Helfrich's first season had highs and lows

ANNE M. PETERSON AP Sports Writer Published:

Over the course of Mark Helfrich's first year as head coach at Oregon he dealt with a troubled tight end, a snowball fight, and an injury to his star quarterback that was much worse than anyone thought.

But it all ended with an authoritative win. The No. 10 Ducks finished the season 11-2 and capped it all off with a 30-7 victory over Texas in the Alamo Bowl.

Helfrich matched USC's John Robinson (1976) and Stanford's David Shaw (2011) for most wins as a first-year head coach in the Pac-12 Conference.

Led by quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back De'Anthony Thomas, the Ducks were early front-runners for a shot at the national title. But two losses down the stretch hurt Oregon.