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College Football's 6 Most Explosive Offensive Skill Units

Dan VastaSenior Writer IIIAugust 13, 2012

College Football's 6 Most Explosive Offensive Skill Units

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    There are so many talented individuals in college football, and it is that talent and skill that get the fans waiting in anticipation for the season to get underway.

    We have freshmen superstars surprising us every season, and that is what makes the sport so electric. While defense still wins championships, offense is what sells ticket and gets everybody on their feet.

    Here are your six most explosive offensive skill units in the country.

    Note: LSU, Alabama, South Carolina, UGA (RBs) Baylor, FSU, UW, ARK (WR/TEs) among a few others just missed the cut.

Oregon, Running Backs

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    The speed demons this program has brought in has to be illegal. Playing track on the gridiron is never any fun when your athletes cannot even hold the jock strap of most Ducks.

    Throw in a mobile quarterback with talented wide receivers and it might be unreasonable to expect to slow this offense down.

    Chip Kelly always has his studs running in motion all over the field, and the quick-pace, no-huddle offense is what keeps the defense gasping for air and even faking injuries (see Cal).

    Changing the pace defensively against the Ducks is vital. But when it comes down to it, there is no realistic way of stopping this offense, unless you possess one of the best defense in the country (see LSU last year, give me Alabama's).

    De’Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner together will have no issues succeeding LaMichael James, and the Pac-12 can only hope the backs somehow miss their conference tilts this season. 

West Virginia, Wide Receivers

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    There is arguably no trio as talented as Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin and Ivan McCartney. And the biggest issue in defending these stars is the ability of quarterback Geno Smith to thread the needle.

    The three Mountaineer receivers may combine for over 30 touchdowns this season and well over 2,500 yards—4,000 all-purpose, thanks to Austin.

    Heading over to the Big 12 from the Big East won't be a ton of fun, but it is for that exact reason the Mountaineers should be giving thanks to head coach Dana Holgorsen drawing up the plays as arguably the top offensive genius in the nation, alongside Mike Gundy and Chip Kelly.

Clemson, Wide Receivers

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    The most electrifying player on the planet is Sammy Watkins, and we should expect him to once again terrorize the ACC and all who attempt to slow the superstar down, which this year includes Auburn and South Carolina.

    Tajh Boyd will be expected to make the next step into becoming an elite passer, but he may do so with ease thanks to the pieces around him. DeAndre Hopkins is an exceptional No. 2 wideout, and he likely would be the top target on every other conference foe's roster.

    Many are forgetting senior Jaron Brown, which is a mistake since he has a ton of talent for a third receiver. Throw in Martavis Bryant and Adam Humphries, and you are looking at one of the deepest, most talented skill position units in America.

Wisconsin, Running Backs

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    Montee Ball is coming off a 39-touchdown season, which tied the record of one Barry Sanders. The depth behind Ball is also absurd.

    Everybody knows how dominant the Badgers are up front, but many are unaware of the ability they have behind the best running back (save Marcus Lattimore) in the country.

    James White would likely be starting almost anywhere else in the country and we should expect him to haul in some passes in the flats and even out wide as a receiver.

    White has a back behind him that will likely be pushing for playing time. Melvin Gordon had a magnificent spring and he should reap the benefits by toting the rock a boatload in mop-up duty.

    Even in close, crucial games, don’t be shocked to see Gordon carry the pigskin a handful of times for Bret Bielema and company.

Tennessee, Wide Receivers

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    Tyler Bray is looking forward to a healthy season for the Volunteers. Not only does going up against the elite SEC competition bring the best out of your squad, but so does elite talent.

    Yes, the Vols finally have that with Da’Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter, one of the best duos in America, regardless of position.

    Throw in junior college transfer Cordarrelle Patterson and senior Zach Rogers, and this receiving corps is among the most explosive in America.

    Hunter is a freak athlete and Rogers isn’t too shabby himself, but the two together may finally bring Tennessee back to national relevance.

USC, Wide Receivers

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    Everybody knows about the Heisman frontrunner in quarterback Matt Barkley, but he would be lost in the hype without his premier receivers.

    Robert Woods hauled in 111 passes from a season ago, and despite his offseason surgery (ankle), many are expecting him to have a solid junior campaign. It was a record-setting season, as he broke Keyshawn Johnson’s school record for receptions in a season (90).

    Then there is that First-Team Freshman All-American in Marqise Lee (Pac-12 Co-Freshman OPOY), who is coming off a season for the ages. Lee is explosive as it gets, and his near 16-yard per catch average makes him one of the best home-run threats in all of America.

    Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble are legit NFL tight end prospects, but let us not forget about the third and fourth options at wideout.

    George Farmer (6’1”, 210 pounds) and Victor Blackwell, two highly coveted and touted recruits, are just waiting for their opportunity to shine with the best of them.

    Follow Dan Vasta on Twitter.            

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