A History of Field Goals in the Chip Kelly Era

Steve Dykes

Is Chip Kelly's in-game strategy to blame for Oregon's current kicking woes? Or do the kickers themselves need to step up and put it between the uprights?

The Oregon offense is a wondrous plaything. Chip Kelly knows this, and exploits it to the fullest. Oregon has gone for it on 108 fourth downs since Kelly took the head coaching position, converting 65 of them. Many of these fourth downs occur near midfield, out of field goal range and worth the field-position risk; however, when faced with a fourth down in field goal range, the choice to go for it could possibly be taking three points off the board. Let's take a look at those particular fourth downs in the Chip Kelly era. First, 2009:

  1. Boise State 19, Oregon 8, 12:48 4th quarter, 4th and 1 from the 22 - Blount rush, turnover on downs
  2. Oregon 0, Purdue 0, 10:24 1st quarter, 4th and 8 from the 11 - field goal made
  3. Purdue 24, Oregon 17, 6:17 3rd quarter, 4th and 9 from the 29 - field goal missed
  4. Oregon 28, Utah 24, 1:15 3rd quarter, 4th and 1 from the 33 - Barner rush, turnover on downs
  5. Oregon 28, Utah 24, 3:35 4th quarter, 4th and 2 from the 13 - field goal made
  6. Cal 3, Oregon 0, 5:59 1st quarter, 4th and goal from the 13 - field goal made
  7. Oregon 39, Cal 3, 8:21 4th quarter, 4th and 13 from the 24 - field goal made
  8. Oregon 0, WSU 0, 12:20 1st quarter, 4th and 1 from the 26 - LMJ rushing touchdown
  9. Oregon 42, WSU 0, 13:00 3rd quarter, 4th and 3 from the 17 - field goal missed
  10. Oregon 42, WSU 0, 5:33 3rd quarter, 4th and 3 from the 23 - field goal made
  11. Oregon 0, UCLA 0, 7:14 1st quarter, 4th and 7 from the 34 - field goal blocked
  12. Oregon 21, UCLA 10, 15:00 4th quarter, 4th and goal from the 16 - field goal made
  13. Oregon 8, washington 3, 3:00 2nd quarter, 4th and 5 from the 15 - Costa rush for a 1st down
  14. USC 3, Oregon 0, 7:35 1st quarter, 4th and 9 from the 14 - field goal made
  15. Oregon 24, USC 17, 12:03 3rd quarter, 4th and 6 from the 18 - field goal made
  16. Oregon 41, USC 20, 8:05 4th quarter, 4th and goal from the 5 - field goal made
  17. Oregon 44, USC 20, 2:10 4th quarter, 4th and 4 from the 6 - field goal made
  18. Oregon 14, ASU 7, 12:17 2nd quarter, 4th and 8 from the 10 - field goal made
  19. Oregon 38, ASU 21, 7:53 4th quarter, 4th and 5 from the 26 - field goal made
  20. Oregon 41, ASU 21, 1:44 4th quarter, 4th and 5 from the 24 - field goal made
  21. Arizona 24, Oregon 21, 7:46 4th quarter, 4th and 5 from the 26 - field goal made
  22. Arizona 31, Oregon 24, 0:23 4th quarter, 4th and 5 from the 23 - Masoli to Maehl for a 1st down
  23. Oregon 34, OSU 33, 10:18 4th quarter, 4th and 16 from the 17 - field goal made
  24. Oregon 37, OSU 33, 3:29 4th quarter, 4th and 3 from the 33 - Masoli rush for a 1st down
  25. Oregon 37, OSU 33, 1:43 4th quarter, 4th and 2 from the 19 - Barner rush for a 1st down
  26. Ohio State 10, Oregon 0, 14:29 2nd quarter, 4th and goal from the 7 - field goal made
  27. Ohio State 10, Oregon 3, 11:00 2nd quarter, 4th and 9 from the 29 - Masoli to Maehl for a 1st down
  28. Ohio State 16, Oregon 10, 13:10 3rd quarter, 4th and 3 from the 27 - Masoli to Tuinei for a 1st down
  29. Ohio State 26, Oregon 17, 5:15 4th quarter, 4th and 1 from the 27 - field goal missed
