Tako Tuesdays' Exhaustive Chip Kelly Retrospective, Episode I

Ya'll can't stop me. - Stephen Dunn

Don't worry, you won't find Willie Lyles or Tyrann Mathieu anywhere. At least, not anywhere in this episode.

It's June. Spring practices have long been over. We're on the backside of the college football offseason. And Chip Kelly is definitely not going to be Oregon's head coach in the fall.

/pauses

/looks around

/checks DuckTerritory

/checks ESPN

/checks HuffPost Sports

/checks breasts for lumps

/checks pocket for cell phone

/panics when phone isn't there

/currently talking on phone

/feels like an idiot

Yep, definitely not coming back. Also, I don't have breast cancer. Thanks green tea and blueberries, you saved me a morning of walking 10K!

***

Chip Kelly came to Eugene in 2007 from New Hampshire, and proceeded to turn Oregon into an offensive behemoth. The Ducks averaged almost 43 points per game until Dennis Dixon's knee went kaput, and the Justin Roper-led Ducks hung 56 points on South Florida in the Sun Bowl. SInce that season, Oregon has been in the top 10 in points per game in every season, including being in the top 3 the past three years. The last non-BCS bowl Oregon played in? The 2008 Holiday Bowl. Pretty good work for a guy whose previous experience included coaching the secondary for Columbia University's freshman football team. Let's go year by year and look at the most impressive offensive games in Chip Kelly's Oregon coaching history.

2007 Honorable Mention

The Sun Bowl (56-21): 56 points (though 14 of those were scored by the defense), but this game was all Jonathan Stewart, rushing for 256 yards in his swan song in a Duck uniform.

@Michigan (39-7): GASP! This isn't the best game of the year?!? But it had the the Statue of Liberty, and the fake Statue of Liberty, and Derrick Jones doing something other than getting arrested?!? I know, I know, just hear me out.

The Best of 2007

@washington (55-34) : I happened to be at Husky Stadium for this one, and the noises made by the washington crowd throughout the game are something I'll never forget. On seemingly every drive, every time Oregon would run a zone read, you'd hear a loud cheer from the crowd as an Oregon player was tackled in the backfield. A second later though, the cheering would stop, as the crowd realized that another Duck was fifteen yards downfield with the ball. It was a magic act. Stewart and Andre Crenshaw eclipsed the century mark, Snoop running for 251, and Dennis Dixon added 99 yards of his own. When the dust settled, Oregon had run for 465 yards, averaging 7.5 yards per carry.

2008 Honorable Mention

The Holiday Bowl (42-31):If this were a list of "Most guys trucked/jumped over in one game" games, then the Holiday Bowl wins going away. Jeremiah Johnson and Jeremiah Masoli both ran for 100+, but by Chip Kelly standards, this is relatively pedestrian.

Arizona (55-45): The power of the wings propels Masoli to perhaps the best passing game of his career (21-26, 298 yards, 2 TDs), and Oregon scored points 46, 47, and 48 early in the third quarter.

The Best of 2008

The Civil War (65-38): Was there really any question? 65 points, 694 yards, and thousands of delicious Beaver tears. JJ ran for 219 yards on only 17 carries, including an 83 yard touchdown run*, and Masoli averaged 25 yards per pass completion. The most compelling statistic of the game? Oregon averaged 10.1 yards per play. For the entire game.

*perhaps my favorite part of that JJ touchdown run is the bloodcurdling screams it elicited from some poor Oregon State fan. When a football play makes someone make that noise, you know it's a classic. I'm sure some washington fan made that noise when Kenny Wheaton was at about the 35 yard line. With any luck, it was Berkowitz.

2009 Honorable Mention

@Arizona (44-41): The WIldcats contained LaMichael James and the Oregon rushing attack, so the Ducks took to the air. Jeremiah Masoli finished the game 26-47 with three touchdowns, including one to Ed Dickson with six seconds to go in regulation.

USC (47-20): James and Masoli combined for 347 yards rushing, and Oregon handed USC their worst loss of the Pete Carroll era.

