Duck Offense Tagged “Genius”


Early this month the Wall Street Journal published an article that presented the Ducks football program as a genius program.

This team’s recent accomplishments have been well noted. Using a warp-speed offense that operates 34% more quickly than most conventional teams, Oregon averaged 47 points and 531 yards per game last season, both No. 1 nationally, and has won 20 of its past 21 games in the Pac-10 conference. Though Oregon lost to Auburn in the BCS national championship game, it recently received another kind of validation that’s typical of genius teams: that it has done what it has without superior talent. During the NFL’s recent seven-round draft, only one Oregon player was selected.

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Oregon continues to be noticed by the opposition, now more than ever coming off a BCS title shot. Any team on the Duck’s schedule is working on a defense that can counteract this explosive offense. These teams have to worry about this offense now. They needed to worry about it yesterday. It’s a major focus for any Oregon opponent this year. Oregon’s style of the spread offense is a game-changer and now the concern for defenses around the country is, how fast can the code be continuously cracked? UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel has been vocal about the issue stating, “I just think that people are going to study it and practice it—especially those in the North Division—and I think people will catch up.”

This season will be very telling – eventually the new evolution of defense that continuously breaks this magic offensive combination will emerge. Here’s the thing, Oregon has been running this offense for a few years now and its momentum is roaring. Kelly commented in a 2010 Oregonian article,

They must be pretty slow in solving it because I’ve been running it for four years here.

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It doesn’t look like Kelly is going anywhere. He knows that the race is on and he has a decisive lead. The Ducks won’t be stagnant – they know that their formula is being dissected and so they will evolve. They will also make adjustments. They will anticipate their opponents’ next moves and absolutely have more ammunition up their sleeves. The same Oregonian article points out that Kelly’s offense not only evolves each year, it adjusts based on where the talent is that year. A defense may feel like they’ve found a solution just as that aspect of Kelly’s offense adjusts, and then it’s back to the defensive drawing board. This type of offense isn’t easy on the Ducks and they will have tough games but I also don’t see a quick and easy solution for Oregon’s opponents. It should be an interesting season.