Report: Ex-Mississippi State HC Joe Moorhead Expected to Be Named Oregon OC

Blake SchusterContributor IIJanuary 15, 2020

FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2019, file photo, Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead watches from the sideline in the first half of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game against Louisville, in Nashville, Tenn.  Two people with knowledge of the situation say Mississippi State has fired coach Joe Moorhead after just two seasons. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not yet been made by the school. A meeting was scheduled Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, with Moorhead and athletic director John Cohen. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Joe Moorhead reportedly didn't have to wait long to find a new job after Mississippi State dismissed him following a two-season stint as head coach. 

According to Stadium's Brett McMurphy, Moorhead is expected to become the new offensive coordinator at Oregon. 

Moorhead was the offensive coordinator at Penn State from 2016-17. The Nittany Lions offense went from averaging 348.6 yards per game (105th out of 130 FBS teams) to 432.6 per game (49th) in the first year under Moorhead.

The Ducks would welcome a similar boost as they try to make their way back to title-contending status. They have gone 21-7 under head coach Mario Cristobal and finished the 2019 season 12-2 after defeating Wisconsin in this year's Rose Bowl.

Moorhead's ousting at Mississippi State after a 14-12 record came as a bit of a stunner. Usually, coaches aren't judged on a rebuilding program until after Year 3. 

"In this case, it goes a little bit beyond just wins and losses, although I want to state for sure that wins and losses matter," athletic director John Cohen said of dismissing Moorhead. "There were some other issues at stake that we had to consider."

Per ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, MSU officials had become concerned about the culture of the program under Moorhead. The school hired Washington State head coach Mike Leach to fill the vacancy a little over a week later.

Moorhead, 46, will now move onto his fifth team in 10 years. He was previously the quarterbacks coach at Connecticut from 2009-11 and the head coach at Fordham from 2012-15. 

Oregon had the 39th-best offense last season with an average of 433.2 yards per game and the 16th-best scoring offense with 35.4 points per game. Things won't be that easy for Moorhead once he gets to Eugene. The Ducks will need to replace quarterback Justin Herbert following his senior season.

Tyler Shough, Jay Butterfield and Cale Millen are expected to compete for the role—assuming Oregon doesn't land one of the remaining quarterbacks in the transfer portal. 

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