Oregon Ducks Football offense makes explosive plays in early spring
Believe it or not, the Oregon Ducks offense hasn’t averaged more than 40 points per game since the 2015 season. The Ducks have gone six straight seasons without scoring at least 40 points per game after six straight seasons at the above the 40 point mark.
The Ducks’ offense has been particularly disappointing the past two seasons, averaging just 31.4 points and only four 40-point games over the span. In short, Oregon’s offense hasn’t been a threat for several straight years, and it inevitably falls heavily on the shoulders of the man under center.
After being spoiled for years by talented quarterbacks in Eugene, any Oregon offense that wasn’t flashy, quick and explosive has failed to impress Ducks fans. But under new offensive coordinators Kenny Dillingham and Junior Adams, Oregon’s offense in 2022 could resemble the offenses of the early 2010s that burned turfs on Saturday.
As the spring training program is only ramping up after more than two weeks of hiatus due to final exams and spring break, the attack showed evidence of the dreamy, explosive, and rhythm of Dillingham which he described.
Dan Lanning met with reporters after practice on Tuesday to discuss the attack’s progress.
“Certainly a positive today is that the offense had some explosive plays, which was exciting,” Lanning said. “On the same note, we also had some turnovers which I don’t want to see. I thought we could have been a bit better in our two-minute script there at the end of practice with our attack and l “operation there. Good job on the explosive plays, but we want to take care of the ball in the future.”
This is by no means a signal for Oregon fans to panic. After all, the spring calendar isn’t even a quarter of its way through. Bumps and bruises are supposed to take place in the spring, but the fact that explosive games are worth mentioning in late March could be promising.
Eugene’s headline when discussing the new-look offense is the quarterback battle. Ty Thompson and Jay Butterfield return for their shot at the starting concert during the transfer from Auburn Bo Nix is the favorite given his starting experience and his relationship with Dillingham.
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Oregon quarterbacks Ty Thompson (L) and Bo Nix (R)
Oregon quarterback Ty Thompson
Oregon quarterback Jay Butterfield
Lanning often scouted Nix while working on the sideline as Georgia’s defensive coordinator. Nix has never beaten the Lanning Bulldogs in three games, with Auburn never scoring more than 14 points against their defense. It’s safe to say that Nix is happy to be on the same side as Lanning, and the Ducks head coach has been impressed with what he’s seen from junior so far.
“Bo is really who I thought he was,” Lanning said. “He’s an extreme competitor, super smart, he works really hard and I think he’s really intentional.”
Nix has improved every year he’s started at Auburn, but he’s struggled with his consistency, although he’s not entirely to blame for it. He worked under three different offensive coordinators in three years, struggled with injuries, and the Tigers had fluctuations along the offensive line.
“I think he would tell you he has a lot of things he can improve on, and I certainly agree,” Lanning said. “There are a lot of things he can improve, but he attacks them every day. I’m happy to see that.”
If Nix is indeed the starter, he will undoubtedly have the most talented supporting cast he has ever had in almost every position. But the initial work will surely not be entrusted to him. Thompson and Butterfield are two of the most talented quarterback recruits Oregon has brought to Eugene and they would be poised to succeed if they were to win the job.
There’s a long way to go in the spring, but as the trees bloom and the pollen swirls in the air in Eugene, the energy and excitement of what the Oregon offense could be in 2022 also increase.
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