm worried about Arizona's defensive line and secondary and how to stop their quarterback. I checked my voicemail, and no one's calling and asking my opinion."
Kelly sees close game
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