If the Oregon Ducks want to get it together and blow out the California Golden Bears on offense Thursday, they're going to need help from their (at this point) unimpressive receiving corps. Oregon knew they'd have trouble replacing Jeff Maehl, but they didn't know it would be THIS much trouble.
Lavasier Tuinei and Rahsaan Vaughn are doing okay, but the other Oregon outside options have been worse than pedestrian. According to this analysis at Pacific Takes, Justin Hoffman and Will Murphy are two of the least successful receivers in the conference in catching passes. Both Hoffman and Murphy are going to have one-on-one opportunities to make plays, and they need to convert if they want to get it open.
Up to this point, Oregon has gotten most of their production from tight end David Paulson and running backs LaMichael James and De'Anthony Thomas. If they want to spread the Cal defense out and make them chase Oregon all over the field, Thomas is going to have to connect with his receivers to avoid a repeat of last year's near-debacle in Berkeley.