Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Oregon Weekly Football Release - Utah
Written by    Friday, 15 November 2013 03:01   

Television: FOX Sports 1 with Justin Kutcher (pxp), James Bates (analyst) and Brady Poppinga (reporter). Radio: Oregon IMG with Jerry Allen (pxp) and Mike Jorgensen (analyst). Free audio stream available via Satellite Radio: Sirius 108, XM 198.

•Oregon leads the all-time series 18-8, including an 11-3 mark in Eugene. Saturday marks the first contest between the teams as Pac-12 opponents.
•The two sides have only played once in the last 10 seasons, with the Ducks prevailing, 31-24, at Autzen Stadium in 2009.
•Utah’s last win in the series was a 17-13 triumph in Salt Lake City in 2003 and its last win at Autzen came in 1994 (34-16) - a Rose Bowl season for the Ducks.

•SO QB Marcus Mariota has attempted a Pac-12 record 327 passes without an interception, including all 259 attempts this season. His last came Nov. 17, 2012 vs. Stanford (1st half).
•Mariota leads the nation in 4th-quarter pass efficiency rating (283.34). He’s 19-of-20 (95.0%) for 252 yds and 5 TDs.
•Mariota has passed for at least one touchdown in all 22 games of his career and has a 54-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
•The Ducks rank second nationally in scrimmage plays of 20+ yards (76), while the Oregon defense is tied for allowing the fewest (20).
•UO is bowl eligible for the ninth straight season and will go to its 21st bowl in 25 seasons.
•Oregon ranks second nationally in total offense (596.6), third in scoring offense (51.7) and seventh in rushing offense. Defensively, the Ducks are seventh in the nation in yards allowed per play (4.45), eighth in passing efficiency defense (102.47), tenth in scoring defense (17.9) and third in yards allowed per passing attempt (5.4).
•42 of Oregon’s 61 offensive touchdown drives (68.9%) have lasted two minutes or less.
•The Ducks are 44-5 (.898) overall this decade, including a 30-3 (.909) mark in Pac-12 play.

Mark Helfrich is in his first season as Oregon’s head coach after serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2009-12. During that span, he was directly involved in the success of a program that constructed a 46-7 record and appeared in four consecutive BCS bowl games, including the 2011 BCS National Championship game. Helfrich began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Ducks in 1997 and has since accumulated seven seasons as an offensive coordinator at two BCS schools and 15 years coaching quarterbacks. He was named Oregon’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on April 30, 2009 following three seasons in the same capacity at the University of Colorado (2006-08), five years as quarterbacks coach at Arizona State (2001-05) which included his final three campaigns in Tempe, Ariz., as passing game coordinator, and three seasons as quarterbacks coach at Boise State (1998-2000). Along the way, Helfrich was named National Quarterbacks Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2012 by FootballScoop, in addition to being one of three finalists as its national offensive coordinator of the year honor. Over the course of his last 13 seasons, Helfrich has played a role with offenses that have ranked among the nation’s top-eight teams in scoring offense six times, the top six in rushing on four occasions, the top five in total offense four times as well as the top five in passing twice. As Oregon’s OC he helped orchestrate attacks that were responsible for the top three total offense outputs in school history (2010-12) - including a school-record 7,319 yards in 2011 - as well as the only teams to account for more than 600 points in each of the last three seasons. Helfrich is the first native Oregonian to head the university’s football program since John Warren in 1942.

As the Ducks continue their quest for a fifth straight BCS bowl game appearance, all eyes are on second-year starting quarterback Marcus Mariota. The redshirt sophomore from Honolulu has the challenge of following up a campaign that saw him set the Pac-12 freshman record for touchdown passes (32) and lead the conference in passing efficiency (seventh nationally) en route to Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and All-Pac-12 first team QB honors. Through the first nine games of the season, he has totalled 2,531 yards passing and 495 rushing with 31 total touchdowns (22 pass, 9 rush) and no interceptions. Mariota currently ranks seventh nationally in pass efficiency rating (173.44), fifth in points responsible for (20.7 per game), 11th in yards per carry (7.98) and eighth in total offense (336.2 ypg). Considered by many national outlets as a Heisman Trophy candidate, Mariota is a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award (most outstanding player) and on watch lists for the Davey O’Brien Award (national quarterback award), Walter Camp Award (most outstanding player) and Manning Award (top quarterback honor, including bowl game).

