‘It will be very explosive;’ WR Dont’e Thornton has high expectations for Oregon’s new offense

There has been a strange dichotomy with the Oregon Ducks’ offense over the past few years. In 2021, they had arguably the best group of wide receivers that we’ve seen in several years, but a quarterback who struggled to get them the ball down field. Before that, with Justin Herbert — one of the biggest gun-slingers in Oregon history — the Ducks lacked a star-studded receiving corps to adequately fit his skill level.

On top of that, you also had a head coach whose main philosophy was to ground and pound the ball between the tackles. Regardless of the reasoning, the through-line since Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich left has been a relatively unexciting offense that failed to stretch the field.

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From the sound of things this spring, we shouldn’t expect that to be the case going forward under this new coaching staff.

“I definitely feel like it will be very explosive,” said sophomore wide receiver Dont’e Thornton.

With new offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham, the Ducks have been using buzzwords like “explosion plays” often this spring, saying that they plan to “stretch the field vertically” and “get the ball to playmakers in space.”

All of that is music to Oregon fans ears after the relatively conservative years of Mario Cristobal.

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We know that, despite whoever wins the quarterback competition currently taking place between Bo Nix, Ty Thompson, and Jay Butterfield, there is an expectation that Oregon will have the arm talent to get the ball down the field. The question, though, is whether or not Oregon’s receivers can step up after losing so many starters to both the NFL draft and transfer portal…

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