Man, we kicked a lot of field goals. And for the most part, we made them. The times we went for it: three 4th and ones, a first quarter 4th and 5 against the huskies, and a must-convert late against Arizona. It wasn't until the Civil War that Big Balls Chip made his first appearance; two fourth-downs, when a field goal would put Oregon up seven. Kelly rolled the dice, twice, Masoli and Barner converted, and the Ducks were Rose Bowl bound. The most controversial decision of the year was the decision to kick a field goal in the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl. Down nine points, the safe strategy is to get points any way you can, since you need to score twice. A 44 yarder was on the outer edge of Morgan Flint's range, but he was 5-6 from forty or more yards entering that kick. It was a very conservative decision, especially considering it was 4th and 1, but when you keep in mind that Chip Kelly had been, for the most part, a conservative decision maker in his first season, it wasn't completely out of character. On to 2010!
  1. Oregon 49, New Mexico 0, 2:00 2nd quarter, 4th and goal from the 7 - field goal made
  2. Oregon 59, New Mexico 0, 8:50 3rd quarter, 4th and goal from the 14 - field goal made
  3. Oregon 62, New Mexico 0, 5:28 3rd quarter, 4th and 3 from the 13 - field goal made
  4. Oregon 65, New Mexico 0, 15:00 4th quarter, 4th and 4 from the 10 - field goal blocked
  5. Tennessee 6, Oregon 0, 1:35 1st quarter, 4th and 9 from the 19 - field goal made
  6. Tennessee 13, Oregon 3, 3:06 2nd quarter, 4th and 15 from the 25 - field goal made
  7. Oregon 35, PSU 0, 2:31 2nd quarter, 4th and 8 from the 10 - field goal made
  8. Oregon 38, PSU 0, 0:50 2nd quarter, 4th and 4 from the 33 - Thomas to Tuinei for a first down
  9. Oregon 45, PSU 0, 11:40 3rd quarter, 4th and 6 from the 23 - field goal made
  10. Oregon 0, Stanford 0, 11:11 1st quarter, 4th and 4 from the 5 - field goal made
  11. Oregon 0, WSU 0, 12:00 1st quarter, 4th and 2 from the 28 - Thomas to Maehl for a first down
  12. Oregon 22, UCLA 3, 3:58 2nd quarter, 4th and 1 from the 9 - LMJ rush for a first down
  13. Oregon 29, UCLA 3, 0:52 2nd quarter, 4th and goal from the 12 - field goal made
  14. Oregon 39, UCLA 6, 3:22 3rd quarter, 4th and goal from the 2 - incomplete, turnover on downs
  15. Oregon 43, USC 32, 7:20 4th quarter, 4th and 5 from the 17 - field goal made
  16. Oregon 0, washington 0, 13:32 2nd quarter, 4th and 6 from the 12 - field goal made
  17. Oregon 25, washington 13, 9:43 3rd quarter, 4th and 6 from the 9 - field goal botched, turnover
  18. Oregon 39, washington 16, 11:12 4th quarter, 4th and 2 from the 8 - LMJ rush for a first down
  19. Oregon 8, Cal 7, 1:02 2nd quarter, 4th and 3 from the 26 - Thomas to James for a first down
  20. Oregon 8, Cal 7, 0:13 2nd quarter, 4th and 8 from the 19 - field goal missed
  21. Oregon 15, Cal 7, 12:40 3rd quarter, 4th and 6 from the 31 - field goal missed
  22. Arizona 14, Oregon 7, 14:30 2nd quarter, 4th and 1 from the 8 - Barner rush for a first down
  23. Oregon 7, OSU 6, 12:10 2nd quarter, 4th and 17 from the 19 - field goal made
  24. Oregon 16, OSU 7, 0:03 2nd quarter, 4th and goal from the 7 - field goal missed
  25. Oregon 16, OSU 7, 12:04 3rd quarter, 4th and 8 from the 30 - Thomas to Barner, turnover on downs
  26. Oregon 0, Auburn 0, 14:24 2nd quarter, 4th and 8 from the 9 - field goal made
  27. Auburn 19, Oregon 11, 2:36 3rd quarter, 4th and goal from the 1 - Barner rush, turnover on downs
That last one stings a bit, doesn't it? After going for it on 9 of 29 instances in 2009, Chip Kelly chooses to go for it on 9 of 27 instances in 2010, all of them except for one a 4th-and-5 or less. In terms of getting aggressive for sevens over trying for three, there isn't anything to think that Chip Kelly is particularly foolhardy. Yet. 2011 awaits...