Marcus Mariota continued his streak of touchdown passes in a game with two TD tosses in Oregon’s 26-20 loss at Stanford on Nov. 7. The sophomore has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all 22 games of his career, totaling 54 scores through the air. Mariota, who has 22 touchdown passes this season, has thrown for two or more TDs in a game 15 times with a career-high six touchdown passes at California as a freshman. He also has thrown four or more touchdowns in a game six times. Mariota’s 22-game touchdown pass streak is tied for the third longest in the nation behind Fresno State’s Derek Carr and Marshall’s Rakeem Cato.

Of Oregon’s 61 drives resulting in touchdowns this season, 42 (68.9 percent) have lasted two minutes or less. The Ducks’ two longest TD drives of the season came against UCLA with their first scoring march lasting 4:00 and last eating up 4:55.

The Ducks are 17-7 against AP top 25 teams since Mark Helfrich’s first year on staff as offensive coordinator in 2009, including a win over No. 16 Washington in Seattle on October 12 and a win over No. 12 UCLA on October 26 in Eugene. At home, UO is 11-2 vs. the top 25. Oregon is 4-2 in road games against ranked foes and 2-3 at neutral sites during that span.

With a standing room only crowd of 59,206 at Autzen Stadium on Oct. 26 vs. UCLA, the Ducks ran the nation’s third-longest sellout streak to 94 consecutive games (cap. 54,000), dating to 1999.

With seven total touchdowns at Colorado Oct. 5, SO QB Marcus Mariota tied the Pac-12 record and set the modern day school mark for total TDs, besting the previous mark which had been accomplished six times, including Mariota’s own six-touchdown effort at Cal in 2012. The second-year starter was 16-of-27 passing for 355 yards and five touchdowns against the Buffaloes. He also ran seven times for 43 yards and two scores.

SO WR Bralon Addison, who took over as the Ducks’ primary punt returner at the end of last season, tied the Oregon and Pac-12 records for punt return touchdowns in a game, bringing back two (75 and 67 yards) in the Sept. 28 win vs. Cal. He joins Cliff Harrisas the only other player in school history to duplicate that feat (vs. New Mexico in 2010), while they join USC’s Mike Garrett (1965 vs. California) and UCLA’s Sam Brown (1954 vs. Stanford) as co-holders of the league record. Addison’s punt return total of 142 yards was the most by any Oregon player in one game since Keenon Howry’s school-record 186 yards vs. Stanford in 2001. The Missouri City, Texas standout currently ranks third in the country in punt returns, averaging 19.7 yards on 13 returns.

Since then-top rusher JR RB De'Anthony Thomas was sidelined on the opening kickoff vs. Cal Sept. 28, SO RB Byron Marshallhas taken over as Oregon’s backfield workhorse and put up five 100-yard games, including career-highs of 192 yards and three touchdowns against Washington State and a career-best 23 totes (122 yards) at Colorado. In the Cal game, Marshall ran for a then career-high 130 yards and two TDs. At Washington, he ran for 106 yards and a pair of scores. Thomas returned as the starter against UCLA, but Marshall still led the team with 133 yards on a team-high 19 carries. The playing time is hardly new to Marshall, who has started seven of nine games this season and amassed 925 yards and 12 TDs on a team-high 141 attempts.

Last season, Oregon did not have a single receiver amass 500 yards. Through nine games in 2013, the Texas duo of SR WR Josh Huff and SO WR Bralon Addison have each eclipsed the mark with Huff grabbing 41 balls for 745 yards and Addison with 43 catches for 675. Both players surpassed 100 yards receiving in back-to-back games at Colorado and Washington, highlighted by Addison’s two games of 150-plus and four touchdowns. Eight of Oregon’s nine games this season feature at least one receiving TD by Huff or Addison.

