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Oregon Weekly Football Release - Tennessee
Release Date: 09/10/2013
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For the complete release with full notes, roster, depth chart, statistics, etc., please view the PDF.

National Television: ABC with Mike Patrick (pxp), Ed Cunningham (analyst) and Jeannine Edwards (reporter). Radio: Oregon IMG with Jerry Allen (pxp) and Mike Jorgensen (analyst). Satellite Radio: Sirius 85, XM 85.

•Oregon won the only previous meeting between the two teams, a 48-13 victory in Knoxville in 2010. In that game, the Vols held a 13-3 lead early in the second quarter before the Ducks ran off 45 straight points to put the game away.
•UO is 4-6 all-time against schools from the Southeastern Conference, but has won three of the past five meetings vs. the SEC. Oregon’s defeats during that stretch came in back-to-back games: The 2011 Cowboys Classic vs. LSU and the 2010 BCS National Championship Game vs. Auburn.

•Of Oregon’s 17 touchdown drives, 15 have lasted less than two minutes.
•The Ducks rank last (125th) in the FBS in time of possession at 20:35:50 per game - nearly three minutes less than the next closest team (Hawaii, 23:21:00).
•UO ranks seventh nationally in scoring defense (6.5 points per game) despite facing the third-most plays (86.5 per game) of any defense in the FBS.
•JR RB De'Anthony Thomas is tied for the national scoring lead with five touchdowns and 30 points. His career average is now 1.4 TDs per game.
•SO QB Marcus Mariota ranks 21st nationally in rushing yards while leading the FBS in average yards per attempt at 26.11. Mariota’s three runs of 70 or more yards since the start of last season are the most of any current player over that span.
•Both Thomas and Mariota have eclipsed 100 rushing yards in both games this season, with the latter becoming the first UO quarterback to achieve the feat in back-to-back games.
•Oregon’s 90 straight sellouts at Autzen Stadium is now the third-longest active streak in the country, trailing only Nebraska and Notre Dame.

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.

Four true freshmen saw action in the season-opener vs. Nicholls: OL Cameron Hunt, TE Johnny Mundt, DE Torrodney Prevot and K Matt Wogan. Joining that quartet in Week 2 was LB Tyrell Robinson and RB Thomas Tyner.

As the Ducks continue their quest for a fifth straight BCS bowl game appearance, all eyes are on second-year starting quarterback Marcus Mariota. The redshirt sophomore from Honolulu has the challenge of following 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. Through the first two weeks of the season, he has totalled 433 yards passing and 235 rushing with six total touchdowns (3 pass, 3 rush) and sans an interception. 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).

Marcus Mariota continued his streak of touchdown passes in a game with two TD tosses in Oregon’s 59-10 win at Virginia last Saturday. The sophomore has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all 15 games of his career with a total of 35 touchdowns. Mariota, who has three touchdown passes this season, has thrown for two or more TDs in a game nine times with a career-high six touchdown passes at California as a freshman. He also has a trio of four-touchdown games to his credit. Mariota’s 15-game touchdown pass streak ranks third in the nation behind Fresno State’s Derek Carr and Marshall’s Rakeem Cato, and one ahead of Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch. Clemson’s Tajh Boyd had a 17-game touchdown pass streak snapped last Saturday.

Of Oregon’s 17 drives resulting in touchdowns this season, 15 (88.2 percent) have lasted less than two minutes.

JR RB De'Anthony Thomas, a multipurpose offensive threat during his first two seasons, has settled into his role as UO’s starting running back, pacing the team in carries the first two weeks, including a team and career-high 18 in the opener vs. Nicholls (128 yards). Of his 29 totes this season, 14 have been between the tackles.

Since 2000, Oregon is 36-6 (.857) in regular season, out-of-conference games, earning notable victories against the likes of Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Michigan (x2). During that stretch, the Ducks are 3-1 against the SEC, 1-0 vs. the ACC, 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 7-0 vs. FCS sides.

JR CB Dior Mathis, also a member of the UO track & field team, put that track speed on display at Virginia Sept. 7, when he intercepted a pass deep in the end zone and ran more than 100 yards before getting knocked out at the UVa 3-yard-line. Officially, the third pick of his career went in the books as a 97-yard return, tying Kenny Wheaton (vs. UW in 1994) and Kenny Bryant (at TCU in 1977) for the second-longest in school history. It was the longest non-touchdown interception return by a Duck.

The Oregon blur offense may generate the most buzz among college football fans and media, but the UO defense has made more game-changing plays than any other defensive unit in the country since the start of 2012. The Ducks led the nation with 40 takeaways (25 interceptions, 15 fumble recoveries) a year ago - 32 by current players - and already have six (3/3) in 2013.

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 57,769 at Autzen Stadium on Aug. 31 vs. Nicholls, the Ducks ran the nation’s fourth-longest sellout streak to 90 consecutive games (cap. 54,000), dating to 1999.

Oregon has won 16 straight road games, which leads the country. Alabama and Northern Illinois are tied for 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.

1. Oregon-16
2. Alabama-9
    Northern Illinois-9
4. Texas A&M-6
    Kent State-6
6. Oklahoma-5

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.

After 100-yard rushing performances the past two weeks, SO QB Marcus Mariota became the first Oregon signal caller to accomplish the feat in back-to-back games. Mariota leads the nation in average yards per rush (26.11), while ranking 21st in average yards per game (117.5).

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. This season, Oregon ranks third at 62.5 points per game.

A staple of Oregon’s blur offense in recent years has been “explosion plays” of 25 yards or more from scrimmage. After two games, the Ducks have already racked up 18, with seven resulting in touchdowns. In 2012, Oregon accumulated 46 after an incredible 69 such plays in 2011.

71 - Mariota rush at UVA*
49 - Marshall rush vs. NICH*
47 - Marshall rush vs. NICH
46 - Mariota rush vs. NICH*
46 - Huff rec. vs. NICH (Mariota)
45 - Forde rush vs. NICH
40 - Thomas rush at UVA*
40 - Lowe rec. vs. NICH (Mariota)
31 - Huff rec. at UVA (Mariota)
31 - Tyner rush at UVA*
31 - Huff rec. vs. NICH (Mariota)
30 - Addison rec. at UVA (Mariota)*
28 - Thomas rec. at UVA (Mariota)
28 - Rodrigues vs. NICH
27 - Huff rec. vs. NICH (Mariota)
27 - Addison rec. vs. NICH* (Mariota)
27 - Mariota rush vs. NICH
26 - Mariota rush vs. NICH
* 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 receiver)

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)

De'Anthony Thomas, Jr., RB
Week 2
Pac-12 Player of the Week (offense)

Ducks On Pac-12 Networks