The Oregon Ducks have never been short of talent on the football field, but the term inconsistent is also used often when describing this program. Even though Chip Kelly is now the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Ducks still have the talent to become NCAAF National Champions in 2013.
Last year, the Ducks running game was one of the best in the nation with an average of 315.2 yards on the ground per contest. Oregon racked up the third most rushing yards in 2012, however running back De’Anthony Thomas can be even better in his junior campaign. Thomas is an electric back who is hands down the best back in the Pac-12.
Had it not been for a disappointing loss to the Standford Cardinal, the Ducks would have been playing in the National Championship game versus the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in January. Stanford held Oregon to a 198 yards on the ground with Thomas racking up 43 yards on seven carries. Thomas was able to get in the end-zone in this game, but he was a non-factor in the passing game with a season-low three yards on three receptions.
Thomas is extremely familiar with ex-offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich who is now the head coach of the team after four years at the coordinator position.
Oregon has always been a highlight reel factory and while Thomas will surely make big plays in 2013, he needs to focus more on consistency as his output often varies from game to game. For example, Thomas exploded for 14 or more yards per carry in four games last year, however he was held to under five yards a carry five times in 2012.
If Thomas hopes to be a top-five pick next April he must show that he is durable enough to be a factor week in and week out.