2010 record: 12-1 overall, 9-0 conference
2010 Bowl Game: 22-19 loss vs Auburn in BCS Championship
2010 ATS: 7-5-1
2010 O/U: 8-5
Returning starters: 12 total (7 on offense, 5 on defense)
Over the month of August, our team of writers will be previewing the top teams heading into an exciting 2011 campaign. The college football handicappers at Maddux Sports are also preparing and have season-long packages readily available for clients. Let’s head to Eugene and take a look at the two-time defending Pac-10 champions.
Oregon possesses one of the most potent offensive attacks in the nation, leading all teams with 47 points a game last year and 530.7 yards in total offense. Head coach Chip Kelly loves a high-tempo game, as the team posted those numbers in just 27:54 a contest.
Junior quarterback Darron Thomas is a dual-threat in the huddle and is coming off a tremendous year, throwing for 2,881 yards and 30 touchdowns, while also gaining 485 yards on the ground.
He displayed his talents to the entire nation in a losing effort against Auburn, throwing for 363 yards and two touchdowns.
LaMichael James is once again a Heisman Trophy candidate after leading the nation with 1,731 rushing yards in 2010. He finished third in last year’s balloting and will undoubtedly become the school’s all-time leading rusher.
If there’s a weakness on this unit, it can be found in the wide receiving corps, as the departures of Jeff Maehl and D.J. Davis leave a gaping hole of production. The two combined for 119 catches and 1,546 yards last year.
Oregon also lost three starters from an offensive front that allowed just nine sacks last year and led the team the country’s top rushing attack.
The Ducks lose six starters from a unit that was surprisingly strong in allowing just 18.7 points a contest, which was good for 12th nationally. Oregon allowed just 4.7 yards per play in 2010.
Many around camp are excited about the defensive line despite losing three key players. Sophomore Ricky Heimuli was one of two true freshmen to play in every game for Oregon last year.
Depth is always a concern in Eugene due to the frantic pace that the offense plays with. The Ducks will need to address these issues in the linebacking core and secondary, as the season kicks off in a big way versus LSU on Sept. 3.
Playmakers are definitely found in the secondary, led by junior cornerback Cliff Harris, who comes in after leading the conference with six interceptions.
Junior Rob Beard returns after connecting on 10-of-13 field goals a year ago, while drilling home an amazing 63-of-64 PATs.
Punter Jackson Rice averaged 42.3 yards on 40 punts and was great in pinning back opponents, as 18 of those were downed inside the 20-yard line.
The return game is a major weapon and has some dynamic playmakers, including Cliff Harris on punts and Kenjon Barner on kickoff returns.
Against the Spread
Oregon has compiled a 22-4 SU record under Kelly in two years, but is just 13-12 ATS. Watch the college football lines page closely all season long.
The Ducks have been a consistent moneymaker as home favorites, coming away with a 14-9 ATS mark at Autzen Stadium over the last four campaigns. Oregon’s first shot comes in hosting Nevada on Sept. 10.
Facing Arizona has been a stiff challenge against the number, coming into the 2011 campaign with a 1-5 ATS record in the last six meetings, including failures in the last three trips to Tucson.