What You Need To Know About The Oregon Offense
– Oregon might really operate under … center? Nah, it’ll still be Oregon, and it’ll still go fast and keep the quarterback in a shotgun position, but there will be more formations, a Pistol attack at times – a little bit closer to center – and more looks. Offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo will do a variety of things to maximize the skills of brilliant quarterback Justin Herbert, but again, the offense will move in a hurry.
– The season is all about Herbert staying in one piece. Yes, the schedule got tougher just as Herbert got banged up last season and missed five games, and he got to go against the lightweights, but he’s the NFL talent who takes the offense to a whole other level. Backup Braxton Burmeister got in a little work, but he’s in a fight for the No. 2 job.
With most of the top receivers returning, Herbert’s numbers should blow up. Four of the top five targets return, along with Wake Forest grad transfer Tabari Hines. Dillon Mitchell and Hines will be terrific with a healthy Herbert, and Jacob Breeland should once again be one of the Pac-12’s best tight ends.
– Gone is longtime star Royce Freeman from the backfield, and No. 2 man Kai Benoit is done, too. Tony Brooks-James is another talented back who should shine in the Duck offensive system, but he’s going to need help. Redshirt freshman C.J. Verdell was the star of the spring game with the right blend of skills to be a huge part of the rotation right away.
Best of all, four starters are back up front. Losing tackle Tyree Crosby stings, but the line is about to be one of the team’s biggest strengths around center Jake Hanson and guard Calvin Throckmorton on the inside.
Biggest Key To The Oregon Offense
Again, Herbert has to stay healthy, and the passing game has to move. As always, the ground game will control the offense, but when the passing game is on – especially with the great receiving corps returning – look out.
And again, part of the problem last year was the timing, with Herbert going down with a broken collarbone with Stanford and Washington part of the stretch.
The passing game ground to a halt when the No. 1 guy was out, failing to hit the 150-yard mark in six straight games before Herbert returned. With Hebert healthy, Oregon threw for 230 yards or more in every game.