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Oregon Weekly Football Release - Nicholls
Release Date: 08/27/2013
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For the complete release with full notes, roster, depth chart, statistics, etc., please view the PDF.

National Television: FOX Sports 1 with Justin Kutcher (pxp), James Bates (analyst) and Brady Poppinga (reporter). Radio: Oregon IMG with Jerry Allen (pxp) and Mike Jorgensen (analyst). Satellite Radio: Sirius 134, XM 194 .

•Saturday’s meeting is the first between Oregon and Nicholls.
•The Ducks have never faced a member of the Southland Conference in football. Arkansas State - last year’s opening opponent - was a member of the Southland from 1963-87, but now plays in the Sun Belt.
•The last time Oregon opened the season against a non-FBS foe was 1994 against Portland State (58-16) at Autzen Stadium.

•Oregon was 46-7 during Mark Helfrich’s four-year stint as offensive coordinator. UO averaged 501.1 yards and 44.7 points per game.
•The Ducks have won eight straight home openers, averaging 52.9 points per game during that span while not scoring fewer than 38 points. UO’s last home-opening defeat came in 2004 against Indiana (30-24).
•Oregon (12-1) and Ohio State (12-0) were the only FBS teams that did not lose a game in regulation last season.
•The Ducks’ No. 3 preseason ranking in both the AP and USA Today (coaches) polls matches the program’s highest (2011) to start a season.
•Oregon’s string of five consecutive 10-win seasons (2008-present) is tied for eighth-most nationally in the modern era.
•UO and USC are the only teams ranked in the AP Top 25 playing at least 11 schools from AQ conferences.
•In 50% of Oregon’s games the past three seasons (20 of 40) the Ducks have scored a minimum of 49 points.

Mark Helfrich is in his first season as Oregon’s head coach after serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2009-12. During that span, he was directly involved in the success of a program that constructed a 46-7 record and appeared in four consecutive BCS bowl games, including the 2011 BCS National Championship game. Helfrich began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Ducks in 1997 and has since accumulated seven seasons as an offensive coordinator at two BCS schools and 15 years coaching quarterbacks. He was named Oregon’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on April 30, 2009 following three seasons in the same capacity at the University of Colorado (2006-08), five years as quarterbacks coach at Arizona State (2001-05) which included his final three campaigns in Tempe, Ariz., as passing game coordinator, and three seasons as quarterbacks coach at Boise State (1998-2000). Along the way, Helfrich was named National Quarterbacks Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2012 by FootballScoop, in addition to being one of three finalists as its national offensive coordinator of the year honor. Over the course of his last 13 seasons, Helfrich has played a role with offenses that have ranked among the nation’s top-eight teams in scoring offense six times, the top six in rushing on four occasions, the top five in total offense four times as well as the top five in passing twice. As Oregon’s OC he helped orchestrate attacks that were responsible for the top three total offense outputs in school history (2010-12) - including a school-record 7,319 yards in 2011 - as well as the only teams to account for more than 600 points in each of the last three seasons. Helfrich is the first native Oregonian to head the university’s football program since John Warren in 1942.

The 2013 Oregon Ducks return 56 letterwinners, including 16 starters - nine on offense and seven on defense - from last season. By contrast, the 2012 squad, which finished the season ranked No. 2 nationally, had 52 returning lettermen and 12 starters, including only five on offense.

A big question heading into every season is “how many true freshmen are expected to play?” That answer will be more clear following the first game, but for some historic perspective, eight saw the field last season, seven in 2011 and five in 2010.

As the Ducks begin their quest for a fifth straight BCS bowl game appearance all eyes will be on second-year starting quarterback Marcus Mariota. The redshirt sophomore from Honolulu will attempt to follow up a campaign that saw him set the Pac-12 freshman record for touchdown passes (32) and lead the conference in passing efficiency (seventh nationally) en route to Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and All-Pac-12 first team QB honors. Considered by many national outlets as a Heisman Trophy candidate, Mariota is on four prestigious watch lists: Davey O’Brien Award (national quarterback award), Maxwell Award (most outstanding player), Walter Camp Award (most outstanding player) and Manning Award (top quarterback honor, including bowl game).

Of Oregon’s 83 drives resulting in touchdowns last season, 45 (or 54%) lasted less than two minutes and 23 (28%) took 60 seconds or less.

Since 2000, Oregon is 34-6 in regular season, out-of-conference contests, earning notable victories against the likes of Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Michigan (x2). During that stretch, the Ducks are 3-1 against the SEC, 5-2 vs. the Big Ten, 1-1 vs. the Big 12, 4-0 against the Mountain West, 12-2 vs. the WAC, 2-0 against Conference USA and 6-0 vs. FCS sides.