  1. LSU 3, Oregon 0, 4:05 1st quarter, 4th and 5 from the 11 - field goal made
  2. Oregon 3, LSU 3, 0:47 1st quarter, 4th and 3 from the 13 - field goal made
  3. Oregon 0, Nevada 0, 11:37 1st quarter, 4th and 5 from the 30 - Darron Thomas rush for a first down
  4. Oregon 55, Nevada 20, 2:34 4th quarter, 4th and 9 from the 26 - Ayele Forde touchdown
  5. Oregon 56, Missouri State 7, 11:38 4th quarter, 4th and 7 from the 14 - Forde rush, turnover on downs
  6. Oregon 28, Arizona 3, 4:55 2nd quarter, 4th and 1 from the 19 - LMJ touchdown
  7. Oregon 35, Arizona 24, 3:29 3rd quarter, 4th and 1 from the 5 - Darron Thomas rushing touchdown
  8. Cal 15, Oregon 14, 3:36 2nd quarter, 4th and 10 from the 35 - field goal missed
  9. Oregon 35, ASU 24, 14:51 4th quarter, 4th and 2 from the 19 - field goal made
  10. Oregon 38, ASU 27, 9:36 4th quarter, 4th and goal from the 7 - field goal made
  11. Oregon 42, Colorado 0, 6:35 3rd quarter, 4th and 7 from the 18 - field goal made
  12. Oregon 8, WSU 0, 4:16 1st quarter, 4th and 1 from the 17 - LMJ rush, turnover on downs
  13. Oregon 7, washington 3, 6:16 1st quarter, 4th and 12 from the 23 - field goal made
  14. Oregon 31, washington 17, 1:59 3rd quarter, 4th and 8 from the 18 - field goal made
  15. Oregon 34, washington 17, 14:14 4th quarter, 4th and 17 from the 30 - field goal missed
  16. Oregon 29, Stanford 16, 7:36 3rd quarter, 4th and 2 on the 4 - LMJ touchdown
  17. Oregon 43, Stanford 30, 5:12 4th quarter, 4th and 8 from the 23 - field goal made
  18. USC 7, Oregon 0, 3:42 1st quarter, 4th and 7 from the 33 - incomplete pass, turnover on downs
  19. USC 38, Oregon 35, 0:05 4th quarter, 4th and 12 from the 20 - field goal missed
  20. Oregon 7, OSU 0, 7:18 1st quarter, 4th and 7 from the 31 - Thomas to Paulson, turnover on downs
  21. Oregon 7, OSU 0, 1:16 1st quarter, 4th and 14 from the 33 - incomplete pass, turnover on downs
  22. Oregon 35, OSU 7, 6:13 3rd quarter, 4th and goal from the 4 - Barner rush, fumble, turnover
  23. Oregon 0, UCLA 0, 13:17 1st quarter, 4th and 1 from the 30 - LMJ touchdown
  24. Oregon 14, UCLA 7, 1:40 1st quarter, 4th and 1 from the 20 - Barner rush for a first down
  25. Oregon 28, UCLA 14, 4:35 2nd quarter, 4th and 3 from the 25 - Thomas to Hawkins, touchdown
  26. Oregon 49, UCLA 24, 12:08 4th quarter, 4th and 9 from the 30 - incomplete pass, turnover on downs
  27. Oregon 49, UCLA 24, 7:23 4th quarter, 4th and 3 from the 8 - Barner rush, turnover on downs
  28. Oregon 42, Wisconsin 38, 9:30 4th quarter, 4th and 6 from the 30 - Thomas to Tuinei for a first down
  29. Oregon 42, Wisconsin 38, 6:55 4th quarter, 4th and 1 from the 13 - field goal made
From a combined 18/56 in his first two seasons, Chip Kelly chooses to go for it 17/29 times in 2010, including ten of the eleven times following the miss to end the USC game. Granted, thirteen of these decisions involved trying a 40+ yard field goal. Kelly chose to kick only twice in those situations. The 2012 season has been positively aggravating as far as field goals go. Let's see how the stats stack up.
  1. Oregon 43, Arkansas St 3, 7:16 2nd quarter, 4th and goal from the 3 - Marshall touchdown
  2. Oregon 50, Arkansas St 3, 3:44 2nd quarter, 4th and 5 from the 17 - field goal missed
  3. Oregon 21, Tennessee Tech 7, 13:35 2nd quarter, 4th and 1 from the 30 - Mariota rush, turnover on downs
  4. Oregon 28, Tennessee Tech 7, 5:00 2nd quarter, 4th and 7 from the 8 - field goal blocked
  5. Oregon 35, Tennessee Tech 7, 14:00 3rd quarter, 4th and 2 from the 15 - Barner rush for a first down
