Okay, breathe. As of this morning, it appears that the Ducks coach has decided to stick around. I think everybody, outside of Mark Helfrich, can breathe that big sigh of relief. Done. Now let’s talk about what we saw in the Fiesta Bowl Thursday night.
Judging by the last few games of the season, I’m a bit blurry about Oregon’s “blur” offensive. Originally it was an offense that was going to run its plays at break-neck (or knee, from whiner Nicky Saban’s perspective) speed. Maybe it’s just me, but my eyes tell me that Chip has begun to consider the defense in a way that he hasn’t before. We saw Oregon’s offense at full speed a couple times against Kansas State. The series right before the half was definitely full speed, but what about the rest of the game? It was something like three quarter speed. Fast enough to prevent defensive substitutions and cause some confusion, but not so fast the linemen were caught before they could get in their stance, and safeties were caught setting the corners. The offense was different–slower.
Kelly has always said he’s not a one-trick Duck. He has repeated that he has no signature offense. His offense is the one he thinks will lead to a victory. Maybe, against certain opponents, that offense is one that moves at a slightly different pace, in order to allow the defense to breathe against a sledge hammer offense like K State and Stanford. I, for one, am happy to see some variation week to week in what our offense does. I bet so is Nick Aliotti and his boys.