New Offenses During COVID: What to Expect

Ryan Robertson Editorials 37 Comments

For three years, Oregon had the same offensive coordinator in Marcus Arroyo. With Arroyo leaving for a head coaching gig in 2020, Oregon had to find a new man to run the offense. In came Joe Moorhead, architect of some fantastic Penn State offenses.

With a crazy fall season that still has yet to produce a schedule for the Ducks, what can we expect from the new-look offense?

Early returns for Texas are good after hiring Chris Ash. The Longhorns scored 59 points in their lone game of 2020 so far. Texas has a good chance to match its 35.2 ppg average from 2019, as their schedule gets tougher.

Miami football is perennially overrated. Their program hasn’t experienced any sustained success in nearly 20 years, and it often comes down to below average to downright awful output by their offenses. Rhett Lashlee has improved the Hurricanes’ scoring from 25.7 ppg in 2019 to 39 ppg in 2020.

Florida State imploded under Willie Taggert. The former Seminoles head coach failed to address any of the team’s many issues through recruiting, and didn’t improve the team in any discernable way in a year and a half at the helm. 2020 brought head coach Mike Norvell to Tallahassee, along with new offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham. Early results have been less than stellar, with FSU losing their only contest 13-16 to Georgia Tech, a team that averaged fewer than 17 ppg in 2019. Getting outscored by that team is indicative of a broken offense.

Overall, we lack use cases for teams similar in talent level and competition to what the Ducks should expect, but the three above teams are at least a good starting point.

Ryan Robertson
Yuma, Arizona
Top Photo by Matt Zlaket

Natalie Liebhaber, the Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in Bozeman, Montana.

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Oh, and hey, Ryan…don’t think that anything I’ve said on here was dissing your article. It should be obvious by the fact that you simply writing it (not that coming up with something is always simple) has garnered plenty of discussion. If I could give the article itself a thumbs up rather than only comments, you’d definitely have one from me.


Another note about the Chargers-Chiefs game: after scoring the touchdown that made the score 17-15, KC receiver Tyreke Hill took off his helmet while in the end zone. This should have been called an unsportsmanlike penalty resulting in the Chiefs having to attempt their two point conversion from the 17 yard line instead of the 2.


Yeah, but what would you rather lose a game for, a ridiculous penalty not being called that actually had zero to do with the actual gameplay, or a rookie mistake that resulted in an INT? I mean personally, if the game is going to come down to having the ability to get one play back or one call made, I’d rather have the INT back…a whole new set of downs, keep the drive going, quite possibly putting more points on the board, etc…or a longer forced 2 pt conversion that may have kept the game from going to OT to begin with? You make the call…but I want the ball back.


Well, in your scenario the two options are reversing a mistake that was actually made or having a penalty, as silly as it might be, actually called properly? I’ll take the latter.


Hey, that’s why we discuss things, to get different perspectives. I prefer mine…a (hopeful) potential extra 6-points (before PAT) vs a missed 2-points (meaning Herbie would have won the game rather than Mahomes losing it in that scenario). Either way, I think everyone can agree Herbs made us all proud…even with the loss.


On that there can be no disagreement, not here, nor anywhere else it seems! Haven’t heard from Todd McShay yet.

David Marsh

On a side note… I think Florida State has a major culture problem that was left over by Jimbo Fisher. During Fisher’s time at FSU so much bad behavior was swept under the rug and when he bailed for Texas A&M, I am sure Taggart didn’t fix it. Taggart was also over his head in so many ways at FSU and I think so much of his recruiting style was exposed when he coached at three schools in three seasons.

Overall that all makes me feel great about MC even if we haven’t seen the Oregon offense where we as fans want it.


After having lived there I’m not sure it was a Fisher problem so much as it was just an area problem. As far as SLII, I wouldn’t say his recruiting style was exposed, but his coaching style sure was. I mean when it comes down to it, he did make what has turned out to be the absolute best recruiting style we’ve ever seen here at Oregon.

Ya gotta give credit where credit is due though, and if it weren’t for SLII firing the entire Oregon staff and bringing in who he did, we wouldn’t be who we are now. He did recruit and hire Mario Cristobal, Joe Salave’a and Keith Heyward…three pretty solid hires right there. And lets be honest, even before he parted ways having Mr. Pepsi himself, Jim Leavitt was a pretty solid move.

David Marsh

Taggart did hire the backbone of an incredible staff. Though Taggart was exposed as he is one of those recruiters who would tend to make promises to players… the Cristobal style is more along the lines of honesty and strong relationship building with a recruit across a good portion of the staff.

