When Mark Helfrich was hired as Oregon's head football coach in January 2013, he was instantly handed the keys to a Lamborghini and told to keep the machine at high speeds.

Oregon's notorious up-tempo and quick-strike offense has driven the Ducks to four consecutive BCS bowl appearances, including the 2010 National Championship Game.

Through two games with Helfrich at the wheel, it appears the gas pedal is still firmly pushed to the floor.

"They're a well-coached team," Tennessee linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen said. "They play with a lot of energy a lot of passion.

"They've been playing some of the best football in the country."

While undermanned Nicholls State and lackluster Virginia served as Oregon's personal play toys in weeks one and two respectively, the Ducks' gaudy numbers can't be ignored despite the lack of competition.

Through eight quarters of football, Helfrich's squad is averaging 664.5 yards and 62.5 points per game, while amassing 57 first downs in the process. All of those statistics rank in the top 10 amongst Football Bowl Subdivision teams. In addition, Oregon is producing close to 9.5 yards per play as well as a first down every 2.5 snaps.

Meanwhile, the Ducks are dead last in average time of possession, holding the ball for nearly 10 minutes less a game than the Volunteers.

Translation: Don't blink or a group of players clad in green and yellow may be celebrating yet another score.

"They do so many things," Thigpen said. "So many guys can score on simple plays. A swing pass. Anywhere else in the country, a swing pass is anywhere from a five to ten yard gain, but a swing pass in their system can be an 80-yard touchdown.

"At any given play, they can take it the distance."

While the Ducks' potent attack has many working parts including an upperclassmen-dominated offensive line, the horse power under the hood is generated primarily through the play of Heisman Trophy candidates Marcus Mariota and De'Anthony Thomas.

In his second year under center, Mariota has wowed the entire college football world with his explosiveness and dual-threat capabilities, amassing over 650 yards of total offense and six touchdowns in just two games.

"You have to mix it up on him," UT defensive coordinator John Jancek said. "He's very athletic. He's got tremendous speed, great bursts. When you see him on film, he just outruns angles. You have to have a plan for sure."

For Thomas, the ability to produce on the ground is comparable to that of his quarterback as the junior running back is known for his elusiveness in the open field. Nicknamed the "Black Mamba" because of his talents, the Los Angeles native has already racked up 252 yards rushing and five touchdowns in 2013.

"We've really been working on our tackling in the open field because we know these guys know how to make us miss," UT cornerback Justin Coleman said. "Basically, we've got to have great leverage, so we can pursue to the ball correctly."

Everyone knows about the offensive speed. Everyone knows about the rapid tempo.

The Ducks can also play a little defense.

"Defensively, (Oregon is) physical," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said in Monday's press conference. "They're athletic. They run to the football, and they have disruptive quickness up front. This is an explosive defensive line. Their linebackers are out there and they can play man coverage."

Junior linebacker Derrick Malone headlines the Duck defense with 23 tackles, while defensive end Tony Washington leads the team with 2.5 sacks. Helfrich's squad is also plus-six in turnover margin — good for second place among FBS schools.

"When I said a complete football team, everyone when they think of Oregon, they think of offense," Jones said. "(People) look and they think of skill and they think of fast pace, but really they're well coached, they have an identity and their identity is found in all three phases."