Oregon Ducks 2012

Oregon 2011 Statistics

(Pac-10) The Ducks play on an artificial field (FieldTurf) at Autzen Stadium (seats 54,000)

  • Chip Kelly is in his 4th year as head coach at Oregon.  Last year they finished 12-2.  Although they lost a close one to USC (38-35) and started the season with a 40-27 loss to LSU (their first game after losing to another SEC opponent, Auburn, 40-27 in the 2010 national championship thriller).  But they beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl to finish the season.
  • Compared to their 2010 season, Oregon went down statistically in almost every category.  They still had one of the top offenses in the country (4th in total yards, 5th in rushing yards, 3rd in scoring). The passing game took a bit of a dip last year with the loss of their top play-making receiver and they also had a much les experienced offensive line.
  • The biggest shock following the 2011 campaign was that Quarterback Darron Thomas decided to declare early for the NFL (after just his junior year).  He wasn’t selected in April’s NFL Draft and is currently and Undrafted Free Agent.
  • And perhaps an even bigger loss is that of running back LaMichael James who was a 2nd round NFL draft pick and led the nation in 2011 in rushing yards per game (he rushed for 1805 yards and 18 TDs).  Last year’s #2 rusher, Kenjon Barner gets the starting position this year.  He had almost 1000 yards and 11 touchdowns.  And De’Amthony Thomas also is back, coming off of a true freshman season where he ran for almost 600 yards and was the team’s leading receiver.

Running Back Kenjon Barner

  • 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.  This year the offensive line is where the majority of their starters are returning.  This unit should be great with three starters returning, but unfortunately the rest of the offense only gets a total of two starters back.
  • The receiving unit is actually more experienced than it was last year and despite losing their top two technical wide receivers, they seem to have more experience and athleticism heading into 2011.
  • 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.
  • The defensive line has three (out of four) starters returning and while there are only 6 starters returning on defense in total, this unit has decent experience.  The concern is that  Chip Kelly’s offense ends up taking a toll on its defense because they are so fast. It doesn’t give the defense much time to rest so they need to have plenty of players to rotate in and out.  Last year, Oregon’s defense spent more time on the field than any other team in 2011 (averaged 35 minutes per game).
  • According to Chip Kelly, his spread offense is: “really two-back football when you have just a one-back set because the quarterback can essentially block the backside by being a threat and running the ball. And if you don’t honor him he’s going to hurt you by keeping it.  If you do honor him, he essentially is blocking you as a player.”
  • And according to Chip Kelly, at times he uses a triple option offense in which: “we’re going to block the five play side defenders.  We’re going to read the sixth defender on whether to give the ball on the dive or the quarterback keep it.  If he does keep it, he will now come to a second phase, which is the pitch phase.  The defensive end squeezes…[the quarterback] is going to press his outside shoulder and make this guy make a decision.  The QB in the second phase may start to slow down and figure out what the defender is going to do, but that is not what they are supposed to do. We tell the quarterback run the ball unless you can’t.”
  • Kelly describes what they do on the play-action pass:  “Make it look like the same zone-read we’ve been running, but because they’re in 3-deep we attack them with four verticals.”