Cristobal has seen coaching turnover and on the whole haven’t really lost any recruits because of it. When Taggart left Oregon a large chunk of the recruiting class fell apart… and only a few pledged with Taggart at FSU instead. Though credit where credit is due and Taggart did usher in the Cristobal era into Oregon though I strongly believe Cristobal has instilled a stronger sense of culture both among athletes and coaches.

I haven’t been to the FSU area of the country so I will take your word that it is more of a regional cultural thing than a program cultural thing. Thank you for your insight.

Though it is interesting how Taggart managed to hire an incredibly good staff at Oregon but couldn’t replicate it at FSU. Granted Oregon paying Leavitt out the nose to keep him for what turned out to be an extra year probably hurt Taggart pretty badly as Taggart really wanted Leavitt… and now the two have been reunited at FAU.


I’m not going to completely rehash one of the most impactful things I heard while there about SLII, but I’ll sum it up by saying I talked to a former player of his at SFU that absolutely tore him a new one. There is, and nothing currently that a fan…here or there…can say that will make me drop my jaw the way I did when this kid was telling me about everything he seriously disliked about SLII.

I had my reservations about the guy while he was here, but we were at least improving over the year before so I was withholding judgement for at least one more year, but what I thought is what I still thought…great talker, says all the right things (even though they tend to be repeated at every school he’s been at…hindsight) and is in over his head with the added problem of thinking his way is the only way.

FYI, I did check after talking with the kid and confirmed that he actually did play for SLII…

Jon Joseph

The Florida Panhandle, especially when compared to Miami, is very much a ‘deep south’ part of the world.

Tallahassee being the state capitol is an OK small city. Head east toward Pensacola and you will find some great beaches, but you will also find Deliverance-like, 1 stop light, small towns.

Miami is in a different world, Kind of like comparing Portland, Oregon to Burns, Oregon.


Oh, trust me, I know this. The anomaly of Florida, the farther north you go, the deeper south you get. I lived 12 miles from the Alabama border if that says anything…lol


Before the John Wilner article went behind a paywall, I saw that he expects the Pac-12 will kick off its season, Oct. 31 with however many teams are ready.

Jon Joseph

And are willing to play?

David Marsh

There are some very unhappy coaches… and rightfully so with Larry’s lack of leadership here. A rational person would be forgiven to think that the Pac-12 was in communication with the B1G in terms of trying to link up their delayed seasons… turns out nothing of the sort. I think coaches would be caught less off guard if Larry had told them that the Pac-12 was just going to follow the B1G… but the B1G just dropped the season restart and left Larry and co scrambling.

I did see Nick Allioti say that with all the resources a program has these days that getting a team ready to play in a month is doable… not easy but doable. Also keeping in mind that every other Pac-12 team is going to be in the same spot.


There was an article about the B1G and the Pac discussing aligning their seasons, and I’m sure that Larry gave the B1G commish his number and asked him to call him if he was going to do anything. As anybody does when annoying twerp gives you his number, B1G tossed Larry’s in garbage and went about the business of re-starting.

Allioti is echoing what Cristobal also said about being able to get ready in a month. Their is definitely dissension, frustration in the ranks. Some teams look to be enthusiastic about getting a chance to play, others like UCLA, are hesitating at the moment, and apparently Stanford is fine not playing. So, great job, Larry.

David Marsh

With a possible October 31 start … That is a max of 7 games … So all the conference really needs to have an actual schedule is have 8 teams…


That’s right and some optimistic news on Stanford, according to Coach Shaw on Twitter, Stanford is now working diligently with the Pac-12 and the county to get sports going as soon as it is safe to do so.

Jon Joseph

Thanks Ryan.

Very excited to see what JM brings to the table once the Ducks tee it up. Hopefully, not later than November 7th. 7 or 8 games of experience of Shough playing for Joe will really help the cause going into 2021.

I am also fascinated to see what Todd Monken’s O will look like at Georgia. Looks like JT Daniels will start for the Dawgs. If UGA can improve on O it has the roster to make it to and win the 2020 title.

And yes, The U looks much improved on O with Lashlee making a big difference as is and grad transfer Eriq King at QB. FSU plays at Miami Saturday. I expect a fairly easy Canes win.

Tough OT L for Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Taylor hurt his chest somehow pregame and this led to JH starting. Will be interesting to see who starts at QB for the Chargers in the next game.


For now, Chargers head coach, Anthony Lynn is adhering to NFL orthodoxy and Tyrod Taylor is still #1, and if able will be the starting QB moving forward. We’ll see.


I guess I’m a little confused by the article. Are you saying that we could be anywhere from great to a total disaster…or were you just pointing out that we still don’t like Willie Taggart?

