The Oregon Ducks have been rolling in 2013, winning their first six games of the season and racking up points and yards in bunches on offense. Sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota is putting together a Heisman Trophy caliber season and the stable of running backs for Mark Helfrich have been dynamic and unstoppable. But the breakout star of the first half of the 2013 season has been sophomore wide receiver Bralon Addison.
A former high school quarterback, Addison spent his freshman season learning how to use his incredible athleticism to transition to receiver. He has learned extremely well, it seems, as he has exploded this season as one of Mariota’s best options in the passing game. He is tied with senior Josh Huff for the team lead in receptions with 27 catches for 502 yards and a team-high six touchdown receptions.
But it has been during conference play that Addison has truly broken out this season. It started against the Cal Bears in the driving rain of Autzen Stadium when Addison returned two punts for touchdowns and tallied 142 yards on special teams. The next week, Oregon took their show on the road to face the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder and Addison worked his way into the regular offense, catching five passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
Then when Oregon faced their greatest test of the season and with Huff sidelined with an injury for most of the first half, Addison stepped up and had his most impressive game yet. Against the Washington Huskies, who boasted the No. 3 pass defense in the country coming into the game, the sophomore receiver exploded for eight receptions for 157 yards and another pair of touchdowns. Every time the Huskies pressed Oregon and tightened up the game, Addison was there to make a huge catch and keep the Ducks comfortably ahead.
As the season goes on, there will be other challenges for the Oregon offense. Addison emerging as a playmaker in the passing game only adds another dimension to a dangerous Ducks offense that has already looked like a Swiss-Army knife of gamebreaking possibilities. If Addison becomes another elite addition to the passing game, can the Oregon offense be stopped by anyone?