The Oregon Ducks are pretty set at quarterback. With that said, Oregon has moved some former QBs over to skill positions, creating the potential for trick plays.
Bralon Addison and Daryle Hawkins, both former quarterbacks turned receivers could be valuable trick play machines should the Ducks choose to go that direction.
As a high school star, Hawkins spent his junior season as a wide receiver but transitioned over to playing under center. He started his senior season at quarterback, but a broken collarbone sidelined him for almost the entirety of the season. Despite only seeing action in three complete games, Hawkins finished with 540 total yards of offense. Hawkins was recruited by the Ducks as a quarterback taking snaps from there his redshirt season and parts of his first active season with the Ducks in 2010.
As for Addison, while he’s been utilized as a slot receiver thus far in his Oregon career, he’s no stranger to throwing the football. Addison finished his senior season completing 134-of-238 passes for 2,158 yards and 22 touchdowns with just three interceptions while also rushing 190 times for 1,625 yards (8.6 YPC) and 20 touchdowns.
Oregon is no stranger to using multiple QB situations. Remember Darron Thomas‘ trick play against Oregon State in 2008?
So how do the Ducks utilize these athletic players who can also throw the ball?
My first thought jumps immediately to Keenan Howry‘s throw to Joey Harrington in the 2000 Holiday Bowl, one of the biggest impact plays in the last decade-and-a-half of Oregon Ducks football.
Like the play against Texas right above, the Ducks could utilize Hawkins or Addison in the slot by motioning them around and have the speedy Mariota race down field for an open pass.
Another viable option is a quick screen pass behind the line of scrimmage that would look like a designated route for the receiver to run down the field only to turn and pass the ball to an open target.
So will we see Oregon some trick plays next season? They have the skill guys to run them, but is it going to part of their strategy? Trick plays are typically run by inferior teams needing to catch a superior team off guard… tell me when this season Oregon will be the inferior team.
Oregon has run a few trick plays over the last few seasons. When Oregon was trailing Stanford at home in 2010, an onside kick recovery was the momentum swing that allowed the Ducks to emerge victorious. So they do have the courage to run them.
But the other factor in this is, who knows how aggressive Mark Helfrich/Scott Frost will be? Nobody really knows what play calling will be like in 2013.
So the take away from this article is that while Oregon certainly has the capability to run trick plays, who knows if they actually will? If only the media could watch practice. Maybe I should go ask Mr. Moseley.