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Is it over, yet? After Jesse Palmer and David Pollock pretty much gushed over the Ducks’ defense in the Ducks’ 43-21 win over Arizona State, is my long nightmare finally over?

It’s like those nightmares that you sometimes have where you can’t scream no matter what. I’ve been screaming as loud as I can for the last couple of years that the Ducks’ defense is really, really good – not just “underrated.”

I thought they would finally get some respect after they held Cam Newton and the Auburn offense to just 22 points in the National Championship game. They didn’t. And I get why. Yes, they technically give up a lot of yards. But if Alabama’s defense was on the field for 35-40 minutes a game, so would they.

But after the last few weeks, and tonight in particular, is it time to see the Ducks’ defense for who they really are, a top-ten defense?

And before you say the Ducks gave up 21 points to an average offense, please tell me you watched the game. Either this one or pretty much any of their other games and tell me that defense isn’t very good.

The Ducks have allowed a grand total of 56 points in the first half this season. 56 – in seven games. For the mathematically challenged (as I pull out my calculator), that’s 8 points per half. They have also picked off 14 passes, which is tied for first in the nation, and have scored on four of those. That’s 28 points. Or in other words, more than all but one of their opponents have scored on the Ducks in a single game.

The Ducks are big, fast and opportunistic. And given that they play about 20 guys on defense on a regular basis, they are deep. If the Ducks were ever going to be able to win a national championship, they would have to develop a defense that could give their offense more opportunities. They’ve been in that process for the last couple of years and I think this year, they have a defense on par with some of the best.

Now look, I am not saying that they have Alabama’s defense. Or even LSUs. But those two may be the two best. But they might be with Florida or Florida State. And I think it’s time to think of them that way. So, can I stop screaming now? Or should I go buy some lozenges?

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