Oregon Football: 5 Spring Game Plays That Could Be a Glimpse into the Future

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent IApril 24, 2012

Oregon Football: 5 Spring Game Plays That Could Be a Glimpse into the Future

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    With the Oregon spring game coming up this Saturday, fans are starting to wonder how the 2012 Ducks will look. 

    Many believe that this year's team will have one of its strongest defenses to date but the offense is in transition. This year both the running back and quarterback will be replaced and while Kenjon Barner is a more familiar name, the quarterback spot is truly up in the air.

    As the game draws closer, here is a look at five different offensive plays that will help fans get a brief glimpse into the team's possible future.


    Joe Penkala is a B/R National Featured Columnist who covers college football. You can contact him @joepenkala.


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    The most important play that the Ducks have run since Chip Kelly's arrival is the zone-read play. This is a play that takes the quarterback time and repetitions to get comfortable with and it is vital to the team's success for the quarterback to have it mastered.

    This year, Darron Thomas is gone and the position is up for grabs. Regardless of who wins the start, it is extremely important that this player has a firm grasp on when to give the ball to the back and when to keep it and take off. 

Wide Receiver Screen

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    To help spread the defense out from sideline to sideline and keep the pressure off of the run game, the Ducks like to throw it outside quickly and run some quick hitting wide receiver screen plays.

    The wide receiver is a great way to keep the wideouts involved in a run heavy offense and also keep the offense honest. 

Tight End Seam Routes

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    One way that Oregon got away with its limited production from the wide receiver position is that senior David Paulson was able to stretch the field down the middle and expose the middle seam routes that seemed to be open at any time.

    This year, Paulson has graduated and the Ducks will be looking for Colt Lyerla to draw on his experiences from last year and step it up this year.

    If the middle seam is working, the Ducks could be in business again this season. 


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    While the wide receiver screen plays will be important, the Ducks need to get the vertical attack back in 2012. Part of what made the 2010 team so successful was the fact that the Ducks could go deep to Jeff Maehl and spread the defense and keep the secondary back.

    This year, the Ducks need not only Josh Huff to step up but also players like Justin Hoffman and especially Rahsaan Vaughn to be deep threats. 

Running Back Wheel Route

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    Lastly, the Ducks help keep defenses off guard by sending their backs out of the backfield and allowing them to run wheel routes down the sideline. 

    Last year the Ducks were successful with this play in big games like the Rose Bowl and against USC and the provided them with huge dividends. 

    This year, the Ducks will use both De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner on these types of plays and if they can pick up where they left off last year than the Ducks could have another special season in 2012.