Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota looks for a receiver as he rolls out of the pocket during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. Oregon won 62-38.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Kragthorpe: Oregon’s offense on way to becoming Ducks’ best ever

Quarterback Marcus Mariota has taken his game to a whole new level

First Published Oct 22 2013 04:15 pm • Last Updated Oct 23 2013 12:22 am

Oregon’s high level of production has been standard practice for several seasons, so the offense’s weekly numbers barely register anymore.

At some point, though, the current Ducks will deserve special notice for what they’re doing. Genuine proof can come only after next month’s meeting with the Stanford defense that shut down Oregon last November, but this just might be the Ducks’ best offense ever.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Marcus Mariota is the reason. He’s become a much more complete quarterback, with talents beyond those of the dynamic players who have manned the position for Oregon in recent years. Mariota has thrown 265 passes without an interception since that Stanford game and is equally effective as a runner. He’s protected by an athletic offensive line and is surrounded by playmakers.

"They’re very efficient," said UCLA coach Jim Mora, whose team visits Oregon this week. "You’ve got to be on point every single play or they’re going to make you pay for it."

No kidding. The Ducks are averaging 57.6 points and 643.1 total yards through seven games, ranking No. 2 nationally behind Baylor in each category. If not for backing off in the fourth quarters of blowouts, Oregon easily would top 700 yards.

The Ducks always have plenty of speedy running backs and now they’ve added some capable receivers, making this "probably the most complete offense that we’ve seen out of Oregon," said Steve Sarkisian, who’s 0-5 against the Ducks as Washington’s coach.

California coach Sonny Dykes is new to the league, but he knows what distinguishes this Oregon offense from previous models. "They’re throwing the ball so much better," Dykes said.

UCLA will take its turn against the Ducks. The teams have not met since the 2011 Pac-12 championship game, with Rick Neuheisel as UCLA’s outgoing coach. So this is the first opportunity for Mora, a former NFL defensive coordinator and head coach, to go against Oregon’s offense.

The Bruins held Utah to 20 offensive points while intercepting six passes and then allowed 24 points to Stanford in their first loss of the season after trailing 3-0 at halftime.

Oregon is likely to top those two teams’ point total vs. UCLA, but the Ducks will have to do it against a more talented defense than they’ve faced so far. UCLA features linebacker Anthony Barr, a versatile defender. "The thing is, he’s not the only one," said Oregon coach Mark Helfrich. "They play about six guys at linebacker that are like that. They’re equipped to stop a lot of people."


story continues below
story continues below

Stopping the Ducks is asking a lot, though. Oregon won’t hit its weekly averages against the Bruins, but should deliver more than enough offense to hand them another defeat.

kkragthorpe@sltrib.comTwitter: @tribkurt



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.