Oregon Football: 5 Startling Statistics from Ducks' 2013 Campaign
The debate over how good this Oregon football team really is will rage on throughout the week until the start of the game against Washington.
The Ducks are 5-0 in 2013 and have been winning by an average of more than 47 points. Naysayers will chalk up the gaudy stats to the weak opponents, but there are many teams who can't do what Oregon does even against similar competition.
The fact remains that this version of the Ducks has weapons all over the place, and they're scoring nearly 60 points per game, despite not tallying a single point in the fourth quarter over the past three games.
If that stat surprises you, here are five more that have startled us all so far.
All stats via ESPN, unless otherwise noted.
Zero Interceptions for Marcus Mariota
You can dismiss the offensive statistics and the margins of victory as much as you want, but you can't ignore the fact that quarterback Marcus Mariota has yet to throw a pick.
In fact, Mariota is the only quarterback with more than eight touchdowns (14) who has yet to throw an interception, per Andy McNamara of the University of Oregon.
Other top quarterbacks have yet to face any real competition, so it's not as if you can attribute it to the weak schedule. Would he be more likely to throw one against a better team? Of course.
And it's also worth noting that a few of his errant throws should have been intercepted. But despite the low completion percentage (by 2012 standards), Mariota is leading this offense and playing mistake-free football.
Will the streak continue in Seattle?
2nd in Scoring Offense and Scoring Defense
It's always surprising to see your team in the top five of any category when 120-plus teams are considered.
But Duck fans can point to their team being in the top five in two of the most important categories in football: scoring offense and scoring defense.
Yes, this one is a result of the competition. Hopefully, fans can put up with not seeing the team win by nearly 50 points every weekend, because those days aren't far off.
But think about it this way: The Ducks have given up 59 total points this season. The fewest points they've scored in a game is 55.
With offense being the name of the game in 2013, this particular stat may not be startling, but it reaffirms what we've seen, thus far: This team has played extremely well this season.
Colt Lyerla's Production
Perhaps, the most startling statistic of the season is not a positive one.
Tight end Colt Lyerla has just two catches for 26 yards this season. He also has just 17 yards on the ground, though that does include a touchdown against Nicholls.
There are two ways to look at this, however. The first is the glass half-full look, which recognizes how efficient the offense has been, despite Lyerla's lack of production. That has to be a scary thought for opposing defenses.
The glass half-empty look wonders if Lyerla will end up contributing at all this season. But you can bet defensive coordinators won't look at it this way, because the tight end hasn't gotten worse in the offseason. He's still one of the most dangerous weapons in the game with the ball in his hands.
Even scarier for defenses: The Ducks beat Tennessee, 59-14, without Lyerla, they beat Cal, 55-16, in a monsoon without De'Anthony Thomas, and they beat Colorado, 57-16, without either player.
Update: Colt Lyerla has withdrawn from the school, per the official Twitter account of the University of Oregon Football.
Admittedly, this startling statistic is another product of the weak slate so far.
However, it wouldn't be included unless it was extremely impressive. And it is. The Ducks are winning by more than 47 points per game.
While other teams have also faced easy teams, none have dispatched them like the Ducks. Florida State struggled with Boston College. Louisville struggled against Kentucky. Even Ohio State let Buffalo stay a little too close for comfort.
The only team that has won in the same fashion as Oregon is Baylor, but Woffard and Buffalo are a step down from even Virginia and Tennessee. In the Bears' first conference game, they allowed over 40 points.
Even though the backups were in, that shows a lack of depth compared with a team like Oregon, which has held every opponent below 20, despite playing second- and third-string guys throughout the second half of every game.
Against Washington, fans of either team will be shocked to see a margin of victory above 40. Or 30. Or maybe even 20.
But what the Ducks have done, and how they've done it, is pretty incredible.
16 Different Players Have Scored
In five games, 16 different players have scored a point for the Oregon Ducks.
Yes, we're bending the rules a bit by including extra points and two-point conversions, but if it counts on the scoreboard, it counts in this slide.
In case you're interested, here is the official tally, per cfbstats.com.
The chart includes everyone from Marcus Mariota to Dustin Haines. What it shows is that the Ducks have more weapons than most teams around the country, and the depth this team has built is unmatched, at least on the West Coast.
With tougher games coming up, this number probably won't go much higher. But it's yet another startling statistic for a team with so many to choose from.