Arizona, with new coach Rich Rodriguez, is out to prove they belong in the top 25. While Oregon, under coach Chip Kelly, finds itself back in poll position in the race for the National Championship. The game is sure to be a West Coast shoot-out. Both teams rank in the nation’s top seven in total offense; Arizona is fourth with 604 yards per game and Oregon is seventh with 593 yards per game. Ted Miller at ESPN sums up the game well here.
An interesting fact about this game is that it matches two of the most celebrated architects of the no-huddle, spread-option offense. The offensive-style that Chip Kellys Oregon team uses, the so called ‘read-option’, was developed by coach Rich Rodriguez 20 years ago. Rodriguez is considered a pioneer of a no huddle, run-oriented version of the spread offense. He first developed this offensive approach while coaching at Glenville State and refined it during his stops at Tulane, Clemson, and at West Virginia. Here is a short article by the Tucson Citizen on how Rodriguez gave Kelly his start in read-option football.
The past weeks have been both good and bad for the Ducks. The three solid victories have come with a cost. Sadly, against Fresno State, the Ducks lost two of their most senior players to season ending injuries. Carson York and John Boyett were leaders that will surely be missed. Boyett, who was on the ESPN pre-season All Pac-12 team, led the Oregon defense with 108 tackles last year. Prior to this season there was even talk that Boyett might be the best Safety in the nation. Sadly we won’t find out.
On the positive side, the first three games were all easy match-ups that allowed the Ducks to play their second and third strings. The experience these players received will surely be useful as the season progresses. Additionally, the games gave redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota a chance to play without a great deal of pressure. However, due to the lack of competition, the question still remains “are the Ducks worthy of their #3 ranking?” Saturday we will see how the Ducks and Mariota respond to the pressure Arizona is sure to bring.
College Football
Oregon Ducks vs. Arizona Wildcats
23. September 2012 | 05:15 MEZ
Autzen Stadium | Eugene/OR
Live on ESPN America
Keeping with tradition, I’d like to leave you with the Ducks’ latest motivational pump-up videos. Here is the video watched by the team prior to the Fresno State game. The Ducks are on Fire! What do you think about these uniforms? (I like the face masks)
And the video from last week prior to the Tennessee Tech game.
There’s more …
The Ducks’ Harley
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