“Being Coach Kelly, everyone was tense around him. This year, it’s more like a family environment with Coach Helfrich…He’s a lot more relaxed. Coach Kelly, he was tense all the time and Coach Helfrich is a lot more relaxed, so I feel like the players feed of of him”.-Josh Huff, Oregon Wide Receiver
It was a sunny beautiful day in Eugene- perfect weather to watch the Ducks prove they hadn’t missed a beat. With the exception of the controversial ejection of Terrance Mitchell, things seemed to run according to plan, finally answering the asked-way-too-often question: Will things look the same under Coach Helfrich? Obviously, there’s a whole lot of season left, but do I’m just going to go ahead and say it: I think things may even be better.
Throughout Spring and Fall camp, both players and assistant coaches alike talked about how much more relaxed and approachable Coach Helfrich was. That was all well and good, but many fans wondered if Coach Helfrich would be tough enough to lead the Ducks to victory in the same gutsy fashion as Coach Kelly. Personally, I’ve had little doubt he could be tough when he needed to be, and may even elevate the team’s success with his ability to connect to, and relate to the players and coaches around him. Today, he proved he definitely has things under control and he has today’s game ball to prove it.
Perhaps the Wide Receiver, Josh Huff, summed it up best today when he describing the team’s mood last year and this year. “Being Coach Kelly, everyone was tense around him. This year, it’s more like a family environment with coach Helfrich…He’s a lot more relaxed. Coach Kelly, he was tense all the time and Coach Helfrich is a lot more relaxed, so I feel like the players feed of of him”. He went on to explain that although Coach Helfrich’s more relaxed approach, he does yell at times and is able to correct them when they do something wrong. Clearly, Coach Helfrich’s work behind those top-secret practice doors must be working.
Racking up 66 points against Nicholls State was, dare I say it…? Expected. What wasn’t necessarily expected however was the many records that would be beaten today. The offense broke the total rushing yards in one game record and it was the firs time Oregon had 3 players rush for over 100 yards. Guess who was part of that trio? De’Anthony Thomas (of course), Byron Marshall, and a gridirongirl favorite, Marcus Mariota.
Don’t quote me. OK, nevermind, I’ll do it for you. “I think our flock of Ducks are in very, very safe hands”.