Oregon Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Oregon Ducks


Oregon was one win away from a second national championship appearance in three seasons.  The only time they got stopped all year, against Stanford, ended up costing them a shot at the ultimate prize.  Still, it was another nice season for Chip Kelly and the Ducks.  2012 saw Marcus Mariota inserted as the starter at quarterback as a true freshman.  He was spectacular for Kelly and complemented the already potent offense very well.  The Ducks also miss out on a Rose Bowl due to Stanford’s success this season, but they will receive a nice bowl bid.  In any event, it was another double-digit win season for Kelly, whose future is in question as he will have many NFL suitors this off season.

2012 Record: 11-1, 8-1
Coach: Chip Kelly
Coach Bowl Record: 1-2

Big Wins: 11/3 at USC (62-51), 11/24 at Oregon State (48-24)
Bad Losses: 11/17 Stanford (14-17)

It is the same story every year in the Chip Kelly offense.  They are one of the best rushing teams in the land.  Ranked fourth in the country, the Ducks averaged 323 yards per game.  Kenjon Barner, at one point a Heisman candidate this season, returned this year to lead the way with 1,624 yards.  Mariota’s athleticism allowed him to run the read option as well as anyone Kelly has had under center.  He has been remarkable this year as a freshman.  He was not only a great runner, but a highly efficient passer with great field vision and decision-making so early in his career.  He had 690 yards rushing to go with 2,511 yards passing.  He was a big reason the Ducks were the third best team in the nation in turnover margin.  His touchdown-to-interception ratio was 30-6.  He is the exact kind of quarterback this style of fast-paced offense demands.  Needless to say, Oregon was a scoring machine.  They were just beat out at the end of the year as the top team in the country in finding the end zone.  They notched nearly 51 points per game.

It is obviously difficult to find weaknesses in a one-loss team that seems to dominate offensively each year.  Even this year their defense was not too bad, though nothing great either.  But despite their efficiency, they do not go for big down-field plays very often.  The Ducks only average 226 yards per game through the air, which is not very many for such a successful team.  Their pass defense was the weakest part of that unit.  They have up 235 yards per game.  The biggest glaring weakness for Oregon is the special teams unit.  Their punt return averages are okay.  Their kick returns, punting, and kicking are abysmal overall.  They rank among the worst in the Pac-12 in all three.  Their lack of a truly skilled kicker has hurt them for a few seasons going.  Alejandro Maldonado missed two key field goals in the game against Stanford that may have changed the outcome of that game.  Both attempts were within 42 yards.  The same problem affected them against USC last season with a shot to tie the game.  As much as Kelly would hate to admit it, the kicker is the difference between a championship year and a very good year.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Kenjon Barner, RB, 1,624 yards
Passing: Marcus Mariota, QB, 2,511 yards
Receiving: Josh Huff, WR, 467 yards
Tackles: Michael Clay, LB, 92
Sacks: Taylor Hart, DT, 8.0
Interceptions: Kiko Alonso, LB, 4; Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, 4

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 323.25 (4th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 226.83 (63, 7)
Total Offense: 550.08 (4, 1)
Scoring Offense: 50.83 (2, 1)
Rushing Defense: 146.00 (47, 4)
Pass Defense: 235.75 (60, 5)
Total Defense: 381.75 (46, 6)
Scoring Defense: 22.00 (27, 3)
Turnover Margin: 1.58 (3, 1)
Sacks: 2.25 (44, 8)
Sacks Allowed: 1.50 (36, 3)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
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 11/24


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