Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez helped devise the hurry-up spread offense nearly 25 years ago.
Then coach Chip Kelly made Oregon famous for it.
These days, current Ducks coach Mark Helfrich acknowledges the offensive similarities between Oregon and Arizona, calling them cousins.
“I don’t know what kind of cousin,” Helfrich joked about his analogy. “But a run-based, spread offense, being able to throw the ball, mix those things up – yeah, it’s very similar.”
The two similar schemes will meet Friday night when the No. 3 Ducks (11-1, 8-1) play the No. 8 Wildcats (10-2, 7-2) in the Pac-12 championship.
Rodriguez, named this season’s Pac-12 Coach of the Year, also zeroed in on the familiarity factor.
“Philosophically, they look very, very similar,” Rodriguez said earlier this week. “You’d think these two coaches are related.”
Oregon is ranked atop the conference this year for the eighth consecutive season with an average of nearly 46 points per game.
The Ducks average 539.5 yards in total offense, also first in the league. Arizona is ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in both categories, with 36.7 points and 481.2 total yards per game.
Arizona visited Eugene in early October and defeated the Ducks 31-24.
Around the nation
A two-day hearing at Florida State that could determine quarterback Jameis Winston’s future ended with no decision and no definitive timetable on when the case will be resolved. … Ohio State players and coaches paid their final respects at the funeral of teammate Kosta Karageorge, who apparently shot himself in the head after sending a message to his parents saying concussions had addled his mind. … Pittsburgh running back James Conner is the Atlantic Coast Conference’s player of the year. … Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason fired offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell, wide receivers coach Marc Lubick and conditioning coach Bill Hughan. … Arkansas State will play in the GoDaddy Bowl for the fourth consecutive year.
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