Duck, Duck, Bear! A Q & A on the Oregon Ducks with Addicted to Quack

Jonathan Ferrey

Welcome to Senior Week! In their final home game of the 2012 season, the California Golden Bears take on the Oregon Ducks in the third night game of the season. Find out about Mark Helfich, Marcus Mariota, and other figures in Oregon Duck lore in this Q & A with SB Nation's Addicted to Quack. As always, Go Bears!

1. So what's Mark Helfrich's contribution to the offense? How is his coaching viewed - strengths, weaknesses, etc.? What's that? Oh, no reason, just curious. Also, what does he think about the Bay Area?

Honestly, I don't think that people have a really good idea what Helfrich's offensive contributions are. As far as we know, he is the QB coach and offensive coordinator, so most of his time is spent coaching QBs. And with the production Oregon has gotten out of that position the last few years, he's done an excellent job there. However, he doesn't call plays as Chip Kelly does that.

When rumors surfaced that Chip Kelly was leaving for the NFL last offseason, Helfrich was the rumored replacement. It seems like the coaching staff and Athletic Department think a lot of him, and there's a great chance he ends up as a very successful head coach.

At this point, I'd say there's a better chance he's Oregon's head coach before he's Cal's head coach. If Chip is thinking of going to the NFL (and there's little reason he wouldn't since he's the hottest name around right now), Helfrich is the likely replacement.


2. Has Nick Aliotti finally won you guys over?

Yup, Oregon defense (outside of the USC game) has been simply phenomenal this year, and has been growing to this point since Chip Kelly took over as coach. A combination of increased talent and freedom to scheme as he wants has made most Oregon fans forget about



3. How should we go about attacking the Aliotti defense?

Get Marquise Lee to play for you for a game? Un-injure Keenan Allen? Without explosiveness from the receivers it will be very tough. If the receivers can't beat Oregon's corners one-on-one, that will give Nick Aliotti freedom to move his safeties around, and at that point it's all over.

Also, it is very important that Cal not panic if they get down early. They have to continue to run a balanced attack. Oregon can stop a one-dimensional offense as good as anyone in the country.


4. Do you think Chip Kelly will bolt to the NFL any time soon?

Ugh, probably. He's the hottest name around right now and will likely have a number of offers on the table. It is the perfect time for him to move on to the NFL.


5. What will Cal's defense have to do to hold the Oregon offense to a single TD, as they did in 2010?

They're going to have to control the line-of-scrimmage. This far this season, no team has done that like Cal did in 2012 [Author's note: The author believes ATQ is referring to the 2010 Cal-Oregon game, as the 2012 game has yet to be played]. Arizona came the closest, holding the Ducks rushing attack down for much of the game, but they couldn't sustain that. If Cal can control the line of scrimmage, it will give Oregon's offense a test it hasn't really seen this season, which could rattle Marcus Mariota.


6. Does the system make the QB?

It certainly makes it easier for the QB to execute. But right now, Marcus Mariota is execute the Oregon offense like no QB has done since Dennis Dixon. Darron Thomas and Jeremiah Masoli never completed over 63% of their passes. Mariota is completing over 70% of his passes. In a few games, the rushing game was set up with the passing game, as Mariota came out and completed a number of passes to set the tone early on. This happened against USC, when he went 4/4 for 68 yards and a touchdown on the first drive.


7. Kenjon Barner or Marcus Mariota for Heisman?

Kenjon Barner has the better shot at winning because he's a senior and had the bigger game on the biggest stage. But Mariota is probably the more important player to the offense, just because he's the QB.


8. The Oregon offense is fairly well known, but who on D should Cal fans know about?

There are a lot of choices, but I'm going with DT Wade Keliikipi. Though he's battling injuries, he's been an absolute beat inside for the Ducks. His dominance and skill inside have given Oregon a physical presence and allowed the star players like Dion Jordan, Michael Clay, and Kiko Alonso to shine. Wade isn't going to show up much on the box score, but he's one of the main reasons Oregon's defense has been so good this year.


9. Remember the good old days when you guys used to be CGB North?

But how the table's have turned. http://www.atqsouth.com [Author's note: The author highly recommends readers do not visit this URL. The Author further recommends that a loyal Cal Bear buy up http://www.cgbnorth.com and link it to Addicted To Quack.]


10. Who do you want to punch in the face?

I feel like I should say Tosh Lupoi.

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