Coach Moorhead is vital to the success of the No. 3 ranked Oregon football team, and that has become extremely evident this season. Moorhead directs one of the most dynamic offenses in the nation, and the Ducks’ only loss of the season came on a day where he was absent after having to undergo emergency surgery on the morning of the game. Moorhead returned to the team the next week and got back to work despite significant medical issues, and the Ducks are undefeated since and in the thick of the College Football Playoff conversation. He has also gotten the most out of an offense that has suffered significant injuries, including a season-ending injury to lead running back and potential Heisman candidate CJ Verdell as well as long-term injuries to each of its top two centers.
Coach Moorhead is one of the nation’s top offensive minds and an elite recruiter, currently in his second season as Oregon’s offensive coordinator. Moorhead is in his 14th season as a team’s primary offensive play caller in the last 15 years, with stops as head coach at Mississippi State (2018-19) and Fordham (2012-15). He has also been the offensive coordinator at Penn State (2016-17), Fordham (2014), UConn (2010), and Akron (2005). In each of his two seasons at Penn State, Moorhead was named the national offensive coordinator of the year. Moorhead has coached, developed and mentored 20 players who have been selected in the last five NFL Drafts, including four first-round picks and New York Giants standout running back Saquon Barkley.
Oregon is currently 9-1 overall and 6-1 in Pac-12 play, one win away from clinching the Pac-12 North Division and advancing to the Pac-12 Championship Game for the third consecutive season. The Ducks are No. 3 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, and are in position to finish in the CFP top four for the first time since 2014.
Oregon’s offense ranks 21st in the nation with 35.3 points per game, and 32nd with 441.3 yards of total offense per game. Moorhead’s unit has been especially dynamic in the run game, ranking 10th nationally with 227.4 rushing yards per game and tied for second with 31 total rushing TDs. The Ducks have rushed for 300-plus yards in back-to-back games for the first time since 2017, and 250-plus in three straight games for the first time since 2016. The Ducks have been especially effective on third down, ranking fifth in the FBS with a 51.56 percent third-down conversion rate, including 31-of-47 (65.9%) in the last four games. Oregon has also been tremendous in the red zone, ranking 10th nationally with touchdowns on 73.33 percent of its red zone opportunities.
With the injury to elite running back CJ Verdell, Moorhead has gotten tremendous production out of running back Travis Dye. Despite splitting carries with Verdell the first five games, Dye ranks second in the Pac-12 this season with a career-high 908 rushing yards, and is tied for second in the Pac-12 and 15th in the nation with 14 total touchdowns. Dye has also been a great weapon as a receiver out of the backfield, leading the Ducks with 32 receptions for 302 yards and two TDs. Dye is one of only five players in the nation to lead his team in both rushing yards and receptions, and he leads the Pac-12 with 1,210 total yards from scrimmage.
Moorhead has also gotten the most out of sixth-year QB Anthony Brown, who ranks third in the conference in yards of total offense per game at 258.1. Brown has thrown for 2,030 yards and 12 TDs, and he leads all Pac-12 quarterbacks with eight rushing touchdowns and 551 yards on the ground. Brown is a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.