Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Oregon vs South Florida Preview

Original Story posted at

Oregon and South Florida both had their sights set on a national championship this season, but the stakes won't be nearly that high when they square off in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas tomorrow.

Both teams reached No. 2 in the rankings, but Oregon has since dropped out of the Top 25 while South Florida fell to 23rd. The Ducks (8-4) and the Bulls (9-3) were two of six No. 2 teams to lose in a topsy-turvy college football season.

**How the "experts" see it:**

Oregon run offense vs. USF run defense:
EDGE: Oregon
Jonathan Stewart leads the Pac-10 and ranks 10th in the nation with 1,469 rushing yards. Stewart has exceeded the 100-yard plateau eight times this season. USF can focus on stopping Stewart because of Oregon's suspect passing attack. Then again, Stewart might be good enough to withstand those obstacles.

Oregon pass offense vs. USF pass defense:
Oregon had one of the nation's most high-powered offenses before Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon suffered a season-ending knee injury. Brady Leaf struggled in Dixon's absence before also going down with an ankle injury. The Ducks now must rely on either Justin Roper or Cody Kempt, who have combined to go 21 of 57 with four interceptions and two touchdown passes this season. Either quarterback will have to watch out for USF defensive end George Selvie, who leads the nation with 31.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and ranks second with 14.5 sacks. The Bulls also have an excellent cornerback duo in Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams.

USF run offense vs. Oregon run defense
USF's rushing attack was seen as a major concern before the season, but the Bulls rank second in the Big East and 28th in the nation with 193 rushing yards per game. QB Matt Grothe leads the team with 832 rushing yards, but Mike Ford has come on strong with 337 yards in his past three games. Oregon is allowing 136.5 rushing yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry. If the Ducks can find a way to stymie USF's rushing attack, they can win this game.

USF pass offense vs. Oregon pass defense
EDGE: Oregon
Grothe remains a work in progress as a passer. Although he has thrown for 2,473 yards, Grothe also has been picked off 12 times. He threw seven interceptions during USF's three-game losing streak in the middle of the season. Grothe could have a hard time against a talented Oregon secondary that features All-America strong safety Patrick Chung. Oregon has 35 sacks, and USF has allowed 25 sacks.

Oregon special teams vs. USF special teams
EDGE: Oregon
Oregon's Matt Evensen is 14 of 18 on field-goal attempts, while Josh Syria averages 41.4 yards per punt. USF's Delbert Alvarado is 17 of 27 on field-goal attempts and averages 41.3 yards per punt. Stewart is a good kick returner for Oregon, but the Ducks' coverage units and punt-return group are just average. Despite having a lot of good athletes, USF's return units are nothing special. The punt-coverage unit has been good, the kick-coverage unit just so-so.

Oregon coaching staff vs. USF coaching staff
Oregon coach Mike Bellotti and offensive coordinator Chip Kelly were candidates for national honors six weeks ago, but the Ducks haven't won and have failed to move the ball consistently since Dixon went down. USF also suffered a three-game losing streak this season, but Bulls coach Jim Leavitt did a much better job of fixing his team's problems - albeit without facing the injury problems Oregon experienced.

Oregon will win if:
The Ducks need a big game from Stewart to take the pressure off their quarterbacks. And they can't afford any major mistakes from the QB spot.

South Florida will win if:
If USF's defense fares well enough on first and second down to force Oregon into obvious passing situations, the Bulls shouldn't have much of a problem winning.

Ford wasn't the only freshman offensive player for USF who came on strong late in the season. WR Carlton Mitchell caught 22 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns in the Bulls' past four games. He has a team-high 37 catches and 537 receiving yards this year.
Oregon is a 6.5 point underdog. Personally, I think the key to the game is defense. If the Ducks can force turnovers, pressure their QB and stop the big gainers we will come out on top. As always, this is easier said than done. I think Bellotti feels the pressure of last years Bowl game blowout and has prepared the team for South Florida.

Game time is 11:00 AM local time and will be broadcast on CBS.

Oregon 23 - South Florida 21


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mount St. Mary's 73 - Oregon 81

Maarty Leunen scored a career-high 26 points and had 12 rebounds to lift Oregon to an 81-73 victory over Mount St. Mary's at McArthur Court on Friday.

Malik Hairston added 23 points and reserve forward Frantz Dorsainvil had 10 points for the Ducks (9-3), who shot a season-high 63.3 percent.

Normally active Tajuan Porter (pictured), ended up with only 5 points, all in the second half. Earlier in the game, Jovean Catron injured his right foot and is questionable to make the trip to the Arizona schools next week when the Pac-10 season opens.

The game marked the first time since December 2006 that Oregon hasn't been ranked in the Associated Press poll.

The Ducks had been ranked for a school-record 21 consecutive weeks, but they lost their last two games on the road to Nebraska and little-known Oakland of Detroit.

The Ducks need to improve their defense, limit turnovers, and get off to better starts if they hope to do well in the Pac-10

Oregon will travel to Tempe to take on Arizona St. next Thursday. The game will start at 6:00 PM local time and is not televised.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 Oregon Duck Memories

It was a season of radically mixed emotions. The Register Guard put together the photo slide show and I added the music. Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Thanks to everyone who stops by and is a part of our little blog. I wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. Be safe and enjoy the day with family, friends and loved one!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oregon loses to Oakland 68-62

It wasn't a pretty game. Hopefully the Ducks get their act together before Pac-10 play begins or it's going to be a long season.

Oregon will be at home for the next game against Mount St. Mary's on Dec. 28th at 7:00 PM local time.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Bellotti to stay at Oregon


Ducks' 13th-year head coach to continue at Oregon.

