Ducks football took the first step to winning a fourth consecutive conference title with a victory over Arkansas State on Saturday. Not only did this game officially start the 2012 campaign on a positive note, it gave starved fans and students alike their first look at meaningful football since the spring.

With all the questions that have arisen the past couple months, (i.e. Mariota v. Bennett) and Chip’s trademark cryptic answers to said questions, it was nice to finally see a final product out on the field. Even watching the game on TV, Autzen appeared to be its usual raucous self and there is no reason to think the intensity won’t continue to ratchet up as conference plays approaches.

With the recent success of the program the past few seasons, the continued development of De’Anthony Thomas and expected emergence of Marcus Mariota, 2012 is shaping up to be another season for Duck fans to get excited for.

That being said, the success of the Oregon athletics has not only been limited to the football field. Several other fall sports are currently in season and it is important as students to support their athletic accomplishments as well.

In case you haven’t had a chance to check them out, here is what the other University of Oregon fall sports are currently up to.

The women’s volleyball team is currently 6-0 and has ascended into the top 25 of the AVCA poll and is currently sitting at number 13 behind other Pac-12 programs UCLA, USC, Washington and Stanford, all of whom are in the top 10. After a recent victory against Ohio in the Baymont Invitational, the Ducks are back in action Sept. 5 against UC Santa Barbara and again the 10th taking on No. 29 St. Mary’s.

The Oregon cross country program is poised for another successful year with the Women’s side garnering a No. 1 national ranking from the USFTCCCA poll and the Men slotted very comfortably at No. 22.

Both sides of the squad opened their season on Saturday at the Pier Park Invitational in Portland and provided Oregon with a clean sweep, securing victories on both the Men’s and Women’s sides. Oregon runners, senior Ann Kesselring and sophomore Cole Watson were the first two runners to cross the finish lines for the women and men respectively. The Ducks will break out the running shoes again on Sept. 29 for the Bill Dellinger Invitational at the Springfield Country Club.

Under the guidance and tutelage of coach Tara Erickson, the Women’s soccer team has begun their 2012 campaign with a 3-1 record out of the gates. Quality victories over Portland State and UC Irvine have highlighted the young season with a lone loss coming at the hands of the University of Portland Pilots. The team, currently on a California road trip with matchups against University of the Pacific and St. Mary’s will return to Papé Field for a Sept. 14 date with the Seattle University Redhawks.

Understandably so, the football team has taken center stage and will be the cause of countless emotional swings for fans during the next several months. What is important though is to look at the University of Oregon athletic program as just that, a program. The sustained success of all the Fall sports is something that should make Oregon supporters proud to be a Duck.

Undoubtedly University of Oregon students parallel their school spirit and Duck pride with the successes of our football program. As Chip and the Ducks will remain in the national spotlight, we must not forget about our other excelling athletic programs that deserve attention and notoriety from students and fans alike.


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