Ducks Don’t Expect to Catch Buckeyes Off Guard

Pregame 99, UCLA, 14, DP

Though he doesn’t plan to slow down for anyone, Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost isn’t counting on the quack attack’s trademark tempo taking Ohio State by surprise. The Oregon offense is used to sending defenses reeling with its patented barrage of quick and deadly play calls, a strategy which can rapidly put a poorly conditioned defense back on its heels with hands on hips and heads spinning, but the Ducks OC expects to need to do more than just go fast on Monday.

Ohio State shared a division with the newly sped up offense at Indiana this year, and with Bill O’Brien’sNASCAR” attack at Penn State last year, and though the Midwest is hardly a mecca of the no-huddle, the Ducks feel they’ll be facing a more prepared opponent this week than last. Said Frost after Oregon’s first full pads practice of the week yesterday, “they (the Buckeyes) see tempo all the time. They look like they’re in condition. So we’re not expecting to have the same advantage in this one.” That might worry some people, who may be thinking  the Ducks need every advantage they can get.  Ohio State is the only football team in the country with 8 or more wins and no losses against Oregon at 8-0 all-time, including a 26-17 victory in the 2010 Rose Bowl, and though the Ducks average a 27 point victory over ranked teams this season, Oregon has never scored more than 17 points against OSU.

"Business to take care of"

Kevin Cline

“Business to take care of”

But they haven’t seen this year’s Ducks. Led by a Heisman Trophy winner who has been the MVP of every bowl and championship game in which he has played, and stocked with a class of 5th year seniors who came in on the heels of the Ducks’ first try at a National Championship, Oregon is ready to take home the title this year, and they don’t need a gimmick to do it. Sure, the Ducks plan to practice at Oregon speed, but they also plan to play with Oregon intensity, Oregon quality and Oregon intelligence. Head coach Mark Helfrich’s message this week is “Focus and finish,” and step 1 is already underway for senior linebacker Derrick Malone Jr., who said he began studying Ohio State on Monday night. Said Malone, who was flown to the 2010 NCG as an Oregon prospect, “We’ve got business to take care of.”

Preparing a practice schedule for the week before a National Championship game during the summer beforehand might seem like premeditated arrogance for some teams. In Eugene, it was just prudence.


Top Photo Credit: Davis Pyles

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David Koh

David Koh

David Koh (Editor and Writer) is a lifelong sports fan and football nerd. An alumnus of North Carolina State University, where he studied English, and ex-marching band geek, David loves to write as much as he loves learn, and is constantly analyzing the game within the game on the gridiron. He is currently pursuing a career in sports writing, and hopes to one day make a living watching football.

  • Horvo

    I think Frost might be sandbagging with this. Indiana and Cincinnati are the only teams with above average pace that OSU has faced this year. And practicing against your own first team offense doesn’t happen that much during the season, (besides the fact that OSU doesn’t really run plays at that fast of a tempo). The Ducks’ plan is to execute efficiently when their opponent can’t. That means tempo in every game, even though they were going faster against FSU. I would be surprised if they didn’t try to derail the Buckeyes with some lightning drives and see how they react.

    • hokieduck

      The Buckeyes are a tempo team. Which does not mean that they will have faced Duck tempo, which is smooth and deadly, but they will be more prepared than most. The key is execution. I have to believe that the difference in quarterback experience will be telling in this game. If nothing else, that will be the difference. Urban Meyer has had to focus his playbook quite a bit for Jones. I doubt he will fully open it for this game either. I wish he would; the more confusion, the more Jones has to *think*, the better.

      It also helps that tOSU had their bodies beaten up 11 days prior to this game whereas Oregon rested for the 4th quarter.

      Go Ducks! WTD!

  • houston duck

    I believe Malone was a redshirt freshman, not a prospect, when we played in the 2010 natty.


    WOW you’d think OS was Bionical or something. OS will be just like the last 10 opponents as in SUCKING WIND. Every top 10 team should be in shape or who do they have as their strength and conditioning Coach?I believe Oregon players know deep down they will make OS wish they were already back home. Oregon’s on a mission if anyone hasn’t realized it yet by the way they play for each other. Marcus can lay it on the line this time as in no holding back. The Ducks are 2 deep and 3 in some position groups. They are just as Athletic as any OS players. Oregon wins 52 to 33 and it’s this Defense that WTD!

  • Mail Carrier in Ohio

    For all this unbelievable speed, Oregon averages less than a field goal per game than tOSU. I think the Buckeyes will be just fine come Monday night.