The Ducks, who had a total of six 100-yard receiving performances over the past two seasons, have posted seven through just over half of the regular season slate in 2013. SR WR Josh Huff has four, SO WR Bralon Addison has two and FR TE Johnny Mundthas one. Two players have reached the mark in the same game three times this year, giving UO 16 such single-game duos in school history.

With eight consecutive victories to start his Oregon head coaching career, Mark Helfrich passed C.W. Spears (1930 - 7 wins) for the best first-year start in school history.

Tight end Johnny Mundt made quite a debut catching passes in Oregon’s win vs. Tennessee Sept. 14. With expected starter Colt Lyerla out of action, the true freshman made his first start, recorded the first five receptions of his career, including a pair of touchdowns, while amassing 121 yards. That yardage total ranks as the ninth-most in a single game by a tight end at UO and is the highest total since Ed Dickson had 148 yards on 11 catches vs. Cal in 2009. Mundt was named the John Mackey Award’s national tight end of the week and is one of two freshmen on the midseason watch list. He is UO’s fourth-leading receiver with 12 receptions and 216 yards and has now started five of eight games.

Oregon’s most recent BCS ranking (No. 6) marks the Ducks’ 31st straight appearance in the top 10 of the BCS standings, which ranks second all-time in the BCS era behind USC’s 38 from 2002-06.

The Ducks have scored at least 50 points in six of their nine games this season. Oregon had a school-record five-game streak to open the season before being “held to just” 45 points in a 21-point win at Washington on October 12. Oregon ranks third nationally in scoring averaging 51.7 points per game. UO became the first major program to put up at least 45 points in its first seven games of the season since Harvard in 1887.

The Oregon blur offense may generate the most buzz among college football fans and media, but the UO defense has made more game-changing plays than any other defensive unit in the country since the start of 2012. The Ducks led the nation with 40 takeaways (25 interceptions, 15 fumble recoveries) a year ago - 32 by current players - and have 23 (13 INT/10 FR) so far in 2013.

SO QB Marcus Mariota has not been intercepted in 327 pass attempts, dating to last season. That streak is a Pac-12 record, besting USC’s Brad Otton, who had a streak of 216 in 1994-95. Kellen Clemens held the former UO mark of 178 in 2004. No other QB in the FBS has more than four touchdowns without a pick this season, while Mariota has tossed 22. Of the top 135 quarterbacks in passing yards, he is the only one without an interception. Mariota’s last INT came at the end of the first half vs. Stanford on Nov. 17, 2012.

JR CB Dior Mathis, also a member of the UO track & field team, put that track speed on display at Virginia Sept. 7, when he intercepted a pass deep in the end zone and ran more than 100 yards before getting knocked out at the UVA 3-yard-line. Officially, the third pick of his career went in the books as a 97-yard return, tying Kenny Wheaton (vs. UW in 1994) and Kenny Bryant (at TCU in 1977) for the second-longest in school history. It was the longest non-touchdown interception return by a Duck.

Over the coming weeks, several major award lists will be pared down to semifinalists, finalists and, ultimately, winners. Four prestigious honors announced their semifinalist lists recently, with SO QB Marcus Mariota listed as one of 16 for both the Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award. JR CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu made the first cut for both the Jim Thorpe Award and Chuck Bednarik Award. Additionally, JR DE Tony Washington is one of 18 players on the Ted Hendricks Award mid-season watch list.

An often overlooked facet of Oregon’s run of success has been the continuity of its coaching staff. First-year head coach Mark Helfrich is in his fifth season on staff, but he is supported by several assistants who have served the last three UO head coaches. Running backs coach Gary Campbell is in his 31st year on the Oregon staff, which is the longest tenure of any Oregon assistant football coach in school history. In addition, offensive line coach and running game coordinator Steve Greatwood enters his 27th season at UO, linebackers coach Don Pellum is in his 21st campaign, while defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti has spent 21 full seasons at Oregon over three separate stints.

