After two seasons with the Oregon Ducks Offensive Coordinator Joe Moorhead is leaving the program to become the next head coach for the University of Akron, a team which Moorhead was a part of from 2004 to 2008 in various coaching positions including OC/QB coach.
During Moorhead’s time at the UO, the Ducks reached back-to-back PAC-12 Championship games: one a dominating victory over the USC Trojans, the other a humiliating loss to the Utah Utes. Oregon has compiled a 14-6 record in the last two seasons and the overall reaction to Moorhead’s system has been a mixed bag.
Nobody should be solely judged by their results in the 2020 season, and most Duck fans were willing to give the new OC the benefit of the doubt due to a troubling QB situation and a chaotic season wreaking havoc on the installation of his offense.
But the proceeding season drew a lot of hate from fans that were understandably frustrated with the lackluster Oregon offense. One of Oregon’s biggest victories in program history took place in large part due to Moorhead’s scheme and grad transfer quarterback Anthony Brown’s execution of the gameplan. The OC’s importance could also be measured by his absence, which definitely played a big part in this season’s embarrassing loss to Stanford, which Moorhead missed due to an appendectomy.
Still, the Oregon offense was clearly very limited to this season, and whether it’s due to poor QB play/development, or an unimaginative and ineffective offensive philosophy, it could be said that some of the blame should be placed on Moorhead’s shoulders.
“My family and I are very excited for this opportunity,” said Moorhead in a statement. “We can’t wait to get back to a region of the country we consider home. Our plan for the future is simple: we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work, diligently building a program of which the school, the City of Akron, and the State of Ohio can be proud. Go Zips!”
If Mario Cristobal is serious about staying at Oregon, something that has come into question as of late due to Miami’s relentless pursuit of the coach, then he’ll need to start looking for a new OC A.S.A.P. Though it should be mentioned that Moorhead’s involvement in the upcoming Alamo Bowl is still up in the air.