GALLERY: Milestones on the Road to the BCS

Oregon's season was defined by several games and player developments. While the offense was the scoring machine we've come to expect, it was perhaps developments on the defense that cemented the Ducks PAC-12 Championship and paved the road to the Rose Bowl. After a convincing win against Michigan State, a bitter loss to Arizona provided the opportunity to refocus and adjust the defense, and team.

Oregon needed work in several areas on defense, and critical injuries to the offensive line added to a rocky stretch of road in October. The dedication of the coaches and commitment of the players took the Ducks on the road to redemption, culminating in a 51-13 thrashing of Arizona in the conference championship game. Ultimately, the BCS selection committee took the Oregon efforts seriously, and awarded them a slot in the first National Championship Series. In this gallery, I've tried to capture a few highlights of the five games pivotal to the Ducks' success this year. They now stand on the brink of the Rose Bowl, and a chance to play one more time as the team they are on this New Year's eve.

Mariota managed the offense against MSU

Jake Fisher suffers a critical injury vs. MSU

Defense came out with force

Ready to take on Arizona

Mariota and the Ducks tripped up

What's up Ducks?

Defense roared into Pasadena

Royce Freeman rumbled through the Bruins

Key fumble set the course for the day

Mariota scored on the next possession

Defense continued to punish vs. Stanford

Defense still needed to make plays in the secondary

Troy Hill played strong against the Cardinal

Mariota continued the Ducks run

Ducks Arizona rematch for PAC-12 Championship

Freeman racked up another 100+ yards

Ifo's last game as a Duck

Erick Dargan returns another interception

Defense crushed Arizona

Arik the Destroyer

PAC-12 Champions

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