“I have a great job at the University of Oregon and believe we have built a special football program here. That has been made possible because of the outstanding people I work for, the caliber of people I work with, the players who are here now as well as the level of players we are recruiting.

“The primary issues that have always been important to me are the quality of life, my family and the opportunities to win. The University of Oregon has always offered me all of those things.

“UCLA wanted to present to me a scenario that would offer all those things and asked if I would listen. That’s as far as it ever went. I never considered it an interview, merely an opportunity for them to provide me with some information and insights into their program.

“I was approached by them on several occasions and finally agreed to allow them to come to Eugene and speak with me.

“You’re always flattered when others want to talk to you but that’s because of the success we’ve enjoyed based on our players, our support staff and our administration. I have been, and continue to be, 100 percent committed to the University of Oregon and our pursuit of a national championship.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


If you have never heard of, or been to PostSecret, you should definitely give the website a visit. Hand made postcards are mailed to the creator of the site, Frank Warren, and each week he shares a few on PostSecret. Each postcard contains a secret that the submitter has never shared with anyone.

You will see all sides of humanity, sometimes shocking and other times humorous. Frank has received a lot of publicity lately and was recently featured on the Today Show. He has published books as well and some of the proceeds he donates to suicide prevention organizations.

Check it out, I don't think you will regret it.

Ducks fall to Huskers in OT

After so much had gone so wrong for No. 16 Oregon, coach Ernie Kent figured his Ducks would win when Tajuan Porter went to the free-throw line for a chance at a rare four-point play in the final seconds of regulation.

Porter's seventh 3-pointer tied it, but he missed his only free throw of the game Saturday, and Nebraska dominated the overtime to beat the Ducks 88-79.

Tajuan Porter led the Ducks with 29 points followed by Hairston's 25, Taylor with 9 and Frantz Dorsainvil (pictured) off the bench with 4.

Oregon will be on the road again when they take on Oakland University in Detroit, Michigan next Saturday at 6:00 PM local time. The game will be broadcast on local radio, 590 KUGN am.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oregon Rolls over Sac. St. 93-66

Forwards Maarty Leunen and Joevan Catron combined for 43 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Ducks to a 93-66 victory over Sacramento State on Tuesday night in Eugene.

Leunen had a season-high 23 points and added 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season for Oregon (8-1). Catron scored a career-high 20 points to go with eight rebounds. Both were 8-for-10 from the field.

Tajuan Porter also scored 17 points for the Ducks, while Bryce Taylor added 15 and Franz Dorsainvil 11.

Oregon guard Malik Hairston , who averages 16.5 points, bruised his right knee in the win over Utah last Saturday. He dressed on Tuesday but was one of four Ducks held out of the game with an injury.

Also out was guard LeKendric Longmire , who has played a key role as a reserve this season. Kent said both Longmire and Hairston could have played if it had been necessary.

''They should be ready for the weekend,'' said Kent, whose team travels to play Nebraska on Saturday. You can watch the game locally on the OSN at 11:00 AM.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Oregon 75 - Utah 64

Bryce Taylor (pictured) scored a season-high 20 points and Oregon (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) defeated Utah 75-64 Saturday at the annual Pape Jam at the Rose Garden.

Tajuan Porter had 16 points and Maarty Leunen and Joevan Catron both added 11 for the Ducks (7-1), who entered the game fourth in the nation averaging 91.3 points per game. This was the first time they failed to reach 80 points in a game.

The win was the 200th at Oregon for Ernie Kent, who is second on the school's all-time win list, 12 behind Howard Hobson, who coached the Ducks from 1936-47.The Ducks shot 53.7 percent (29-for-54), the first time Utah has allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50 percent.

Oregon takes on Sacramento State this coming Tuesday at Mac Court. The game starts at 7:00 PM local time and is not televised.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Weekly Poll Results

The last question was, "Can the Ducks beat the Beavers?". Here are the results:

The next poll will ask the question; "Will Oregon beat South Florida in the Sun Bowl?" Let the voting begin!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Ducks Fall to Beavs 31-38 2OT

Oregon's best chance to pull out a victory in the annual Civil War game sat on the sidelines yesterday.

Dennis Dixon tried to cheer on his Duck teammates but 17th ranked Oregon fell to Oregon St. in double overtime.

Justin Roper didn't do to bad considering the situation. He threw for 144 yards (13-25), 2 touchdowns and 1 interception after replacing Cody Kempt in the first quarter after Kempt was pulled with a mild concussion.

We will have to wait a day or two to see what bowl we get. It'll probably be the Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX. If it is, we will face South Florida on Dec. 31st.

Update: It was announced on Monday that we will indeed face South Florida (9-3) on Dec. 31st in the Sun Bowl. The game will be televised on CBS and will air at 11 AM local time. At least we beat the Schmeavs to the better bowl game. They finished with the same record as the Ducks but agreed to go to the Emerald Bowl. They will play Maryland (6-6) on Dec. 28th in San Francisco.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Civil War Preview

The 18th -ranked Ducks (8-3, 5-3 Pac-10) look to avoid a third straight loss when we host Oregon State (7-4, 5-3) in the 111th edition of the Civil War game today.

The Ducks will be trying to win their seventh straight over the Beavers in Eugene, but will have Cody Kempt making his first start at quarterback.

Jonathan Stewart, who's rushed for 1,306 yards, was held to a season-low 33 on 13 carries against UCLA last week. Though Stewart has been bothered by a sore right big toe, he is expected to play Saturday.

If Kempt gains some confidence early in the game it will help Jonathan pick up some valuable first downs on the ground. I am not worried about the defense as they've been playing their hearts out. Hopefully the offense will put up some points today. The weather could be a factor also. It should be a low scoring affair.

Oregon 17 - Oregon State 14