Oregon 2011

Oregon 2010 Statistics

(Pac-12) The Ducks play on an artificial field (FieldTurf) at Autzen Stadium (seats 54,000)

  • Chip Kelly is in his third year as head coach at Oregon.  Last year they finished 12-1.  They finished the regular season with a perfect record and then lost to Auburn in the national championship game thriller 22-19.
  • This year the offense returns quarterback Darron Thomas

    Running Back LaMichael James

    (now a junior), running back LaMichael James (who already has over 3,000 yards in just two seasons) and tight end David Paulson.  They lose wide receiver Jeff Maehl, who was a clutch player and a play-maker.  And another big loss to this offense is on the offensive line.  The quarterback in Oregon’s system is required to do a lot of work and ultimately the success of the offense rests on him—but he also needs a lot of help from his offensive line.

  • The state of the offensive line. The loss of three players on their

    Quarterback Darron Thomas

    stealth offensive line means this year they will be less experienced and this could have a significant impact on the offense.  Part of the reason why the Ducks were so successful in 2010 is that they returned their entire two-deep (starters plus back-ups).

  • And to make matter worse, they lose their top two receivers Jeff Maehl and DJ Davis, who also happened to be two of the best blocking receivers in the college game. Chip Kelly said he learned from a coach a while ago that the key to success is to answer three questions: 1) Does your defense run to the ball?  2) Do you play great special teams?  And 3) Do your receivers block? At Oregon they teach their receivers that “if you don’t block, you don’t get the rock.”  Meaning that if you don’t contribute and help your teammates successfully execute the plays (i.e., block so that another player can run with the ball), then they are not going to throw the ball to you.
  • Another concern with the lack of their playmaking receivers is that this could impact the running game.  Without a significant vertical threat, defenses don’t have to take it seriously and instead can divert their attention to stopping the run.
  • On the defensive side of the ball this team had an average performance last year and it will be hard for them to improve with the loss of key players on defense, including top tackler and 4th round NFL Draft pick, linebacker Casey Matthews.  It may be difficult for Kelly this year as he loves to have depth on the defense so that he can rotate his players and have them go hard on four to six snaps and then come out for a rest.  (This is because of the fact that Kelly’s offense plays so quickly, which means that his defense is on the field for more snaps throughout a game and that they need more opportunities to rest).
  • The season starts off with a huge test against LSU on September 3 and there’s a good chance that game could be a loss for the Ducks.  Otherwise, the schedule is pretty doable with the Pac-10 as a whole not presenting the most challenging competition these days.  But overall I think fans should be prepared for a bit of a letdown with two or three regular season losses.

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