It’s pretty hard to argue about when the peak of Oregon Ducks football was.
The actual mountain top came in the 2014-15 season when Marcus Mariota and the Ducks reached the national championship game under Mark Helfrich. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find any Oregon fan that would tell you it was anyone other than Chip Kelly who got the Ducks to the peak of their powers at the start of last decade.
Since then, Oregon has struggled to find an explosive offensive identity, undergoing the single season of Willie Taggart at the helm, followed by the successful, yet conservative, ground-and-pound years of Mario Cristobal.
Oregon Ducks identity continues to develop under coach Dan Lanning
With a new staff in the mix, though, a new era of Oregon football is set to take place.
When talking with wide receiver Seven McGee on Thursday about what he liked in the new offense, the sophomore gave some incredibly high praise.
“I love the offense. I feel like it’s a Chip Kelly offense from back in the day, just utilizing everybody,” McGee said. “Like I said before, just putting people in a position to win great 1-on-1 matchups.”
The offense was a major selling point for McGee when deciding not to transfer away from the Ducks this past offseason. He says that Dan Lanning got on the phone with him to lay out their plans for that side of the ball, and a mix of vertical attacks and an emphasis on capitalizing on matchups is what stood out to McGee.
Oregon's rich football history will be front-and-center for Ducks' spring game
“Just to utilize me everywhere in the field, which is something that we didn’t do last year,” McGee said. “As a team, just moving parts and putting people in places to create one on one matchups. That’s why Coach Lanning and Coach Dillingham are great right now with the offensive scheme. Obviously, Coach Lanning is a defensive coach which is great because he knows the leverages of defense — he had the number one defense, arguably, ever to play the game.”
Chip Kelly changed the game of college football a decade ago with his no-huddle spread offense that emphasized read options and quick tempo. None of this is to say that Kenny Dillingham is going to transcend the game as Kelly did, but it is encouraging to hear some of the players enthralled with the potential.
While we’ve only seen glimpses of what the offense can look like in practice so far, Saturday’s spring game will offer a great view at just how exciting the new scheme will be. It’s likely that Dillingham won’t show all of his cards just yet, but you can guarantee that he pulls out a couple of tricks out of his sleeve just to let fans — and recruits — see a bit of what Oregon is in for this season.
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