I wanted to take a chance to discuss the Ducks' offense so far this season. It seems as if they have been virtually unstoppable. Only self inflicted turnovers during the Oklahoma game have slowed the Oregon offense down. But is this merely perception? What do the stats have to say on the subject? Here it goes:
Scoring: National Rank: 6, 40.3 ppg.
Total Offense: National Rank: 4, 498.8 ypg.
Are you kidding me? Almost 500 ypg.--AVERAGE. We know that Stanford and ASU are crap, but Oklahoma and Fresno State are supposed to have good defenses, and Oregon pretty much shredded them. While it was obvious to anyone watching the games that Oregon was having no trouble moving the ball, what's more impressive is how they have been doing it:
Rushing Yards: National Rank: 8, 227.5 ypg.
Passing Yards: National Rank: 17, 269.5 ypg.
So not only have the Ducks been dominant on offense, but they have been incredibly balanced doing it as well. They are doing it their way. If they want to pass, they can. If they want to run, they can. The big gripe last year was that you cannot run the football out of the spread offense. I think that Bellotti and Crowton are completely blowing that myth out of the water. Jonathan Stewart and Jeremiah Johnson are just running at will. Its ridiculous. Stewart has been playing on a bum ankle all year, and still making all the defenders look like they are on some high school team. The great offensive line has a lot to do with it, but look at Stewart and Johnson's YPC this year:
Jeremiah Johnson: Yards per carry: 8.1, National Rank: 3
Jonathan Stewart: Yards per carry: 7.9, National Rank: 4
Has ever a team had not one, but two running backs who have been this dominant? Auburn had Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown a few years back, but their number weren't this insane. And they are only sophomores? Let me wipe the drool from my mouth.
Speaking of sophomores, let's look at receiving yards.
Jaison Williams: 462 yards. National Rank: 7.
J-Will is ranked seventh in the country in recieving yards--and he has played one less game than most of the people ahead of him.
Finally, just to show how good the offense in general has been, take a look at this stat:
3rd Down Conversions: 57.7%, National Rank: 4.
Absolutely insane. Two elite running backs. An elite receiver. A great quarterback. A veteran offensive line. Oregon's offense has easily been the best in the Pac-10, if not the country, over the first 1/4 of the season. If this keeps up, the Ducks can beat anyone--including USC--and win a Pac-10 title. With all the talk about next year, this year is shaping up to be pretty sweet. Makes me wonder why so many people are picking Cal to win this weekend. People like to say that Cal's defense is a little better (which itself is debatable). However, the only time that Cal went up an elite team, their defense was scorched. The real question about the Cal game is can Cal outscore Oregon in a shootout. While Cal has some very good players, I highly doubt it.