The Moorhead Offense: Are You Confident or Concerned?

Joshua Whitted Editorials

After years of uninspiring offense under Marcus Arroyo, Oregon Ducks fans were ready for change. Something. Anything. Just as long is it was different.

It has been a year since their wish was granted and Joe Moorhead was hired to take his shot at returning the Ducks to their high-flying offensive glory days. Moorhead looked to diversify a stale Oregon rushing offense and get more out of the talented quarterbacks on the roster by incorporating them in the running game.

With only seven games under his belt in the Great Northwest (and essentially no offseason), it’s probably too early to form any definitive conclusions about Moorhead’s offense. But where’s the fun in “wait and see“?

Early on, the Shough experiment was working with Moorhead

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This is the offseason. If there was ever a time to form an opinion based on little evidence, or make sweeping declarations, this is it! Moorhead may not have a lot of games under his belt at Oregon yet, but he did show fans enough to at least paint a picture of what his offense will look like going forward.

Do you like the painting?

The Ducks came out firing on all cylinders in 2020, totaling over 450 yards in three of their first four games. Quarterback Tyler Shough seemed right at home in Moorhead’s run-pass-option-heavy scheme, and receiver Devon Williams was on the cusp of superstardom. The rushing offense was varied and dangerous, with every skill position player being a legitimate threat to run the ball and make plays with it.

Touchdowns like these were hard to come by for Oregon late in the season.

And then the Ducks came crashing down to earth. In each of its final three games, Oregon failed to top 400 yards, Shough regressed mightily, Williams was a non-factor, and the offense was more of a liability than an asset.

Such a drastic offensive decline can’t leave a good taste in the mouth of a fanbase that had once grown accustomed to explosive plays and high scoring outputs. While the start of the season hinted at a return to offensive supremacy, the end of the season suggested Oregon could be in for more of the same mediocre offense of the Arroyo days.

Did Moorhead’s hot start do enough to alleviate your concerns about the future of the Oregon offense, or are you skeptical following the troubling end-of-season collapse?

Joshua Whitted
Morgantown, West Virginia
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