  6. Oregon 7, Arizona 0, 6:10 2nd quarter, 4th and 7 from the 9 - field goal made
  7. Oregon 10, Arizona 0, 0:38 2nd quarter, 4th and 20 from the 24 - field goal made
  8. Oregon 13, WSU 3, 2:43 1st quarter, 4th and 1 from the 6 - Bennett rush, turnover on downs
  9. Oregon 20, WSU 12, 11:50 2nd quarter, 4th and 5 from the 16 - field goal made
  10. Oregon 35, washington 7, 4:41 2nd quarter, 4th and 6 from the 24 - field goal missed
  11. Oregon 35, washington 7, 9:23 3rd quarter, 4th and goal from the 11 - field goal made
  12. Oregon 8, ASU 7, 8:20 1st quarter, 4th and 3 from the 26 - Mariota rush for a first down
  13. Oregon 49, Colorado 0, 0:30 2nd quarter, 4th and 1 from the 6 - Bennett touchdown
  14. Oregon 34, USC 17, 2:54 2nd quarter, 4th and 5 from the 23 - field goal missed
  15. Oregon 34, USC 31, 5:50 3rd quarter, 4th and 1 from the 19 - Barner rush for a first down
  16. Oregon 14, Cal 10, 6:28 2nd quarter, 4th and goal from the 9 - field goal made
  17. Oregon 24, Cal 10, 13:27 3rd quarter, 4th and 4 from the 29 - Mariota to Thomas, turnover on downs
  18. Oregon 0, Stanford 0, 4:45 1st quarter, 4th and 2 from the 7 - Mariota rush, turnover on downs
  19. Oregon 14, Stanford 7, 4:27 3rd quarter, 4th and 6 from the 25 - field goal missed
  20. Oregon 14, Stanford 14, overtime, 4th and 9 from the 24 - field goal missed
I started combing through these stats in an attempt to find an answer to this question: is there a program-specific reason why our kickers' success rate has dropped from 78% in 2009-2010, to 56% the past two seasons? And the numbers say this: Chip Kelly is choosing to attempt field goals less often now than he was in his first two season as head coach. What the numbers don't say: whether this change is a philosophy shift, or merely a game of percentages based on his personnel, choosing to roll the dice with an elite offense rather than turn to a shaky pair of kickers. I don't doubt that the more game kicks you get to make, the better and more consistent a kicker you will be. But I'm more apt to place blame on the men doing the kicking, than the man who sends them into the game. There may be fewer field goals being attempted nowadays, but Rob Beard and Alejandro Maldonado aren't going to earn more trust and more opportunity by squandering the chances they get.

Where does Oregon go from here? In 2011, after Maldonado missed his potential game-tying kick against USC, Chip Kelly chose to go for it the next ten times the Ducks were faced with fourth down in field goal range. Will we see this strategy again in Oregon's final two (or three) games of 2012? The Ducks have already secured a verbal commitment from three-star kicker Matt Wogan; he could potentially be the answer in the long run. And we shall see whether Beard returns to the placekicker role that was taken from him two games ago, or if Kelly sticks with Maldonado despite his two misses against Stanford. Placekicking has been easily the weakest aspect of Oregon's 2012 game, and going forward, don't be surprised if we see the importance of a field goal kicker in the Chip Kelly system continue to change.
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Addicted To Quack

You must be a member of Addicted To Quack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Addicted To Quack. You should read them.

Join Addicted To Quack

You must be a member of Addicted To Quack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Addicted To Quack. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker