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80 Plays Per Game is More Than an Offensive Goal

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Back on National Signing Day in early February, Offensive Coordinator Kenny Dillingham said that his Oregon offense is going to play fast and put up a lot of points, with the goal of running 80 offensive plays per game. Coach Eric Boles outlined what he thinks this up-tempo, pro-style offense may look like this upcoming year. No matter what this ...

 

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Thanks for the thoughtful article, David.

 

To see how the times have changed...mostly due to Chip Kelly...I took a look back at the Ducks 2001 11-1, second ranked team.  Our beloved Ducks ONLY averaged 68 offensive plays/game.  The defense had to run 74 plays/game.  (And for grins, here is a stat that blows my mind.  The 2001 Ducks football team averaged 34 points/game.  Only 34!  Amazing.

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I don't think we may be so much living the dream, as seeing the dream come true. Although we have been living the dream with our athletic department in high gear our football team may just make our ultimate dream come true over time. We won't truly be living the dream until we win the National Title, and that may come with what you offer as needed. A strong defense and exciting offense, in due time.

 

Great job highlighting the difficulty of reaching 80 plays a game. This should be looked upon as the long-term goal, but not an expectation. I am probably one of the bigger Oregon homers, but I love these kind of reality checks. Goals are great, but it is a rough journey to get there.

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80 plays is a nice signpost. But what I like more from what I've heard from Dillingham is that he wants to see "explosive" plays, which would cut down the total number. Dillingham's plan sounds like it will produce an offense that will bring the excitement level back and coupled with the defense we expect, Oregon will be "must see" again. 

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On 3/1/2022 at 9:01 AM, 30Duck said:

80 plays is a nice signpost. But what I like more from what I've heard from Dillingham is that he wants to see "explosive" plays, which would cut down the total number. Dillingham's plan sounds like it will produce an offense that will bring the excitement level back and coupled with the defense we expect, Oregon will be "must see" again. 

A major element for many of those Oregon blur teams not reaching 80 plays per game was also due to the explosive plays. 

 

Arizona under Rich Rod would regularly run more plays than Oregon... but Oregon's offense was more efficient and more explosive. In the only stat that matters... Oregon had more wins. 80 plays per game doesn't mean those are efficient plays, just lots of plays run. 

 

Personally I'm fine if Oregon doesn't make it to the 80 play mark as long as we score more points and the offense snaps the ball before there are 5 seconds on the play clock on a regular basis. 

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The Ducks, in the past, have had some excellent defenses that we all would agree on. The PAC, in the past, has had great QBs, some explosive teams and also some that could grind it out and use some clock. Using these 3 factors alone make it difficult to run 80 plays. Throw in a turnover or 2 and a costly penalty then the chances go out the window. It will be a challenge for sure and one that will be fun for the fans to watch. Oh and quite possibly cause more gray hairs or no hair at all. 👴🏻👨🏻‍🦲

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I'm not married to that number...I care more about the offense being more balanced, creative, and efficient.  If it's moving the chains with cold, calculated precision that demoralizes the other team over 3 quarters then I'm good with that.  

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Thanks you for the well written and informative article.

80 plays is a great goal. But, I just want to see sustained effort and exciting football. I'm very optimistic this coaching staff will succeed in putting this on the field. If that ends up with 80 plays... all the better! 

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I love this article for one obvious reason, and that is that 80 plays as a goal, is as symbolic of returning to the brand, as is the scoring that will come from it.

 

The second observation is more of what is hidden in his well researched article, and that is that holding teams to 21 points per game can be a winner at Oregon if the offense  is scoring at high levels.

 

Holding teams to a 12 or 14 point average per game is kind of unrealistic at Oregon, as we will simply not have Georgia or Alabama talent on Defense.

 

But increasing the scoring quite a bit and holding opponents to 21 points? That IS something Oregon can do, and get into the playoffs eventually with it.

 

And as the return to the Oregon brand continues, the recruiting of SPEED will escalate.  Great article, David!

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Mr. FishDuck

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On 3/1/2022 at 12:13 PM, David Marsh said:

Arizona under Rich Rod would regularly run more plays than Oregon... but Oregon's offense was more efficient and more explosive. In the only stat that matters... Oregon had more wins. 80 plays per game doesn't mean those are efficient plays, just lots of plays run.

I think that is the right ingredient..."Oregon's offense was more efficient and more explosive."  I feel under MC we weren't really either of these in most games along with a stout defense.

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I want to see the defense struggling to get into position when the ball is snapped. 80 plays really doesn’t matter. Maintaining constant pressure on a defense forces mistakes. That’s when you see offensive plays go for big yardage. 
 

Look forward to seeing how QB1 handles the new offense.

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It would be interesting to see a break down of scoring and plays per quarter. Remember the Kelly games that were over by half time and the backups were running out the clock.  

