Oregon spent a good portion of the season with its quarterback position in limbo. Now, the first part of the Ducks’ postseason is spent with its offensive coordinator and quarterback coach position in limbo as all signs point to former offensive coordinator and new UCF coach Scott Frost not returning to Eugene to coach in the Ducks’ bowl game.
In his introductory press conference on Wednesday in Orlando, Frost said that he hadn’t spoken with Oregon coach Mark Helfrich too much and that he and UCF athletic director Danny White hadn’t decided on an official start date. But, based off what he said, that start date will be before Oregon makes its way to a bowl.
“This is my priority,” Frost said. “I need to be working on making sure that this team can accomplish all that it possibly can. Recruiting is obviously one of the first things I need to get started with.”
Back in Eugene, many players showed public support of Frost for his new job despite the fact that it leaves a bit of uncertainty for their own futures.
Congrats to My QB Coach/Offensive Coordinator on earning the Head Coaching job at #UCF . I want to thank you on taking a chance on me and believing in me to come in and compete. UCF fans, yall are getting a great coach and an even better Christian, God fearing man! Thank you & God bless you dawg! @coach_frost
Happy for @coach_frost very deserving. Great Coach, Great Man. UCF will love him.— Bralon Addison (@BralonAddison2) December 1, 2015
The natural inclination is that passing game coordinator and wide receiver coach Matt Lubick will get the first look as a potential candidate to fill Frost’s position. Frost was in Lubick’s position from 2009 to 2012 before becoming the offensive coordinator, and as Helfrich showed two years ago with Don Pellum’s promotion, he isn’t opposed to hiring in-house.
Lubick is obviously well-versed in the Oregon scheme and has produced one of the conference’s most impressive wide-receiver groups over the past few seasons.
In his first season with the Ducks, Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff broke the program’s single-season receiving record with 1,140 yards. Lubick spread the ball around well -- the team’s third-leading receiver was a running back and its fourth-leading receiver was a tight end.
Last season with injuries abound, Lubick turned one of the youngest receiver groups in the Pac-12 into one of the most dynamic position groups in the league. Five different players caught at least 25 passes and Lubick helped Byron Marshall make a midseason move from running back to slot receiver as he paced the pass catchers.
But this season might have been his biggest test yet, as he showed that his wide-receiver group wasn’t just a beneficiary of Marcus Mariota, but that it was an extremely talented unit that could perform with any quarterback. Only Washington State and Cal (which threw the ball far more than the Ducks) had more completions of 20 or more yards.
Lubick could find some competition for the job, though. In a press release, Helfrich implied that others had expressed interest in Frost’s job.
“Oregon’s proven track record of success and unique situation have led to many high-quality candidates expressing their interest (in the Oregon vacancy),” Helfrich said.
That is to be expected since it’s such a high-profile opening. However, none of the candidates have as much experience within the offense as Lubick.
But, in a season of ever-changing faces at the quarterback position, it looks like the Ducks might have one more change in quarterback coach before they close the chapter on this season.