2013 Oregon Spring Football Analysis
2013 Oregon Ducks ... Head Coach: Mark Helfrich
Why To Get Excited … The Ducks’ fourth straight BCS bowl appearance—a Fiesta Bowl win over Kansas State—occurred with a rookie at quarterback. A year older, sophomore Marcus Mariota figures to be a year better as well. He’s one of the game’s budding offensive superstars, and will be surrounded by exciting playmakers, like RB De’Anthony Thomas, TE Colt Lyerla and receivers Josh Huff, Keanon Lowe and Bralon Addison. Oregon will continue to run with anyone in the country.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 Nicholls State
9/7 at Nevada
9/21 OPEN DATE
10/5 at Colorado
10/12 at Washington
10/19 Washington St
11/2 OPEN DATE
11/7 at Stanford
11/23 at Arizona
11/29 Oregon State
Why To Be Grouchy … Chip is gone. After flirting with the NFL in 2011, head coach Chip Kelly took an offer from the Philadelphia Eagles in January. Big blow for the Ducks. Kelly was a transformational figure in Eugene, guiding the program from good to great during his tenure. Can Oregon remain one of college football’s elite national contenders now that Mark Helfrich is calling the shots? Time will tell. But there’s no doubt that Kelly will be missed on the sidelines.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … rebuilding the corps of linebackers. A couple of All-Pac-12 Second Team defenders, Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay, are no longer available at the second level for the Ducks, which will make the team more vulnerable to the run. Senior Boseko Lokombo is expected to anchor a group looking for increased contributions from youngsters Rahim Cassell, Derrick Malone and Tyson Coleman.
Non-Conference Games: Nicholls State, at Virginia, Tennessee
Games Against The South: at Arizona, at Colorado, UCLA, Utah
Realistic Best Case Record: 12-0
Worst Case Record: 8-4
Likely Finish: 11-1
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Nicholls State, at Virginia, Tennessee, California, at Colorado, Washington State, UCLA, at Stanford, Utah, at Arizona, Oregon State
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Washington
Schedule Analysis: There are just enough high-profile games to give the Ducks plenty of national recognition, but there isn’t one game that stands out as a sure-thing loss. If Mark Helfrich can keep the momentum from the Chip Kelly era going, there shouldn’t be any problems with the non-conference schedule that starts out with Nicholls State as a light scrimmage before going to Virginia and hosting Tennessee. If Oregon really is national title-good, it should roll through those two games by double-digits.
The Pac-12 slate couldn’t start out much easier with three of the first four games against teams that didn’t go bowling, and helped by getting Utah from the South in November. California, at Colorado and Washington State need to be layups, but going to Washington could be the biggest landmine to sidestep. UCLA will probably be the best team on the schedule, but that’s in Eugene, and there’s a week off before going to Stanford. The Civil War against Oregon State is at home, but that’s coming off a dangerous road trip to Arizona.
Team Concerns For 2013: Mark Helfrich doesn't have a whole bunch of work to do.
The offensive line loses two starters and the defense has to replace end Dion Jordan and tackle Isaac Remington. The kicking game could stand to be better with Rob Beard gone after hitting just 4-of-8 field goals. Alejandro Maldonado will get the first look after making 3-of-6 tries. Considering the explosiveness of De'Anthony Thomas, the kickoff return game has to be better after averaging under 20 yards per try. It's nitpicking a bit, but the pass rush could stand to be more effective.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Running back. The coaching change isn't having much of an effect on the recruiting class with several top prospects jumping back on board now that everything has been settled.
Defensive end Torrodney Prevot was a great Wednesday signing, and
getting receiver Tyree Robinson, guard Cameron Hunt and linebacker
Tyrell Robinson allowed everyone to breathe a sigh of relief. Offensive tackle Evan Voeller will be a starter and tight end John Mundt will turn into a player, but the stars on the offense will be at running back with Thomas Tyner leading the way. The big 6-1, 215-pounder isn't necessarily the perfect fit for the up-tempo Duck attack, but he's the No. 2 running back prospect - Mark Helfrich will make it work. The defense welcomes in some terrific linebacker prospects with JUCO transfer Joe Walker ready to step in and start right away.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 17. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. Last year was the big class of top-shelf talent. This year the focus is on a line that needs pass rushers to help boost up the depth. With Terrell Turner and Brandon Hanna gone, Oregon needs as many options and bodies for the outside as possible, and this class will do it. The secondary will get a nice boost at safety for a few years from now; the Ducks are stocked for the near future.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 7. That Class Was Heavy On ... Lots and lots of talent. Oregon hasn’t exactly struggled in the recruiting world over the last few years, but it hasn’t made a national splash like this with big-time prospects all across the board. The receiving corps got a mega-boost with JUCO transfer Rahsaan Vaughn ready to be a No. 1 guy right now, while the offensive line got some special talents in Tyler Johnstone, Jake Fisher, and Andre Yruretagoyena. The mega-coup, though, was ripping the heart out of USC by taking away the nation’s No. 1 corner, DeAnthony Thomas, at the last second.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 13. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Defensive backs.
The stars are elsewhere, but the numbers are in the
secondary as corner Dior Mathis and safety Erick
Dargan lead a fast and talented group. DE Curtis
White and guard Nick Rowland will be all-stars
before their done, and JUCO transfer Ryan Clanton
will be part of the offensive tackle rotation right
away. The real excitement is over Lance Seastrunk,
another talented runner to add to the equation
choosing Oregon over Texas, Florida, LSU and
Oklahoma. QB Bryan Bennett doesn't quite fit the normal Duck norm, but he's a great athlete who'll add more passing to the offense.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 29. That Class Was
Heavy On ... special teams. The Ducks made an investment in their future on special teams with the signings of P Jackson Rice and PK Mike Bowlin. Both were ranked in the top 3 at their respective positions, and will have an opportunity to become the cornerstones of the unit now that P Josh Syria and PK Matt Evensen are gone. Rice and Bowlin won’t get the attention of, say, a Cliff Harris or Boseko Lokombo, but that doesn’t they won’t play an integral role down the road.