The Best of 2009

California (42-3): I think what makes this game the best of the year is how surprising it was. In the three games prior to this one, Oregon had: scored 8 points in a loss to fBSU, needed overtime to beat Purdue, and squeaked out an ugly win over Utah in which Jeremiah Masoli went 4-16 passing. Cal entered the game ranked #6 in the country. The Golden Bears scored first, a field goal on their opening drive. Nobody was expecting the onslaught that transpired over the next few hours. Nobody was expecting Masoli to go 21-25 passing. Nobody was expecting Ed Dickson to catch three touchdown passes. And nobody was expecting this game to start an 8-1 conference record and a Rose Bowl berth.

2010 Honorable Mention

New Mexico and Portland State (combined 141-0): These don't really count, because they're against New Mexico and Portland State. But still, 141-0.

Every game at Autzen: The fewest yards Oregon gained in a home game in 2010? 522, against washington. The fewest points? 48, against Arizona. Wait, what? Really? Man, that team was good.

@USC (53-32): LMJ ran for 239 and three scores, Jeff Maehl made this catch, and Darron Thomas threw four touchdown passes. At the time, scoring 53 points in the LA Coliseum was pretty major. At the time...

The Best of 2010

Stanford (52-31): After being dominated in the first quarter by Stanford, Oregon roared back from a 21-3 deficit, outscoring the Cardinal 49-10 over the final three periods. LaMichael James rushed for 257 yards and three touchdowns, and thanks to YouTube user JMPasq, you can watch all 257 of them here. Oregon racked up 626 yards of offense against a Stanford defense that averaged only 322 yards allowed per game.

2011 Honorable Mention

@Arizona (56-31): Darron Thomas threw for only 101 yards, but on a night when LaMichael James breaks the Oregon single-game rushing record with 288 yards, everything else seems like it doesn't matter.

The Civil War (49-21): DT threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns, four players rushed for over 50 yards, and even Ayele Forde scored a touchdown! I don't remember this game being that impressive, but Oregon racked up 670 yards of offense. Now that I think about it, this was the game Oregon failed to convert, like, three or four fourth down conversions. And they STILL scored 49.

The Best of 2011

The Rose Bowl (45-38): This was a heavyweight slugfest that sports fans dream of watching; no team led by more than 7 points, the game was tied at 7-7, 14-14, 21-21, and 28-28, and both offenses were operating at near-flawless levels. Oregon averaged 8.6 yards per carry, and scored three touchdowns of 50+ yards. It seems fitting that Oregon wins its first Rose Bowl in 95 years by putting on an awesome display of the Chip Kelly way.

2012 Honorable Mention

The whole season: Oregon averaged 49 points and 537 yards per game, the highest numbers in school history in both categories. If you remove the Stanford Incident, those numbers go up to 52.6 points and 548 yards. Wut.

The Civil War: 430 yards and six touchdowns on the ground always deserves recognition.

@Cal (59-17): Marcus Mariota tells the Berkeley Voodoo to go fuck itself, throws six touchdown passes.

Colorado (70-14): I mean, this game was 56-0 at halftime. I know Colorado is atrocious, but still. 56-0 at halftime. Ten Ducks received a carry in this one. A silly game all around.

The Best of 2012

@USC (62-45*): This game featured a 300-yard passer (Mariota, 20-23 for 304 and 4 TDs), and a 300-yard rusher (Kenjon Barner, 321 yards, 8.4 yards per, 5 touchdowns). 730 yards of offense. The USC football program was established in 1888, when Civil War vets were sending their kids to college. No team had ever done something like that to USC. Ever.

*Fuck you Lane Kiffin, I'm not acknowledging that weasel-ass final touchdown. Take your whupping like a professional next time.

***

That wraps up Episode I of Tako Tuesdays' Exhaustive Chip Kelly Retrospective. Stay tuned all summer for Episodes II-whenever I get bored of this bit, as I am prone to do with any continuing series I've started and subsequently abandoned.

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