Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dixon to start at QB

Dennis Dixon (pictured) is set to start for Oregon this Saturday against Houston

The Cougars have not picked a starting QB and according to head coach Art Briles, he won't have a final decision until just before game time. It will either be Blake Joseph or Case Keenum. Jospeh is a rocket-armed sophomore and Keenum is a decision making freshman.

"Dennis Dixon was the starter going into spring, was the starter coming out of spring, was the starter going into fall camp, is the starter coming out of fall camp," UO coach Mike Bellotti said Monday. "And he's performed very, very well. He's improved in some areas. So far his decision-making has been very, very good in the scrimmage situations."

The Cougars have done some extra preparation for the Ducks, including piping crowd noise in for their practices. Clearly they're expecting a noisy bunch of Oregon fans, because the Cougars blew out a speaker during one session.

Regardless, Oregon middle linebacker John Bacon said, there's no way Saturday's first-time starter at quarterback for Houston will be prepared for the maelstrom of noise he's about to encounter.

"Whether it's a freshman or not," Bacon said, "any time you've got an Autzen Stadium crowd on your side, you've got an edge."


Total Eclipse of the Moon

I hope some of you were up to witness this event early this morning. It was truly an amazing sight. Being on the west coast and with no clouds in the sky to obstruct the view it was really spectacular.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New Video Feature

Blogger has a new feature that allows me to upload content directly to my blog. I wanted to test it out by sharing the latest slideshow I created.

Final Scrimmage - All Offense

The offense dominated the final scrimmage on Friday scoring 4 touchdowns before "halftime."

Two plays in, Jeremiah Johnson broke free for a 69-yard touchdown run. Nathan Costa froze the defense on an option fake and sprinted 62 yards for a score, and Andiel Brown had tucked himself behind a Jacob Hucko block before running 39 yards into the end zone.

At halftime, the offense had run 22 times for 223 yards, including a fourth touchdown of 15 yards by Andre Crenshaw (pictured). The second half featured scoring passes from Costa and Cody Kempt, the latter a 15-yard play on which receiver Aaron Pflugrad was unabated to the goal line.

The defense was without several players who project as starters next week, including most of the secondary, and one would think those Ducks would have helped limit the big plays. But the offense played without running back Jonathan Stewart for the second straight week.

"I think we're past prepared," Jeremiah Johnson said. "All we've got to do is eliminate some mistakes. ... The stuff we're doing right now, we've just got to come out Monday, have a good week of practice, then come out here next Saturday and leave with a victory."


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Weekly Poll Results

This last weeks question was, "where will the Ducks finish in the Pac-10 race?"
First 43% (6 votes)
Second 14% (2 votes)
Third 21% (3 votes)
Fourth 0% (0 votes)
Fifth 14% (2 votes)
Sixth 7% (1 votes)
Seventh 0% (0 votes)
Eighth 0% (0 votes)
Ninth 0% (0 votes)
Tenth 0% (0 votes)
Total voters for this poll: 14

What I want to know is who the hell voted them in 6th? Only 7 more days until kickoff, get your flasks ready. This weeks question will be, "How many points will the Ducks beat Houston by?" Let the voting begin.

Friday, August 24, 2007

America to the Rescue

If you didn't see the Daily Show last night then you missed Jon Stewart at his finest!

Monday, August 20, 2007

2nd Duck Scrimmage

After last Saturday's second scrimmage of the fall camp, held in Beaverton at the Nike campus, the Ducks have not committed any turnovers -- which is good news for Mike Bellotti, after the Ducks lost 14 fumbles, Dennis Dixon threw 14 interceptions, and Brady Leaf threw four more last season.

Oregon's offense racked up 226 yards of total offense in 89 plays during Saturday's scrimmage, with Dixon completing six of 10 passes for 59 yards along with 15 rushing yards. Wide receivers Cameron Colvin and Jaison Williams each caught touchdowns -- Colvin from Dixon, Williams from Leaf, who completed four passes including the 30-yard touchdown to the junior wideout.

Bellotti also felt the defense stopped the run better, limiting big plays during the scrimmage. Though the running backs collected 145 yards on 41 carries, Jonathan Stewart was not one of those backs. Oregon's junior star did not play in the scrimmage, and his backfield partner-in-crime, Jeremiah Johnson, played in only one series. Both Stewart and Johnson have been rotating in and out of practices during the last week -- Stewart not in pads on Thursday, Johnson roaming the sidelines Friday afternoon as Stewart saw limited action -- but neither has been listed as injured by the team.

Special teams remains a big concern for the Ducks. A question mark all through spring practices, there still is no designated starter at either the punting or kicking positions, though punter Josh Syria is pulling away at the starting punter position. Syria has consistently boomed punts during practice, including during special teams drills Friday afternoon. Sophomore transfer Tim Taylor and redshirt freshman quarterback Justin Roper were also sending kicks out during coverage practice.

The larger worry is place kicking, which was emphasized by the poor stat line for the kickers Saturday: three for 10. Between the three kickers who played Saturday -- junior Matt Evensen, sophomore Morgan Flint, and freshman Daniel Padilla -- only Flint was successful in the four attempts during the scrimmage, and the crew went two for six during a pre-scrimmage special teams session. After the Ducks' kickers combined went 16 for 25 last year - and 15 of those successful attempts belonged to the now-graduated Paul Martinez -- it was always going to be an ordeal to replace that production.

Stay tuned for further updates as they become available.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Weekly Poll Results

The question was: "How many yards will Jonathan Stewart run for this season?"

