Oregon changes: More for the better

September, 12, 2013
9/12/13
4:15
PM ET
If Tennessee held a glimmer of hope that Oregon would wobble after the departure of Chip Kelly, one look at the video of the No. 2 Ducks' 59-10 rout at Virginia last Saturday might have made the Vols go wobbly themselves.

The Ducks played the same fast-break offense, scoring points quickly and often. They played the same defense, sending waves of players onto the field all game long. The architect of Oregon's rise may be gone, wearing green three time zones to the east, but the Ducks are carrying on nicely in his absence.

"The culture we built here hasn't changed at all," quarterback Marcus Mariota said. "Coach [Mark] Helfrich was within the program and he understands kind of the way we run things around here. As it continues to go on, I think guys understand that this culture is successful, and why change it?"

Two games may not qualify as a data sample, but the Ducks appear to have changed only in the typical ways from last season. Mariota is a year older and a year smarter. De'Anthony Thomas is getting the ball in more ways, befitting someone in his third season. The Ducks committed 11 penalties for 119 yards, nearly all of them mental errors befitting an early game. But like a flight crew on a G5 flying around the world, Kelly handed the controls to his successor and the jet continued without a hitch.

And still very, very fast.

To read more of Ivan Maisel's story, click here.
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