Oregon struggled only twice during the regular season, and it wasn't a coincidence that those two games were the ones that Fisher missed due to injury. Our Ivan Maisel even went as far as to suggest that the 6-foot-6, 300-pound left tackle may have been more valuable to the Ducks than Marcus Mariota. In Fisher's two-game absence (unimpressive performances against Washington State and Arizona), Oregon gave up 12 sacks and saw its scoring output dip over two touchdowns below its season average. Following his return, Fisher proved his mettle as a solid NFL prospect. The Ducks allowed six sacks per game without him, and only 1.5 sacks per game with him in the lineup. Fisher was a force in Oregon's course-correcting win at UCLA, and his campaign reached a crescendo in a dominant Rose Bowl manhandling of Florida State.
■ KC Joyner ($ESPN Insider) says defense will be Oregon's biggest challenge heading into the 2015 season.
■ ESPN has Royce Freeman on their early list of 2015 Heisman top contenders.
■ Andrew Nemec continues his countdown of the top 10 Duck recruits with a look at #9 Calvin Throckmorton.
■ Oregon baseball season tickets went on sale yesterday afternoon and the team took a hit with the news that A.J. Balta will miss this season because of injury but found out Perfect Game ranked them #15 on their preseason top 25..
■ Charles Fisher wonders if Oregon is "soft" or the national media is lazy.
■ Dale Newton believes we need to keep recruiting in Texas.