500 - 750 0% (0 votes)
750 - 1000 10% (1 votes)
1000 - 1250 50% (5 votes)
1250 - 1500 40% (4 votes)
Over 1500 0% (0 votes)
Total voters for this poll: 10

I think most everyone played it safe with the 1000-1250 pick although the 1250-1500 came in a close second. If he sticks around for his senior season the "over 1500" might be the winner next year.

This weeks question will be; "Where will the Ducks finish in the Pac-10 race." It will be a multiple choice question running from 1st to 10th. Let the voting begin.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hoops On The River

Hey people just thought I would let you people know that I'm playing in a 3 on 3 basketball tournament with Austin Gurnsey (he's the 6' 5" kid that played with me for YMCA) Dominique and Deonte 2 guards that are deadly fast. I think that we could go pretty deep into it especially since we have a 2 good post players and 2 good wing players. You're allowed 2 have a reserve 2 bring in whenever you want. I'm expecting 2 be pretty good. Keep looking and I will have an update on Saturday


Monday, August 13, 2007

Man in the Middle

As a kid, John Bacon dabbled in chess. Nothing, Bacon said, approaches the brainpower required to play middle linebacker for the UO football team.

As Bacon nears his debut as the replacement for 2006 team MVP Blair Phillips on Sept. 1 against Houston in Autzen Stadium, comparisons between the two are inevitably being made. It's been noted that Bacon is nearly the same size as Phillips, and a step faster - maybe two steps, UO coach Mike Bellotti offered.

But what folks come back to more often than anything else when talking about Bacon is his intelligence. He has spent as much time honing his mind as he has any muscle in his body. Bacon's grasp of Oregon's defensive system, which demands that all of its instruments fit together perfectly in a presnap symphony of coordinated improvisation, is among the best of any player to take the field under coordinator Nick Aliotti and linebackers coach Don Pellum, each nearly 20 years into his Oregon tenure.

That list includes the likes of Kevin Mitchell, David Moretti, Matt Smith, Dietrich Moore and others. Pellum won't commit to writing Bacon's name on that list just yet. But the coach has a pen in his hand, just in case. That's high praise for a guy with just two career tackles in 14 appearances. But Bacon has been preparing himself for this opportunity since before he got to Oregon.

"You want to do all the studying and thinking ahead of time, so that when you go out there you can just play," Bacon said. "That's my philosophy." Come September 1st Bacon gets a chance to make his move, hopefully it will be "checkmate."


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bring Some Noise

The Ducks donned pads yesterday to finish up the first full week of Fall camp. Crowd noise was piped into Autzen as soon as the 11 on 11 drills began which lasted 3 hours.

During the regular season workouts, this is common practice but has never been done this early in the season. It surprised the players and caused some errant plays on offense.

The highlight of the day belonged to J. Stew who came up with some big runs, one of the biggest coming after a brief scuffle with some defensive players.

One thing is for certain, the coaches wanted to make a statement with the piped in "crowd effects" and the players heard their message, loud and clear!


Weekly Poll

One of the things I love about surfing around different blogs is getting new ideas from fellow bloggers. Over at the Washington blog, John has a very interesting weekly poll and he uses the service which is completely free (and it looks good!).

I decided to give it a try myself and this is week 1. I will post the results each Saturday, and continue each week with a new poll, at least during football season. Please register your vote each week and we will see what happens. Look on the sidebar to the right for the "voting widget".


Monday, August 06, 2007

Ducks Fall Camp Opens Today

The Ducks opened fall camp today with the first of 29 preseason workouts this afternoon.

The team dons pads for the first time Friday, and will scrimmage briefly that day before double days begin Saturday.

There's much to watch for this month as the Ducks prepare for their season opener Sept. 1 against Houston at Autzen Stadium.

Will Dennis Dixon be prepared after his little stint playing minor league baseball? Will Jonathan Stewart stay away from the injured list with more of the offensive load on his shoulders? Will the run defense stay healthy this year after a disappointing 2006 campaign?

Who will fill J.D. Nelson's shoes, last years 2nd leading tackler? Ryan DePalo had the first shot at replacing Nelson before injuring his knee in the spring, and he remains intent on playing a meaningful role this fall. But for now, the senior Matthew Harper (pictured) will try to hold the job after playing in a reserve role as a JC transfer last fall.

These are just a few of the many questions on Duck fans minds as we get closer to opening day. If you have an opinion about any of these please feel free to leave a comment.


Friday, August 03, 2007

New Faces

Time to get excited about the upcoming Duck Football season folks. Opening day is 4 weeks from tomorrow. announced their 10 ten list of JC transfers today and this is what they had to say about defensive end William Tukuafu, (pictured here) who is ranked number 7 on their list.

"Ducks defensive ends were hit hard by injuries last season, contributing to a No. 65 rank in sacks and No. 105 position in pass defense. Starter Darius Sanders (nine sacks last year) is gone, opening the door for Tukuafu. Ranked the seventh-best junior college prospect, Tukuafu made a push for the starting job opposite Nick Reed during the spring. The 23-year-old Tukuafu had little trouble adjusting to the Ducks defense. He will be a welcome addition on a team whose returning sack leader had only 3.5 last year."

On a side note, Monday Aug. 6th at the Autzen Stadium Duck Shop, between 6:00 & 8:00 PM, the winner of the contest for the spirit t-shirt contest will be announced and the t-shirts will go on sale. Hot dogs will be sold for $1.00 and you can get free Pepsi and ice cream.