Pac-12 Networks preview: Oregon
This post is one in a series of 12 as we visit each Pac-12 school on the Pac-12 Networks Football Training Camp tour. Check Pac-12.com in advance of each school's Football Training Camp stop for a quick season preview ahead of that night's show.
What if I told you that you could watch the Oregon Ducks play host to the University of South Dakota Coyotes in 23 days on the Pac-12 Networks? Now would a game like that be something you might be interested in? The Ducks enter year two of the Mark Helfrich era primed to make a run at their first Pac-12 North and Pac-12 Conference titles since 2011. Oregon enters the 2014 campaign seeking its fourth consecutive bowl victory for the first time in school history. With Heisman hopeful quarterback Marcus Mariota leading the way, the Ducks are not only looking to #WinTheDay, but quack all the way to winning the National Championship. Lezzzz go Ducks! #ScoDucks
- The Ducks offense returns eight starters from last year’s squad that ranked 2nd in the nation in total offense per game (565 yards per game), fourth in scoring offense (45.5 points per game), fifth in passing efficiency (164.91), and ninth in rushing offense (274 yards per game). Oregon returns its leading passer and top three rushers, but lose its top four pass catchers if you include #Statisfaction legend Bralon Addison and his torn ACL (get well soon brother).
- The “Mighty” Ducks will once again display their fast paced, up-tempo, high-flying, explosive offensive attack in 2014 behind Mariota. In just two seasons, Super Mariota has already tied legendary Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington (1998-2001) with 77 career touchdowns. Maybe if Marcus calls “The Flying V” vs. South Dakota he’ll score a touchdown and stand alone as the all-time TD king in Oregon football history.
- The Ducks return five starters on what was the second-best scoring defense in the Pac-12 in 2013 (20.5 points per game). UO had the best pass defense in the Pac-12, allowing just 204 yards per game in the air against arguably some of the best passing attacks in the country. The Ducks return two-time first-team All-Pac-12 cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, but lose three starters in their secondary. However, the Ducks' biggest loss on the defensive side of the ball is legendary defensive coordinator, our guy, Nick Aliotti who spent 24 years in Eugene. Don Pellum, who has always been the best-dressed coach in the Pac-12, takes over the reigns as the DC in 2014. Coach Pellum learned from the best and will have the Ducks confident and ready to attack opposing offenses this season. Especially if he gives the Ducks defense this speech.
- I hear that it never rains at Autzen Stadium. I also hear that it’s always a packed house in Autzen. The Ducks always have one of the best home field advantages in the country and it will come in handy in a week 2 showdown with defending Rose Bowl champion Michigan State. In fact, Oregon has the third-longest active home sellout streak in the nation having sold out every home game since 1999. The streak currently sits at 96 consecutive games entering the season. When the Ducks take the field with their freshest new uniform combo the Autzen faithful will be ready to “Quack You.”
The Ducks are known for their high-scoring, lightning-fast spread offense attack. In 2013, Oregon scored 591 points, tops in the Pac-12 and fourth in the nation. Every time you guys score, The Duck has to do pushups. How many pushups did The Duck have to do in 2013? (Note: Apologies to those of you who don’t like to do math)
Tweet me the answer @RyanMcGrady and I’ll congratulate you and we can become best friends.
(Credit: Oregon Sports Information Department. Shout out to Dave Williford, Andy McNamara, and Rob Moseley. These guys are strong to quite strong.)