It was a terrific, unprecedented 2012 football season for the Oregon Ducks – and it even impacts North Gilham real estate in Eugene, believe it or not. That’s because Coach Chip Kelly, a resident of the North Gilham neighborhood, is moving to Philadelphia to become the head coach of the NFL’s Eagles so his home will soon be on the market.

But enough real estate talk for the moment – let’s recap the season and take a look at some of the real estate covered by the Ducks in 2012, this time measured in yards and touchdowns instead of square feet. The Ducks played in their fourth straight BCS bowl game and conquered every opponent on the schedule, except pesky Stanford. Oregon ended the season by handily defeating #5 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl, showing the Wildcats the unstoppable speed that toppled so many opponents. Overall, the Ducks posted 12 wins and racked up incredible offensive numbers.

The explosive Ducks offense, led by redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota (who would go on to be named 1st team All Pac-12 quarterback), scored fast and put a strain on scoreboard operators all season. Here are some of the Ducks national stats for 2012:

  • Scoring Offense: #2 (644 points, 49.54 points per game, 84 touchdowns)
  • Rushing offense; 3rd (4098 yards and 48 touchdowns)
  • Total Offense: 5th (537 yards per game)
  • Passing efficiency: 7th
  • Red zone offense: 12th

When redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota was named starting quarterback, who could have foreseen that Mariota would be the Pac-12’s best signal caller and 7th in passing efficiency nationally? Evidently, departing coach Kelly and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich – now Head Coach Helfrich, by the way – knew what they had. Still, Mariota’s incredible composure all year was impressive.

Let’s look back at some of the 2012 season’s great memories:

  • In the opening game, against Arkansas State, Marcus Mariota leads the Duck offense to 7 consecutive touchdowns.
  • In the Pac-12 opener against Arizona – historically a close matchup – the Ducks destroy the Wildcats, 49-0.
  • Against Washington State the Ducks again win big (51-26) behind Kenjon Barner’s 195-yard, 3-touchdown performance. This was heartening for Barner, who was knocked out cold in Pullman two years ago, sustaining a bad concussion and missing a chunk of the season.
  • The next week against Washington, the Ducks won 52-21, once again completely dismantling a Husky team that thought it could hang with the Ducks. Bad dogs.
  • The Ducks won an amazing score-fest in Los Angeles against USC, defeating the Trojans 62-51. Senior Kenjon Barner had a career game, running for 321 yards and three TD’s.
  • Behind Mariota’s mind boggling 6 touchdown passes, Oregon cleaned Cal’s clock in Berkeley, 59-17.
  • Against Oregon State, the Ducks again cruised, this time beating their arch rival 48-24 in Corvallis.
  • In the Fiesta Bowl vs. Kansas State – a team that Oregon had figured to play for the national championship until both teams lost on the same weekend – human highlight DeAnthony Thomas ran back the opening kickoff 94 yards and the Ducks never looked back, winning 35-17.

Oregon finished the season ranked #2 for only the second time in school history, matching the accomplishment of the Joey Harrington-led 2001 squad.

Looking Ahead

In 2013, the Ducks look loaded on offense, with 17 of the top 22 players returning. On defense, the Ducks have to replace outstanding linebackers Michael Clay and Kiko Alonso, but have a strong cast of returning players. New coach Helfrich is innovative and well liked by the players, and Oregon will likely be ranked in the top 5 to start the year. Go Ducks!