Stop me if you heard this before, “Oregon’s offense is unstoppable.” The No. 2-ranked Oregon Ducks seem to be as potent on offense as ever through the first two games of the 2013 season.
New head coach, Mark Helfrich, was moved from offensive coordinator to head coach when Chip Kelly departed for the Philadelphia Eagles. As awkward as it may sound, Helfrich was the offensive coordinator, yet he never called one play at Oregon. Chip Kelly called every offensive play as Helfrich acted as simply an offensive consultant. Now with Kelly gone, Helfrich has his chance, and he has shined through the first two games.
In his first game as coach, Helfrich and the Ducks set a school record for total yards with 772. Oregon is ranked second in the nation with 425 rushing yards per game, and ranked third in terms of points per game (62.5). Granted that their first two opponents were Nicholls State and Virginia, facts are facts, and Helfrich has handled the reigns marvelously under the circumstances. The players seem to agree. Heisman-hopeful quarterback Marcus Mariota said to the media, “He held himself pretty well,.. he wasn’t getting angry at anything, really. He was pretty level-headed. I think that’s pretty cool for a head coach.”
Even as impressive, Oregon has maintained its “warp-speed” offense while committing zero turnovers and defensively only surrendering a staggering 6.5 points per game. However, some Duck fans are highly skeptical of Oregon’s performance over these first two games.
Many skeptics claim that their competition is weak which contributes to their explosive statistics. Others point out the passing efficiency of quarterback Marcus Mariota. Last year, Mariota only had two games with a completion percentage under 58% last year; he has two already this season. Last year, Oregon had only four three-and-outs; they have four three-and-outs in their first two weeks this season.
Answers should be given this weekend as the No. 2-ranked Oregon Ducks take on the Tennessee Volunteers in Autzen Stadium at 3:30 pm on ABC.