The Oregon-Alabama Offense-Defense Debate
The question that is taking the college football land by storm.
Oregon’s offense is the best in college football this season, averaging 54.3 points per game. They haven’t scored fewer than 42 points this year and have scored at least 30 points in 22 straight games.
SEC and Alabama fans say throw those numbers out the window, the Ducks haven’t played a defense of the Crimson Tide’s caliber. This is true, but Oregon doesn’t even need to get in to the red zone to score on Alabama. They have 19 touchdown plays longer than 20 yards this season. They can hurt you on special teams, the triple option, and even through the air, which hasn’t been the case in the Ducks arsenal in the past.
Redshirt freshman QB Marcus Mariota is 7th in the country in passing efficiency with a rating of 168.5. He’s also completing 70 percent of his passes for 22 touchdowns through the air. And we do not have to bring up the question “Can he handle a hostile atmosphere” ever again.
Another point, LSU QB Zach Mettenberger threw for almost 300 yards on Alabama’s secondary, the Tigers held the ball almost twice as long as the Crimson Tide with a 39:15 time of possession. This was because LSU was able to run the ball against the Tide. The Ducks have the balance to find success on offense.
And forget about the whole speed thing .Oregon has plenty of it to match up with the Tide. De’Anthony Thomas, Kenjon Barner, and Marcus Mariota provide the Ducks backfield with as much quickness as a Porsche off the start line. It’s a different field of weapons from the last time the Ducks were in the title game against Auburn.
Let’s not forget about Chip Kelly. He is one of the best at making adjustments and designing a game plan offensively. He’s also had the experience of making it to the title game before and will benefit from the appearance.
The question is answered. Oregon has enough on offense to cause the Tide some problems.
But giving Nick Saban a month to prepare? Careful.
Will Wilson is a writer for Rant Sports covering College Football and the Big Ten Conference.
Follow Will on Twitter: @GoPackGo1