Oregon Football 2014 Bowl Capsule

Oregon Ducks


Ho hum; another year another 10+ wins for the Oregon Ducks. It really is quite amazing to think about the lack of a drop-off since Chip Kelly moved on to the NFL and Mark Helfrich took over. Kelly needs to be credited with reviving the university, but Helfrich hasn’t lost more than twice in either season he’s been here. The real test will be how he continues to recruit and what the product becomes after Marcus Mariota follows Kelly to the NFL. For now though, Helfrich should be commended for following a pseudo-legend and encountering nothing more than a hiccup.

2014 Record: 12-1, 8-1
Coach: Mark Helfrich
Coach Bowl Record: 1-0

Big Wins: 9/6 Michigan State (46-27), 10/11 at UCLA (42-30)
Bad Losses: 10/2 Arizona (24-31)

Everything Oregon does starts with its quarterback. Marcus Mariota is arguably the best player in college football. He has a good case to win the Heisman Trophy this season and follow that up with being selected first overall in the NFL draft (although playing the position of quarterback certainly helps him in both regards). Through three years behind center, Mariota has done it all. He is a wicked athlete with impeccable accuracy and good arm strength. He went seven entire football games this year before he threw his first interception and went nine full games before he finished a contest with a completion percentage under 60. It certainly helps to have super skill players like Byron Marshall, Thomas Tyner and Royce Freeman around him. Oregon creates huge plays both in the air and on the ground week after week, putting immense pressure on its opponents. As many as nine different Ducks have broken a play at least 30 yards this year. The quick strike is what has caused Oregon’s team to be amongst the elite of college football in nearly everything other than time of possession.

The quick nature of the Oregon attack has its drawbacks though. Besides being weak in time of possession (which has never been a worry for the Ducks), Oregon is committing a hellacious number of penalties. It also is hard for the Duck defense to rest and recoup when the offense takes no time at all to score. No one would complain, but the Oregon D has struggled this season in a few facets: getting off the field on third downs, limiting first down gains, and defending the pass. Most of the early season worries surrounding this team were because of defensive lapses. A poor showing from the offensive line also played its part and had Mariota doing more dancing in the backfield than he or the coaching staff was comfortable with.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Royce Freeman, RB, 1,299 yards
Passing: Marcus Mariota, QB, 3,773 yards
Receiving: Byron Marshall, WR, 814 yards
Tackles: Erick Dargan, S, 82
Sacks: Christian French, DE, 6.5
Interceptions: Erick Dargan, S, 6

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 232.0 (22nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 307.5 (11, 3)
Total Offense: 539.5 (4, 1)
Scoring Offense: 45.9 (4, 1)
Rushing Defense: 157.8 (54, 8)
Pass Defense: 271.8 (111, 8)
Total Defense: 429.6 (87, 8)
Scoring Defense: 23.3 (32, 2)
Turnover Margin: 1.25 (3, 1)
Sacks: 2.50 (35, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 2.42 (90, 6)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2013    Alamo Bowl    Texas (30-7)
2012    Fiesta Bowl    Kansas State (35-17)
2011    Rose Bowl    Wisconsin (45-38)
2010    BCS Championship    Auburn (19-22)
2009    Rose Bowl    Ohio State (17-26)
2008    Holiday Bowl    Oklahoma State (42-31)
2007    Sun Bowl    USF (56-21)

*all team stats through 12/1


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