Oregon Spring Game 2013: Recap, Grades and Analysis
The Oregon Ducks might have gone through some changes this offseason, but the spring game proved that the offense is still as good as ever.
It was not a true team-against-team scrimmage with two sides battling up and down the field. Instead, the offense matched up against the defense and was absolutely dominant, winning 65-10.
According to the Oregon Football Twitter account, the offense totaled 787 yards on the day:
The defense would only get six points for a touchdown, three points for a turnover and one point for a three-and-out stop. Basically, the scoring system is slanted against them, so do not start panicking about the struggles.
Overall, this game was a successful first look at the Ducks under the leadership of Mark Helfrich. The former offensive coordinator has taken over the head coaching job as a replacement to Chip Kelly, and it appears the lightning-fast offense has not missed a beat.
Obviously, there will still be a lot to prove in the games, but the system lives on, and the team is very likely to remain one of the top programs in the country.
The first noticeable part of the contest was the uniforms, which is always something to see when it comes to Oregon. Nike unveiled new jerseys that read "support our troops" on the back, which you can see here, courtesy of Craig Pintens of the Oregon Athletic Department.
Once again, the Ducks continue to lead the nation when it comes to exciting uniforms, even in exhibition games.
When the matchup actually started, Marcus Mariota showed why he is the top quarterback on the depth chart with an impressive performance early on. He led a couple of scoring drives and did exactly what was necessary from the young leader.
Backups Jake Rodrigues and Jeff Lockie had up-and-down performances but were, overall, solid in their first chances to shine. Additionally, young players Bralon Addison and Byron Marshall impressed on offense to give fans hope for big upcoming seasons.
The defense still needs improvement, but things will go better when it does not need to face this impressive offense.
All in all, fans should be excited about the upcoming season after this exhibition.
Byron Marshall, RB: B+
While Byron Marshall did not get a lot of opportunities in this one, the running back was quite impressive with 60 rushing yards on six carries and a touchdown, according to Aaron J. Fentress of Oregon Live:
Byron Marshall rushed for 60 yards on six carries in the first quarter.— Aaron J. Fentress (@AaronJFentress) April 27, 2013
Marshall did not get a single touch after the first quarter.
The rising sophomore ran for 447 yards last season at an average of 5.1 yards per carry, so the talent is obviously there. He should be expected to shoulder a larger role next season, so this game was very encouraging.
However, it would have been nice to see more of the young runner, especially with De'Anthony Thomas limited in the exhibition.
Jeff Lockie QB: B-
The redshirt freshman did not have a perfect day, but he appeared to be at least slightly better than Jake Rodrigues, who is his main competition on the depth chart.
Rob Moseley, of the Register Guard, made this early observation on both players:
Backup quarterbacks looking not ready for prime time so far.— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) April 27, 2013
However, he later brought up these statistics after an impressive drive by Jeff Lockie:
Marist High of Eugene product Jeff Bedbury catches a TD from Lockie, who went 6-of-8 for 56 yards on the drive.— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) April 27, 2013
The young player continued to make good throws as the game continued and added a second touchdown later, which was also on a solid pass.
There is still plenty of time before the season starts, but it appears that he has the inside track for the No. 2 spot.
Bralon Addison, WR: A
As a freshman, Bralon Addison totaled 243 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 22 catches. He looks like he could be in line for a breakout year in 2013.
The quick receiver totaled 117 yards on seven catches with a touchdown in the spring game as he was an instrumental part of the offensive domination during the day.
What he lacks in height at 5'10", he makes up for in quickness and the ability to get himself open. That should continue into the regular season.
Oregon does not often have go-to receivers, but Addison can take on that role to an extent next year.
You cannot look at just the score and think that the defense had a bad day. With the scoring system that was in place, there was little chance that the final would be close.
However, there is no argument that the entire unit was underwhelming on the day.
Isaac Ava had an interception, and Christian French had six tackles, but the defense allowed too many big plays without providing much resistance up front.
After finishing 25th in the nation in points allowed a year ago, this squad is far from being ready at this stage.
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