The Oregon Ducks have spent the last few years revolutionizing the college football world. A good majority of teams now run some form of the spread offense, with some running heavily and others using an air-raid attack.
Many have broken down how Oregon's offense operates, but perhaps none have gone as in-depth as Chris Brown of Grantland did in his latest article. It's a great read, and the dynamics behind how UO's practices operate was touched on.
The up-tempo, no-huddle offense ends up benefiting in practice as much as it does in games. Without time wasted huddling, players get many more practice repetitions, leading to increased efficiency on Saturdays. As Sam Snead once said, "practice is putting brains in your muscles," and Oregon's up-tempo practices are all about making Kelly's system second nature.
Oregon likes to get as many plays in as possible whenever they have the ball in their hands. A team doesn't lead the nation in scoring without being explosive on offense, and that's exactly what the Ducks do. According to Kelly, the team has three different tempos they like to operate at:
When the games do begin, there's no question that the no-huddle makes Oregon's attack more dangerous, but it's a common misconception that they have only one supersonic speed. The Ducks use plenty of their superfast tempo, but they actually have three settings: red light (slow, quarterback looks to sideline for guidance while the coach can signal in a new play), yellow light (medium speed, quarterback calls the play and can make his own audibles at the line, including various check-with-me plays), and green light (superfast).
Be sure to check out the full article here.
Whatever the Ducks are doing is working. They average slightly less than 55 points a game and no team this season has been able to come even close to slowing them down. Oregon will face their toughest defensive challenge this weekend as they battle Stanford, although even the Cardinal aren't expected to stop Marcus Mariota, Kenjon Barner and Co.