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Great take David, thank you. As you so correctly note, 80 plays a game on O is a terrific goal but one that will be hard to reach against any decent opponent. 

 

Let's just hope that the 'walk' will equate to the 'talk' and the Ducks will run a potent and not a prevent offense.

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On 3/1/2022 at 10:27 AM, Charles Fischer said:

80 plays as a goal

And don't deviate from the GOAL, even if it is not met.

 

Back in the '80's, I had a goal of "being able to afford a $50K a year cocaine habit". I didn't want the habit, I just wanted the $50K discretionary $$.  So, if I only got to $40K, I was somewhat satisfied as long as I didn't have the habit and still strove for the 50.

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On 3/1/2022 at 11:06 AM, Red Eddy Green said:

It would be interesting to see a break down of scoring and plays per quarter. Remember the Kelly games that were over by half time and the backups were running out the clock.  

You are welcome to go to GoDucks.com, and go to football, and then look for "Archives" at the top.  You can then look up game-by-game, and it would be great to hear what you come up with!

Mr. FishDuck

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On 3/1/2022 at 2:57 PM, Steven A said:

And don't deviate from the GOAL, even if it is not met.

 

Back in the '80's, I had a goal of "being able to afford a $50K a year cocaine habit". I didn't want the habit, I just wanted the $50K discretionary $$.  So, if I only got to $40K, I was somewhat satisfied as long as I didn't have the habit and still strove for the 50.

I hope Lanning delivers a DUCKS WIN! habit? If so, I'll have many the coke. Bourbon with will be my choice of dope. Go cocaine in South Carolina? You have no get-out-of-jail-free-card hope.

 

However, in South Cackalaky, you are still allowed to marry your 1st cousin, and that's no joke.

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On 3/1/2022 at 10:27 AM, Charles Fischer said:

I love this article for one obvious reason, and that is that 80 plays as a goal, is as symbolic of returning to the brand, as is the scoring that will come from it.

 

The second observation is more of what is hidden in his well researched article, and that is that holding teams to 21 points per game can be a winner at Oregon if the offense  is scoring at high levels.

 

Holding teams to a 12 or 14 point average per game is kind of unrealistic at Oregon, as we will simply not have Georgia or Alabama talent on Defense.

 

But increasing the scoring quite a bit and holding opponents to 21 points? That IS something Oregon can do, and get into the playoffs eventually with it.

 

And as the return to the Oregon brand continues, the recruiting of SPEED will escalate.  Great article, David!

Interestingly, the 11-1 season I mentioned above (2001) sported a defense that held opponents to ... ta daaa ... 21 points/game.

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Yeah, if they play the way I'd really like there won't be 80 plays. 4 play scoring drives is hard to turn into 80 play games. 

Play fast, play with explosiveness and speed, get your play makers into a position to make plays. 

 

It's the excitement I want to see. It's not knowing what play is coming next unless you've found something the other D just can't stop and you run it until they do. I want to be surprised! 

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Did I miss the obvious here? The only way the Ducks can average 80 plays a game is to FIRST have a DAMN GOOD DEFENSE.

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On 3/1/2022 at 3:52 PM, toketeeman said:

Did I miss the obvious here? The only way the Ducks can average 80 plays a game is to FIRST have a DAMN GOOD DEFENSE.

Well that's a big aspect of it... 

 

The other way to reach that number is to have a really bad defense. 

 

I just wanted to point out with the article how that actual 80 plays per game number has only been reached once at Oregon and according to the stats it came with a pretty good defensive year. 

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Guys just came across this article on CBS College Football by Dennis Dodd called "Potential college football changes aim to limit plays and exposure while shortening the game".

 

It is very detailed and I believe an important read especially in light of this post.

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On 3/1/2022 at 4:14 PM, Duck 1972 said:

Guys just came across this article on CBS College Football by Dennis Dodd called "Potential college football changes aim to limit plays and exposure while shortening the game".

 

It is very detailed and I believe an important read especially in light of this post.

Thanks for the link, Duck '72.  It gives rise to all kinds of interesting speculation.  My first thought was that if their suggestions are enforced, the Chip Kelly era will return.  Teams will be running plays again like it was 2007.  Also...how about just dropping one game.  It will have the same effect of limiting plays...that expose players to injuries...which is the committee's whole point.  It would be one game vs. their suggested ideas that result in a reduction of 1.2 games worth of plays.  (To me, that would beat changing a gaggle of rules to the game play.)  AND...a real limiting factor will be how this change would affect the commercials count.  Losing ad sponsors' money may be more important to them than player safety.  (Just guessing, here.)

 

Lastly, if football is to survive, there will always be risks for injury.  Unless, of course one wants to join a flag football team.  How far are they willing to go?!

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