The Ducks’ current roster features three players who have etched their names on a prestigious rushing list. SO QB Marcus Mariota, JR RB De'Anthony Thomas and SR WR Josh Huff own three of the longest runs in school history. Thomas’ 91-yard touchdown run in the 2012 Rose Bowl Game is the second-longest at Oregon, Mariota ranks fifth with his 86-yard score at ASU - the longest rush in the Pac-12 during the 2012 season - and Huff is tied for sixth with an 85-yard TD vs. Arizona in 2010.

After 100-yard rushing performances the first two weeks of the season, SO QB Marcus Mariota became the first Oregon signal caller to accomplish the feat in back-to-back games. Mariota is 11th the nation in average yards per rush (7.98).

The 2013 Oregon Ducks return 56 letterwinners, including 16 starters - nine on offense and seven on defense - from last season. By contrast, the 2012 squad, which finished the season ranked No. 2 nationally, had 52 returning lettermen and 12 starters, including only five on offense.

With 1,247 yards on the ground through his first 22 games, SO QB Marcus Mariota is closing in on the UO career mark for rushing yards by a quarterback. Jeremiah Masoli has the record with 1,386. Like Mariota, Masoli also attended Honolulu’s Saint Louis High School.

1. Jeremiah Masoli (2008-09) 1,386
2. Reggie Ogburn (1979-80) 1,358
3. Marcus Mariota (2012-) 1,247
4. Dennis Dixon (2004-07) 1,208

The Ducks have scored a program-best 645 points in each of the past two seasons, finishing second nationally in 2012 (49.6 points per game) and third in 2011 (46.1). Last year’s team set the UO bar for touchdowns with 89, despite playing one less game than the 2011 team, which found the end zone 88 times. This season, Oregon’s 65 TDs are the third most in the nation through Nov. 9, while the Ducks’ 445 points ranks fourth in the country. UO has at least six TDs in eight of their nine games this season (9-8-8-8-8-6-9-6-3).

ESPN College GameDay produced its weekly college football preview show from the University of Oregon on Oct. 26, marking the eighth appearance in Eugene by the immensely popular show which features host Chris Fowler along with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack, and reporters Sam Ponder and Tom Rinaldi. The live broadcast originated from the Memorial Quad on campus. Oregon, which became the first school to host GameDay five consecutive years, has a 6-2 record when the show airs from Eugene, with defeats coming vs. No. 18 Stanford in overtime last season and against No. 6 Cal, 31-24, in 2007. In 2011, the No. 9 Ducks beat No. 18 Arizona State, 41-27. Other home wins in front of GameDay were a 52-31 victory over No. 9 Stanford in 2010 (UO was No. 4), a 47-20 Halloween upset of fourth-ranked USC in ‘09 (UO was No. 10), a 35-23 win vs. No. 6 Arizona State in ‘07 (UO was No. 4) and a 29-10 upset of No. 6 UCLA in 2000 (UO was unranked).

Four true freshmen saw action in the season-opener vs. Nicholls: OL Cameron Hunt, TE Johnny Mundt, DE Torrodney Prevot and K Matt Wogan. Joining that quartet in Week 2 was LB Tyrell Robinson and RB Thomas Tyner.

Since 2000, Oregon is 37-6 (.860) in regular season, out-of-conference games, earning notable victories against the likes of Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Michigan (x2). During that stretch, the Ducks are 4-1 against the SEC, 1-0 vs. the ACC, 5-2 vs. the Big Ten, 1-1 vs. the Big 12, 4-0 against the Mountain West, 12-2 vs. the WAC, 2-0 against Conference USA and 7-0 vs. FCS sides.

A staple of Oregon’s blur offense in recent years has been “explosion plays” of 25 yards or more from scrimmage. After nine games, the Ducks have already racked up 53, with 20 resulting in touchdowns. In 2012, Oregon accumulated 46 after an incredible 69 such plays in 2011.


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