By Rob Moseley
The Ducks didn’t bother hiding their intentions for two of their most versatile offensive weapons this season, despite opening the 2013 season Saturday against an FCS opponent.
Oregon’s first offensive play of Saturday’s 66-3 win over Nicholls featured receiver Josh Huff lining up in the backfield, and catching a screen pass from Marcus Mariota. Later, tight end Colt Lyerla got three carries at running back, running for 17 yards and a touchdown.
Huff said the snap at running back gave him flashbacks to his true freshman season. He supplied one of the signature plays of 2009 from the backfield, an 85-yard touchdown run against Arizona.
“It really made me happy to finally get back in the backfield and put that pressure on the defense, to not just focus on De’Anthony (Thomas) and Marcus (Mariota),” Huff said. “Just give them a different look.”
In his conventional role as a wideout, Huff led the Ducks on Saturday with five receptions for 118 yards.
Lyerla caught just one pass, for 13 yards. The game plan called for him to be used primarily as a blocker in the passing game Saturday, so he appreciated the chance to contribute with the ball in his hands on three fourth-quarter carries, including a three-yard touchdown.
“It’s definitely run, especially games like this (in which the tight end isn’t featured in the passing game,” Lyerla said. “To get back there and still be able to be part of the offense, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Lyerla had 13 carries for 77 yards and one touchdown as a sophomore last fall.