Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Scary Thought for the rest of the PAC-12: How Oregon will improve their running game this spring and summer

For the serious student of x's and o's, Trojan Football Analysis has breakdowns of the Oregon triple option plays introduced during the Auburn game, complete with photos and videos.  The writer illustrates what went wrong in the running game, particularly how Nick Fairley defeated play after play at the point of attack.

When these did not work as well as hoped Oregon also opted to attempt to read some of the Auburn defenders on other run plays. During the regular season Oregon had tremendous success running plays and not blocking the 3 technique DT versus undisciplined teams like USC. Also this has been a great play for them in the red zone the past few seasons. In this game it was not working too well though and several plays were blown up.

Oregon returns their skill players in the backfield and adds a speedy recruit in De’Anthony Thomas. Whether they use the triple gun option look or not they will rack up yards again on offense next season. Of that fact I have no doubt… The question will be whether anyone in the Pac-10 can stop them the way Auburn did. USC has not come close in two season now. Cal came the closest in 2010 so that rematch will be interesting to watch next season.

It's a safe bet that Chip Kelly and Steve Greatwood have carefully studied this same film, and will improve the execution in this series with repetition and some forceful instruction.
Oregon Gun Triple Option Plays  (youtube link)

Oregon Rushing Attack by Game (chart)
The triple option series, provided the breakdowns in blocking can be ironed out, offers the Ducks an exciting way to exploit their speed and depth in the backfield, particularly when the footing is better than it was on the loose, soggy turf of University of Phoenix Stadium.  Imagine Kenjon Barner, Lache Seastrunk, and D'Anthony Thomas with one man to beat to the end zone, and Lavasier Tuinei and Josh Huff blocking downfield.  The article points out that last season the Ducks averaged 286 yards per game on the ground, 4th in the country, and the National Championship Game suggested Darron Thomas is ready to take the passing game to a new level as well.
With speed and innovation, and a strong resolve to get off the canvas and keep punching, the Ducks will take the offensive fight to the opponents in 2011.

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