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No. 2 Ducks face toughest stretch of the season

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ANNE M. PETERSON | October 24, 2013 05:15 PM EST | AP

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Starting Saturday against UCLA and continuing in the next game at Stanford, Oregon faces the most challenging span of its schedule.

The outcome of the 12-day stretch is crucial for the Ducks to have a shot at the national championship. Right now the Ducks sit at No. 2 in the AP Top 25 behind Alabama.

In the initial BCS rankings released this past Sunday, Oregon is No. 3, pushed back by undefeated Florida State, which beat No. 3 Clemson 51-14 last Saturday.

But while victories over both the No. 12 Bruins and No. 8 Cardinal are considered essential for Oregon, the Ducks are focused solely on UCLA (5-1, 2-1) this Saturday afternoon at Autzen Stadium.