Oregon has announced the hiring of Joe Moorhead for their offensive coordinator position. When Mario Cristobal entered the offseason needing to make an offensive coordinator hiring following the departure of Marcus Arroyo to UNLV as their head coach.
Following a Rose Bowl win, this was an attractive job. There’s talent, and Oregon can pay for coaches. However, a wrinkle was thrown in when Moorhead was fired by Mississippi State. Moorhead only got two seasons at Mississippi State, so his firing was a bit peculiar. But when that became the case, rumors immediately starting floating about interest between him and Oregon.
Joe Moorhead is the New OC at Oregon
This is a home run hire by Mario Cristobal. Moorhead may have been fired as a head coach, but he made a bowl game both seasons and they averaged at least over 220 yards per game on the ground both seasons, and around 5.5 yards per carry.
That was also done in the SEC West when he was playing with a talent disadvantage. Moving the ball against Pac-12 defenses is generally easier, and Oregon is never at a talent disadvantage in the conference.
Oregon was good at running the ball last season, but those Mississippi State numbers are better. This season, for example, the Bulldogs averaged over 40 more yards per game on the ground and about 0.5 yards more per carry. And if you haven’t been paying attention, Mario Cristobal wants an offense that is going to run the ball.
Moorhead’s Previous Experience
Moorhead took the Penn State offense to new heights right away when he took over that job. He was also named the number one rising assistant coach in college football by Sports Illustrated and Yahoo!.
Not only was he successful at Penn State, but he was known for his offensive mind while turning Fordham around as the head coach, and he was calling plays for UConn before Fordham. And that’s not the UConn now, that was a good UConn program at the time in the Big East.
Moorhead likely won’t be in Eugene too long. However, you should always hire the best guy available for the job.
He will bring good use of the run-pass option to Eugene. That’s something that could help simplify things for whoever the new quarterback will be.
But his ability to draw up a run game, paired with Cristobal’s philosophy is a perfect fit.
Top Photo: Mark Humphrey/Associated Press