What a difference a couple of games makes in our impression of the Ducks and Head Coach Mark Helfrich! With the losses to Stanford and Arizona, along with the poor momentum at the end of last season–it all pointed to a big make-or-break year in 2014 for Coach Helfrich in the eyes of many fans. I heard it often … the murmuring among the Oregon faithful, the question asked in media interviews (twice), to my surprise. We all heard about it going into the Michigan State game, and they alluded to it in the telecast. Everyone wants it to work out for Coach Helfrich, but they are reserving judgment to the end of this season, so to many this is a pivotal year that could end with a changing of the HC at Oregon (again … in the eyes of a percentage of Oregon fans).
Now aside from whether or not it was fair, and without going into last year with Mariota’s injury, etc … how do you feel now about the Oregon Head Coach?
I will go out on a limb and say … we are doing better than I hoped for! I was counting on the young receivers to emerge, and boy have they; I was hoping for a little more passing in the offense this year due to the presence of Mariota, and the stats confirm my wishes. After three games there have been 26% more running plays (115 to 91) but the passing game has brought about 36% more yardage (991 vs. 729). We are balanced, with the edge to the passing game, which makes sense considering our QB.
Concerning our defense–I got questions all through the off-season about whether Oregon was going to take a step down with new Defensive Coordinator Don Pellum … but I told them that we would at least be as good, and perhaps better. So far, we have seen excellent adjustments at halftime, although the Cougars are going to strain Oregon’s defensive stats.
What are you thinking now about the future of Oregon football?
I am feeling very good about the future in terms of recruiting, the emerging balance on offense, and the surprising game plans. But I would like to hear what the pondering readers here have to say; are you happy with Helf?
Top Photo by Gary Breedlove