I’ll admit I haven’t really watched any football this “season” (except I did watch highlights from Herbie’s debut…not CFB obviously though) and unless the PAC plays I don’t think that’s going to change much, but other than that, what’s the general output been for teams? Is this the year of the offense, or could there be 100-97 games that are just as exciting as 0-2 games simply because there’s actually a game on?


Teams with new coordinators.


Right, I get that but Slick Willie ll isn’t a new, or even a coordinator. In fact, his current team, FAU, isn’t even mentioned.


Hey, any time SLII is mentioned in a less than positive way I’m all for it. Heck, you should hear what FSU fans think of the guy. At least here he left with there still being optimism from the team…I think his only fan there was…maybe his wife and kids?


Agreed @Dumpsterfire, If the purpose was to bring up norvell at FSU, fine but that still isn’t indicative of the situation at oregon. FSU is going through a whole new coaching staff, also Norvell has stated that it will be a long journey to fix their issues.

Even the situation at Texas is probably not very transferable, Beck(Texas OC 2019) was demoted and later left for another team vs oregon who’s OC left to become a Head coach, Typically and hopefully a new OC should outperform a fired OC. Also Texas’ opponent of UTEP really isn’t comparable on as a whole to 2019.

and even miami only put up 31 points against UAB.

I wouldn’t compare averages of last season to one game or two.

Example: If Oregon started the season against say AZ and put up 50 points i would say don’t speak to soon as it is only AZ.


Yeah, but at the same time, after re-reading it, I think the purpose was less Oregon and more CFB as a whole. Besides that, I do like trashing SLII (what I’ll be referring to Willie Taggart as from now on…since as I’ve mentioned in other article comments, we’ve already had a “Slick Willie” related to Oregon…and that one got us a couple of sanctions).


It’s a reminder that CFB is happening in many parts of the country NOT named Eugene.


Herbert sure looked good last night. Looks like he is finally being coached up.


JH did look great; an unfortunate interception late, when he had plenty of room to run, his one mistake. But, it was incredible. There wasn’t a thought that he’d play until minutes before the game started, against the Champs and Mahomes!! Unfortunately, twice, the Chargers blew it,, 4th quarter, 1st and goal from inside the 5, start out with 3 runs up the middle, field goal. Then, in OT, 4th &1, they punt to the Chiefs….who take it down the field and win. Of course that wasn’t as bad as the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons led the Cowboys 20-0 and 29-10, by 9 with under 3 minutes, and they lost, because they let the Cowboys recover an onside kick…The Falcons head coach says that they did know the rules, that the receiving team doesn’t have to wait for the ball to go 10 yards, but they did, the Cowboys recovered, kicked a FG, and won. The end to the night was good, Scam Newton flipped, head over heels on the 2 yard line!

As far as the college offenses, hard to say as the games played so far, would be on ESPNU in normal seasons.

Jon Joseph

Very tough L. We’ll see if continues to start. He started yesterday because the starter was injured.

He did look relaxed and efficient.

The Chargers D played an outstanding game.


Justin did look relaxed and efficient. A couple of “rookie mistakes”, the interception where he should have just kept running for the 1st down, and also taking a sack for a loss where he should have just thrown the ball into the ground, and once when they were close to the goal line he was going to hand off but turned the wrong way, the runner was on his other side looking for the ball – busted play.

I was disappointed in the D as they couldn’t stop the Chief’s late in the game and also in OT. They did have a good pass rush for most of the game but got tired toward the end, and they need to improve their tackling, too many missed tackles.

Overall Justin looked like he belonged.


I can see being disappointed that the Chargers D let KC go down the field and win the game…but giving up 23 points to the Mahomes Chiefs, in OT, is nothing to be ashamed of. In the woefulness that moral victories reside, this was a great one. I put more of the blame on the offense; the 3 run plays, up the middle, in the 1st and goal, and clearly punting the ball back to KC instead of going for it on 4th & 1, in OT, when all the Chiefs had to do is get in FG range for a kicker who had earlier hit one from 53?


So what you’re saying is that the Chargers with a rookie QB could be very competitive this year ?? – – – Yea, I like that.


Good point, he did look like someone who has received some good coaching, finally.


Did anyone else notice how Justin leveled a DB on a sideline run? Justin pops up, and the DB lays there like he just hit a train. Justin looked extremely comfortable considering he stepped into the starting lineup, last second, and second game of the season, well done!


Yep, noticed that, also noticed that the game didn’t seem to be too “fast” for him. Which is something that a lot of rookies say about pro’s.