Innovation at Oregon Football

Caleb and I had an opportunity to see the Oregon Ducks (the new #1 team in college football) play U.S.C. at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday night. We had a great time watching what was a great game through the first 3 quarters. Although USC did not upset the undefeated Ducks, we were impressed with several things we saw from the Oregon team, a team which could become national champions. They are known for the uniforms and some off-the-field troubles, but here are some other interesting things we noticed:

1. They are extremely fast! Due to their playcalling innovation (posterboard instead of hand signals alone – see below), if you blink you will miss the next play.

2. Their offense is extremely fun to watch. As just a football fan, I have to admit, they are incredibly entertaining. Several times we had to watch the replay on the video screen because we bought the fake hand off and didn’t follow the guy that actually had the ball.

3. They never seemed to panic. Even as USC jumped ahead with two quick touchdowns at the beginning of the 3rd quarter, you could just tell that Oregon knew they were able to get back in the game quickly. They actually personified the quote from John Wooden: “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

4. Before the game, the Oregon coaches lined up and took turns shaking the hands and hugging each of the other coaches. They seemed to have a genuine respect and camaraderie.

In a sport as old as football, innovations still make a big difference.

In what ways has your church, non-profit, or company introduced innovations that made a difference?

Showing 3 comments
  • nick waters

    I like this post, and appreciate your observations! Thank you for sharing the insights, Eric.

  • ckorducksfan

    Chip Kelly is pure class and has taken the right approach with this team since day one, here’s how..

  • PC

    You mentioned their lack of panic, and that is something Coach Kelly mentioned a few weeks ago in an interview with, what I think, is a very good axiom.

    “Panic is something that happens when you aren’t prepared.”

    The Ducks know their offense. They know their strengths, and they are very well-prepared. When you are that prepared, there truly is no reason to panic.

    It was great “seeing” you (via twitter) at the game.

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