Oregon's 772-Yard Game Proves Chip Kelly's Departure Won't Slow Offense

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIAugust 31, 2013

EUGENE, OR - AUGUST 31: Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks runs for a touchdown during the second quarter past the Nicholls State Colonels on August 31, 2013 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Christopher Barth/Getty Images)
Christopher Barth/Getty Images

For those wondering, it looks like the Oregon Ducks are going to be just fine without Chip Kelly running the up-tempo offense in 2013.

It was an absolute shellacking for the Ducks in their season opener, as they dominated Nicholls State 66-3 and ran all over the Colonels for the entire game.  

In case a 66-point beatdown didn't prove that the Ducks had a good game, ESPN Stats & Info noted that the 772 yards of offense was a school record for Oregon.

Marcus Mariota led the way both through the air and on the ground on Saturday.  He finished the game 12-of-21 with 234 yards and a touchdown passing, while also picking up 113 yards and two more touchdowns on just five carries, which is 22.6 yards per attempt.

The rushing attack by the Ducks was unstoppable.  De'Anthony Thomas went off for 128 yards and two scores on 18 carries, while the team ran for 500 yards and seven touchdowns on 45 attempts.

Yes, that's 11.1 yards per carry.

It's quite clear that the Ducks aren't missing Chip Kelly—at least not up to this point. Mark Helfrich started off the season just fine.  Even if they were playing such a small program in Nicholls State, it's still amazing for the Ducks to break a school record during Helfrich's head-coaching debut.

What makes this offense so deadly is the plethora of weapons.  Both Mariota and Thomas are projected to go quite high in the NFL draft next year, and other options like Byron Marshall and Josh Huff will continue to make this offense one of the most exciting to watch in all of college football.

It was quite clear that the up-tempo offense was working in the opener, recording 50 pass attempts and 37 rushes, and they averaged 8.87 yards per play. So, in essence, the Ducks nearly got a first down on every single play they ran.

Oh, and the time of possession?  The Ducks had the ball just 19 minutes and 46 seconds of the 60 minutes of play.  That's just one-third of the time.

It may just be one game, but Oregon looks like they are still a finely-tuned offensive powerhouse.  The play-calling seems to be fine, and the rushing attack seems virtually unstoppable.  With so many offensive weapons, how can they not be?

The Chip Kelly era is over, but now Mark Helfrich is starting to make his own legacy in Eugene.