The Oregon Ducks know how to run the football. Only the triple-option offense of Navy kept Oregon from having America’s best rushing attack in 2008. With over 280 yards per game on the ground, Oregon devastated it’s opponents with a potent combination of speed and power. Chip Kelly’s spread-offense produced two 1,000-yard rushers last season, only the second time in school history that it has happened. Throw in QB Jeremiah Masoli’s 718 yards on the ground, and it isn’t hard to see why the Ducks scored over 40 points a game in 2008.
But one of those 1,000-yard rushers is gone. RB Jeremiah Johnson graduated last season, finishing his fine career at Oregon with 2,336 yards and 30 TD’s. Can we really expect the Ducks to match last year’s productivity with the loss of their leading rusher? It won’t be easy, but a 240-pound bulldozer could pave the way for Oregon in 2009.
Ask Pac-10 defenses about senior RB LeGarrette Blount and you might see a few cringing faces. Better yet, ask Oklahoma State, who wanted no part of the 6-2 240 pound bruiser in last year’s Holiday Bowl.