Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oregon Ducks 2010 Review

Oregon Ducks
2010 Record: 12-1 (9-0), Pac-10 Champions
2010 Bowl Game: BCS Titile Game, Lost to Auburn 22-19

     The Ducks made it to an entirely new level last season, and fell just short of winning the whole thing. Chip Kelly has brought the Ducks to a level never before thought possible, and the Ducks are only getting better, if that is at all posisble. Oregon football is now a power that is not going away any time soon.
     Darron Thomas is one of the premier QBs in the country, and had a tremendous season last fall. Thomas passed for 2863 yards and 30 TDs, while only tossing 9 picks. Thomas rushed for another 486 yards and 5 more scores, making Thomas one of the more dynamic QBs in the country. As great as Thomas was, there were players on this team that were better.
      LaMichael James is one of the more stellar players in the nation at RB. James is a power rusher, who was a threat to break loose every time he touched the football last fall. James rushed for 1731 yards last season, and he punched the ball into the endzone an incredible 21 times last fall. His backup, Kenjon Barner, could have started anywhere but here last fall, as he rushed for 6 TDs in the opening game against Portland State last fall when James was serving a one game suspension. With James, Barner, and Thomas in the Duck backfield, they are almost unstopable.
     The Ducks had a primary 4 man rotation at receiver that was as good or better than any group in the nation last fall. Jeff Maehl was one of the most productive and dangerous receivers in the nation a year ago, and you could not give him an inch. Maehl posted a season in which he rolled up numbers of 77-1076-12. Adding to the damage that Maehl laid out, Drew Davis (42-470-3), David Paulson (24-418-4), and Lavasier Tuinei (36-396-2) all had seasons in which they served the system well. Maehl and Davis are gone now, but Tuinei is well thought of around the nation, and he looks to be the new main threat in the passing game for the Ducks. When the season was all wrapped up, the Ducks scored 73 TDs, and had averaged 537.5 yards per game on the season, making them one of the most incredible offenses in history.
     The one drawback to having such a huge, big play offense, is that the defense spends more time on the field than you would like. Considering that, the Ducks were quite good on defense as well. Five defenders had mroe than 50 tackles on the season. Four of them busted for 70 or more. Casey Matthews led the team with 79 tackles, and he was followed by John Boyett (78), Spencer Paysinger (76), Talmadge Jackson (70), and Eddie Pleasant (65). The Ducks do have a concern as 3 of those 5 players move on.
     The Ducks were highly aggressive up front, as four players had at least 9 TFLs last fall. Brandon Bair led the team with 16, and Kenny Rowe collected 15.5. Zac Clark finished just short of double figures (9.5) as did Casey Matthews (9). The Ducks lose all four of these players for 2011. The Ducks collected 33 sacks as a team last fall, led by Rowe with 7. In contrast, they only gave up 9 sacks all season.
     As aggressive as the Ducks were up front, they were equally as devestating in the secondary, and Cliff Harris, our All-Bilo DB of the Year last fall, was the ringleader. Harris defended 17 passes last season, which is amazing. Boyett knocked away 9 passes, and Bair, as a DE no less, knocked away 8. Jackson and Paysinger both defended 6 passes as well, and the Ducks as a team defended 81 passes on the year. Harris picked off 6 passes, while Boyett picked off 5, and each of them returned one for a score.
     Rob Beard missed one game at PK, but he managed to hit 10 of his 13 FG attempts. There is room for improvement there, but he was only a sophomore, so there is time. Eric Solis played the one game that Beard missed, and he hit 3 of 4 FG attempts.Solis did hit 9 PATs on the season, while Beard hit 63 of 64. Jackson Rice handled the punting duties last season, and averaged 4 punts per game. He was very succesful, as he nailed 42.28 yards per punt. Josh Huff was solid on kick returns, having averaged 24.65 yards per return. Harris was a home run threat on every return on punts. He took 4 in for scores last fall, averaging 18.83 yards per punt return. Kenjon Barner backed him up, and he averaged 13.2 yards per return, and he took one back himself.
Final Notes
     Oregon has basically cemented themselves as a premier power in what will now be the Pac-12. The Ducks are lined up to be a major player in the national picture for years to come. The backfield of Thomas, James, and Barner was an unstoppable force, and the only reason that the Ducks fell short of a title, is because they had lost their aggressiveness on the big stage. The Ducks have a bright future, and last fall was just a sign of things to come.

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