Oregon Ducks Football: Speedy Offense Key To Success In Pac-12 This Season
The Oregon Ducks have a huge list of expectations this season, including a Pac-12 championship along with being one of the four teams in the first ever college football playoffs. This should be high on their priority list, considering the Ducks are ranked No. 3 by the Associated Press. One thing that has been consistent for the Ducks is the speed of their offense, guided this season behind Heisman trophy front-runner QB Marcus Mariota.
Noted as one of the best offenses in college football, the Ducks were ranked second in the nation in total offense and averaged 565 yards per game last season. They should pickup where they left off in 2013 despite losing four of Mariota’s prime target in wide receiver Josh Huff, who accounted for 1,140 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns last season. The likely candidate to replace Huff is senior Keanon Lowe, who caught 18 passes in 2013.
Lowe is joined by three underclassmen: sophomore Dwayne Stanford, along with freshmen Devon Allen and Darren Carrington. Allen is the fastest receiver on the Ducks’ roster after winning the 2014 NCAA Men’s Track and Field 110M hurdles with a time of 13.6 seconds, and will have a bright future at Oregon if the Olympics don’t come first.
Head Coach Mark Helfrich enters his season season with the Ducks after coming off of a successful first season, leading Oregon to an 11-2 record. The speed that the Ducks play with on offense has always been a factor for opposing defenses, and was something maintained by Helfrich after being handed down from former head coach Chip Kelly. Oregon finished third in the country last season in points per game with a 45.5 average.
The Ducks have a tough test ahead of them in 2014 with one-third of their schedule being against teams ranked in the top 25. If the Ducks can stay healthy throughout the season, their high-powered offense will average 500 yards per game and should hover around 50 point a game. Oregon opens the season on Aug. 3o at home against division II opponents, the South Dakota Coyotes.