Coach Dillingham’s Offensive Attack Philosophy Confirmed with Oregon…Again

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Analysis

Oregon Offensive Coordinator Kenny Dillingham has explained how he prefers a fast-tempo offense and in particular—taking advantage of one-on-one matchups that he strives to create from his formations and offensive schemes. I was reading about the great NFL Coaches the other day, and it got me to pondering about examples of where Coach Dillingham applied his attacking philosophy in the Spring Game, and perhaps we can examine another example from his past? Let’s take a look…

Seven McGee capitalizes on defensive confusion.

It was not just a long pass attempt on the first play, but the one-on-one matchup that Coach Dillingham has preached that made it happen. Above you see how the Ducks in yellow have a bunched formation on the right, which creates confusion for defenders in terms of who is getting covered whether it be a “man” matchup or a Zone coverage. I point out Seven McGee above with the red arrow to watch in the video of the play below, and would like you to also observe the safety circled in light blue.

Both the safety and the linebacker (light blue arrow above) are simply slow to react and pursue on this play, as the combination of some coverage confusion, poor coverage skills and most likely the blinding speed of Seven McGee makes this pass an explosion play that asserts Coach Dillingham’s philosophy immediately to the fans, the team and future opponents.

Something not so evident is how this passing route above is not a shallow one, but deeper of which opens up other routes underneath. Such a route is ideal for a speedster to gain separation, but it also requires adequate pass protection by the offensive line to get the pass off. I’ve been wanting to see deeper crossing routes for years, as it is very difficult for a safety to cover a very fast receiver crossing in front of him. This play is a great example, as even a fraction of hesitation can create a even more separation for a crossing wide receiver.

Seven McGee matched up on a Safety?

The touchdown was another one-on-one matchup in the favor of the offense as Seven McGee (above) is again aligned up with a safety, a good one–yet it is still a great matchup for the offense. Putting your best corner on McGee is the best option, as a safety will not have the speed of the superb wide-outs that Oregon is blessed with in so many young-guns.

The safety tipped the ball, (above) but the receiver got the inside position, the quarterback (Bo Nix) delivered, and a touchdown was the result. Offensive Coordinator Kenny Dillingham has promised fast scoring, explosion plays and favorable one-on-one matchups and Oregon fans were able to see that in the first three plays of the 2022 Spring Game.

I loved how we saw an example of what has been asserted to the media immediately in the Spring Game, but there is another example of how Coach Dillingham took advantage of a favorable one-on-one matchup involving Oregon that many would like to forget, but it is instructive nonetheless.

While the video is grey now…once you click on it–you will see the play. Yes, it was the one that beat Oregon with just nine seconds left in the game, with Bo Nix at quarterback and with Kenny Dillingham at Auburn. Note how the pass went to No. 18, Seth Williams, their stud receiver who had three times more receptions that year than any other wide-out, and was their go-to receiver at crunch time.

Then note who was defending on the play? You would answer that it was Verone McKinley III, but it was not the VK who was the All-American. It was Verone McKinley the freshman in his first start ever in his Oregon career. You gotta be kidding me…a stud savvy receiver up against a freshman in his first game?  Is that a smart matchup or what? It was the perfect one-on-one match from Coach Dillingham which made me angry as an Oregon fan, made me admire the coach from the analytical angle, and made me grateful that “he’s on our side now!”

So we have evidence from the past, and evidence from a month ago that Coach Kenny Dillingham intends to create and take advantage of one-on-one matchups to score quickly with explosion plays. It makes me believe that 2022 is going to be great fun to watch because…

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
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