An often overlooked facet of Oregon’s run of success has been the continuity of its coaching staff. First-year head coach Mark Helfrich is in his fifth season on staff, but he is supported by several assistants who have served the last three UO head coaches. Running backs coach Gary Campbell is in his 31st year on the Oregon staff, which is the longest tenure of any Oregon assistant football coach in school history. In addition, offensive line coach and running game coordinator Steve Greatwood enters his 27th season at UO, linebackers coach Don Pellum is in his 21st campaign, while defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti has spent 21 full seasons at Oregon over three separate stints.

With a standing room only crowd of 58,792 at Autzen Stadium on Nov. 17 vs. Stanford, the Ducks ran the nation’s fourth-longest sellout streak to 89 consecutive games (cap. 54,000), dating to 1999.

Oregon has won 15 straight road games, which leads the country. Alabama is second with nine. The Ducks’ last road loss occurred on Nov. 7, 2009, at Stanford (51-42) – the only conference road setback in the past four seasons.

The Ducks’ current roster features three players who have etched their names on a prestigious rushing list. SO QB Marcus Mariota, JR RB De'Anthony Thomas and SR WR Josh Huff own three of the longest runs in school history. Thomas’ 91-yard touchdown run in the 2012 Rose Bowl Game is the second-longest at Oregon, Mariota ranks fifth with his 86-yard score at ASU - the longest rush in the Pac-12 during the 2012 season and Huff is tied for sixth with an 85-yard TD vs. Arizona in 2010.

The Ducks have scored a program-best 645 points in each of the past two seasons, finishing second nationally in 2012 (49.6 points per game) and third in 2011 (46.1). Last year’s team set the UO bar for touchdowns with 89, despite playing one less game than the 2011 team, which found the end zone 88 times.

In 2012, Oregon accumulated 46 “explosion plays” of 25 yards or more from scrimmage - 17 resulting in touchdowns. That number was down significantly from 2011, when UO had 69 scrimmage plays of 25-plus yards.

86 - Mariota rush at ASU*
80 - Barner rush at WSU*
77 - Mariota rush vs. STAN
71 - Barner rush at ASU*
59 - Thomas rush vs. TT*
58 - Mariota rush at USC
55 - Addison rec. vs. ARIZ* (Mariota)
52 - Barner rush at OSU
51 - Thomas rush vs. FS*
49 - Thomas rec. vs. TT (Mariota)
48 - Barner rec. vs. CU (Mariota)
48 - Lyerla rec. vs. UW (Mariota)
44 - Thomas rush vs. CU
42 - Mariota rush at OSU*
42 - Barner rush vs. CU
41 - Barner rush at USC
39 - Huff rec. at CAL* (Mariota)
39 - Thomas rush vs. FS*
36 - Huff rec. at USC* (Mariota)
35 - Huff rec. at CAL* (Mariota)
35 - Lyerla rec. vs. ARIZ (Mariota)
34 - Lyerla rec. at CAL (Mariota)
34 - Huff rec. vs. UW* (Mariota)
33 - Mariota at OSU
33 - Barner at OSU
33 - Forde rush vs. TT
33 - Barner rush vs. FS
33 - Thomas rush vs. ARKST*
32 - Mariota rush vs. KSU
32 - Lowe rec. at USC
32 - Kelley rec. vs. CU (Bennett)
32 - Marshall rush vs. UW
30 - Huff rec. at USC (Mariota)
30 - Bennett rush vs. CU
30 - Barner rec. at WSU* (Mariota)
29 - Thomas rush at OSU*
29 - Murphy rec. at WSU (Mariota)
28 - Huff rec. at OSU (Mariota)
28 - Lowe rec. vs. STAN* (Mariota)
28 - Mariota rush vs. FS
27 - Barner rush at USC*
27 - Marshall rush vs. TT
26 - Thomas rush vs. CU
26 - Brown rec. vs. TT (Mariota)
25 - Thomas rec. at CAL (Mariota)
25 - Marshall rush at ASU
* indicates touchdown

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Jr., CB
•Bednarik Award (defensive player)
•Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defensive player)
•Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back)

Hroniss Grasu, Jr., C
•Outland Trophy (interior lineman)
•Rimington Trophy (center)
•Rotary Lombardi Award (lineman/linebacker)

Josh Huff, Sr., WR
•Biletnikoff Award (wide reciever)

Tyler Johnstone, So., OT
•Outland Trophy (interior lineman)
•Rotary Lombardi Award (lineman/linebacker)

Boseko Lokombo, Sr., LB
•Butkus Award (linebacker)

Colt Lyerla, Jr., TE
•John Mackey Award (tight end)

Marcus Mariota, So., QB
•Walter Camp Award (player of the year)
•Maxwell Award (player of the year)
•Davey O’Brien Award (quarterback)
•Manning Award (quarterback)

Terrance Mitchell, Jr., CB
•Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back)
•Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defensive player)

De'Anthony Thomas, Jr., RB
•Walter Camp Award (player of the year)
•Maxwell Award (player of the year)
•Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player)
•Doak Walker Award (running back) 

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