Oregon’s Receivers Are Poised For a Breakout Season in 2015

Oregon meets Colorado at Autzen Stadium NCAA football.

The Oregon Ducks have revolutionized the way that college football is played, and for almost 10 years now, the Ducks have been the most entertaining team to watch. Oregon’s no-huddle offense, comprised of speed, great athletes and misdirection, has influenced many programs across the country. Chip Kelly, who is currently the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and one of the most successful coaches Oregon’s history, won 46 games, including two bowl games, during his four-year tenure as the Ducks’ head coach.

Kelly’s Ducks averaged 44.6 points per game from 2009-2012. Although Kelly bolted for the NFL after the 2012 season, his successor, Mark Helfrich, has kept the tradition alive. Since Helfrich took over the reins in 2013, the Ducks have posted a 24-4 record, and they’re still scoring at an unbelievable pace. But what has been Oregon’s secret? How has the program maintained an offensive edge for nearly a decade? You can point to a lot of things, but one thing is clear: Oregon has had a lot of offensive weapons over the years, and its receivers have led the way.

According to Dale Newton of duckstopshere.com, he believes that the Ducks current receiving corps has a chance to be one of the best — if not the best receiving group — that the program has ever seen.

Devon Allen is expected to be an important piece for Oregon's offense next season.

Craig Strobeck

Devon Allen is expected to be an important piece for Oregon’s offense next season.

“The options are dazzling, and this group has the character and attitude to push each other and keep focused on the prize rather than individual accolades,” Newton stated in his article. “Marcus Mariota‘s sterling example will lead them in that.”

Newton certainly has a point here. Oregon will enter the 2015 season with a plethora of playmakers. Byron Marshall, Darren Carrington and Dwayne Stanford combined for 2,346 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Also, assuming that Devon Allen, Pharaoh Brown and Bralon Addison are healthy, Oregon will be a lot more explosive with them on the active roster.

However, there is a very important question that has lingered for quite some time now: Who is going to be the Ducks quarterback next season? Oregon’s coaching staff hasn’t really answered this question with much clarity, but can you blame them? It will be impossible to accurately gauge the situation until Vernon Adams, who is graduating from Eastern Washington University and transferring to Oregon as a graduate student, arrives in Eugene this summer.

Newton sees this as a potential concern, but not enough to wave the red flag. He says “As talented and potentially explosive as this offense is, they’re replacing the Heisman trophy winner and three starters on the offensive line.”

Marcus Mariota will be remembered as the best player that the program has ever seen.

Craig Strobeck

Marcus Mariota will be remembered as the best player that the program has ever seen.

The Ducks certainly lost some key players after the season ended back in January. When you consider how important Mariota, Hroniss Grasu, Jake Fisher and Hamani Stevens were to the team’s success, it’s going to be tough to replace them. But the Ducks have always had a unique mentality that includes selflessness and sacrifice.

Helfrich and the rest of the coaching staff believe in what they’re doing, and the players have bought in, as well. Sure, the Ducks will miss their all-Americans, especially Mariota, but Newton thinks they will have enough talent to continue their success this season.

“The O-line should sort itself out with seven players returning that have started games, including Tyler Johnstone, a veteran left tackle who missed all of last year,” Newton said. “Adams has the experience, confidence, touch and creativity to produce a lot of points and yards with this gifted ensemble – all playmakers who can turn a simple sideline route into a long touchdown.”

What’s great about sports is that each year is different. There are new story lines, new players and new questions to ponder. The Ducks will have some new faces next season, but plenty of their primary playmakers will be back and as explosive as ever.

So, will this be the best receiving corps that the Ducks have ever had? Who knows? But it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.

Top Photo by Craig Strobeck

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Omar Garibay

Omar Garibay

My name is Omar Garibay and I am a journalism student at the University of Oregon. I was born and raised in Salem, Oregon and I have dreamed of living in Los Angeles since I was 14-years-old. My dream career would be to work for ESPN LA, The Los Angeles Times or as a beat writer for the Los Angeles Lakers or Dodgers. Twitter: @omargaribay8

  • Jon Sousa

    Since most of us read duckstopshere, we really don’t need an article telling us what it says. You could write your own story and give a link to Newton’s blog if you like. This is not the first article here written in this fashion. Since Fishduck.com prides itself as now being a real sports news outlet, it should come up with its own material. You would never see Oregon Live post an article like this. I am interested in what you think about the receiving corps. I already read what Dale thinks. You are a journalism student. Let’s see some journalism.

    • Actually Jon…we are no longer attempting to do sports news, as we do not have the resources to do so. See the link below for more…

      http://fishduck.com/2015/06/fishduck-com-drops-sports-news-to-serve-the-next-level-fan/

      This article is called a “Subject Expansion” where we take an article elsewhere that we don’t believe many Oregon fans have read, and thus pull some nice parts out and add to it on our own. The mistake made is that the article taken from (Dale’s) was more popular than fits our definition of lightly read by Oregon fans.

      BTW…OregonLive HAS done this type of article, as they took my analysis last fall of Charles Nelson and did a “Subject Expansion” article about it. They linked me and gave the site proper attribution credit, so it was all good. It is pretty common now.

  • MAITAIDUCK

    It would be unheard of for the Ducks to have the severity of injury’s to so many starters in 1 season as this was a fluke year for this Football team and show’s us as well as the sports world really how talented the Ducks roster really is. I really believe this team in 2015 will be better than last years version if that is possible but it should happen because with all these weapons and the ones waiting to play this is an explosive team. If all the 5 starters played against OS and weren’t on the side watching Oregon I believe would of been the team dominating OS instead of the opposite happening. The defense caused 4 TO’s and we fans know when the Ducks get that many in a game we win every time. The worst part of it all was it was Ohio St and I really truly hope them and the Ducks are in that last game again with all players healthy because it will be different this time.