The University of Oregon’s run game will look significantly different this season. Oregon’s leading rusher Travis Dye joined Pac-12 rival USC during the offseason and CJ Verdell is with the Indianapolis Colts.
Oregon went 10-4 in 2021. A strong running game spearheaded the Duck’s offense. Oregon rushed for 202.4 yards per game and scored 36 rushing touchdowns.
Travis Dye ran for 1,271 rushing yards and scored 16 rushing touchdowns on 211 carries. C.J Verdell ran for 406 rushing yards and scored 5 rushing touchdowns on 78 carries. Verdell and Dye scored 2 receiving touchdowns as well.
How will Oregon’s offensive coordinator contribute to the run game?
Head coach Dan Lanning hired Kenny Dillingham in December. Dillingham spent time at Arizona State, Memphis, Auburn, and Florida State. While at Florida State in 2021, the Seminoles offense averaged 5 yards per rush and rushed for 200 yards per game. Dillingham’s experience and commitment to running the ball will help Oregon’s running game.
Oregon had success running the football and will lean on the run with new head coach Dan Lanning. Lanning was the defensive coordinator at Georgia. Georgia placed an emphasis on the run in the 2021 season. Georgia averaged 190 rushing yards per game en route to a national championship win.
Who are Oregon’s running backs?
Oregon currently has five running backs on its roster. Running backs include Sean Dollars, Byron Cardwell, Noah Whittington, Kilohona Haasenritter, and La’vaughn Luellen. Whittington is the most experienced running back on Oregon’s roster. Whittington is a transfer student from Western Kentucky. In 2021, he averaged 6.1 yards per carry along with 617 rushing yards.
Oregon’s running backs will have to make up for Dye and Verdell’s production. Dollars and Cardwell were ranked as 4-star athletes, while Whittington, Haasenritter, and Luellen were ranked as 3-star athletes.
Having a strong run game is crucial for Oregon this upcoming season. Quarterbacks Jay Butterfield and Bo Nix will need help from the running game. The Duck’s offense can run play-action and have balance with a strong running attack. If Dillingham can direct a strong running offense, Oregon can enjoy another successful season.
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I thoroughly enjoyed the writing of Jordan Hampton. I think he painted a very complete picture of the Oregon Ducks upcoming season.