Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Max & Matilda

I took this photo of Max as the Grim Reaper a couple of days ago when the kids were over. He didn't exactly like sitting on Matilda's lap but I thought it turned out cute. Head over to Flickr to see a couple of more.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween everybody!

Remember Last Year?

As if we didn't need anymore motivation than the last two games against Cal. The heartbreak that was the Colvin fumble into the endzone from 1 yard out that would have tied the game with 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter. There will be no DeSean Jackson interview this year!


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

With the likelihood of rain in Berkeley tomorrow, the Ducks have been preparing with a "wet" ball in practice.

Coach Bellotti said they dunked footballs in water for the UO offense in practice yesterday, so Oregon can be ready to play with wet footballs in Berkeley.

Usually, officials have a towel to dry off the footballs between plays in rainy games. But since Oregon plays the no-huddle, that isn't feasible.

You might think Oregon has the advantage in the rain but not this year. This will be the first game all season where there has been a significant chance of the wet stuff.

Turnovers will be a big key in the game tomorrow. Expect the team that can hang onto the ball and has the fewest mistakes to win the game.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Oregon DE Nick Reed (pictured) has moved into the quarter finalist list for the Lott Trophy. With a combination of high performance on the football field and selfless character off the field. He leads the Pac-10 and ranks 10th (tie) nationally in sacks with 8.0. He is also second in the conference with an average of 1.44 tackles for loss per game.

Jeremiah Johnson was back in pads yesterday for the start of Oregon’s closed practice. Coach Bellotti said Johnson probably wouldn’t be full-go during the practice but is expected to be ready for Saturday’s game at Cal. Good news, as I think Oregon is more effective with the 1-2 punch of Blount and Johnson.


Jeremiah Masoli Interview

Video: Jeremiah Masoli, Ducks starting QB

A nice interview with Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli brought to you by Molly Blue of the Oregonian.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Jeremiah Johnson aggravated his shoulder injury yesterday, left practice and returned with his arm in a sling. When asked, Johnson said he’d be fine and hopes to return to practice today(let's hope.)

You can watch the Cal game on the big screen at Hayward Field on Saturday for the Ducks’ football game at Cal. Gates will open at 11:30 a.m., with kickoff at12:30 p.m. The game is being televised regionally by ABC. The event is organized by the ASUO and the Office of Student Life. Admission is free, with a requested donation of two cans of food. This might be fun but the forecast calls for rain so I will stay warm at home.

If you watched the video of Bellotti's press conference yesterday and wanted more information on what was said besides the 5 questions, you should read Rob Moseley's post. He offers some really interesting answers to questions about Masoli, getting ready for Cal and other topics.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Coach Bellotti's press conference (5 questions)

Video: Five questions for Mike Bellotti

Brought to you by Molly Blue at the Oregonian.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Jeremiah Masoli and Matt Evensen earned Pac-10 player of the week honors for their outstanding play against ASU. This is the second time this season that Evensen has been acknowledged.

The Nov. 8th home game against Stanford was picked up by FSN and will be broadcast live starting at 12:30 local time.

The Ducks #1 offense practiced against the 3-4 defense they will face at Cal, something they aren't used to, and according to Rob Moseley, didn't exactly look sharp. Keep working hard guys, a win at Cal will be huge!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Oregon vs ASU Highlight Video

As promised here are Oregon scores from the game yesterday. I also included a couple of bonus defensive plays, enjoy! ( I did notice a mistake in the titles. Right before the Terrence Scott reception with 6:00 left in the 3rd quarter I had Blount as the title, my bad)...


Pumpkin Patch Kids

Here is one of the photos from the trip we took today to Thistledown Farms. Amelia & Noah are with their Great Grandparents in this picture. Dave, Kasey, Bob & Jackie all were present for the fun. It was a beautiful day and the kids had a great time. To see the rest of the pics head over to Flickr.

AP & USA/Today Poll

The new poll is out and Oregon moved back into the top 25. The AP has them at 23 and the USA/Today at 24. The BCS is out later today and if the Ducks make into that one I will add an update to this post.

Update: Oregon is ranked 24th on the new BCS poll!


Weekly Poll Results

The results are in, and those who guessed "Oregon embarrasses the Sun Devils" are the winners. Oregon winning by 8-15 had the most votes with 5. The question (click on image above for a larger view) was, "who will win the Oregon vs ASU matchup?"

I have added the new poll for next weeks game against Cal. You are asked your opinion on who will have the most TD's against Cal. Let the voting begin.

Oregon 54 - Arizona St. 20

Was this the same team that played UCLA 2 weeks ago? A balanced offense and a stifling defense equals an impressive win for the Ducks.

This photo of LeGarrette Blount is during the third quarter when he ran 19 yards for a touchdown after it looked like he had been stopped. With an amazing recovery, that is sure to make it to Duck Vision during the next home game, he battled his way to the end zone.

There are a ton of highlights on offense and defense as Oregon moves to 6-2 overall, 4-1 in the Pac-10. Which keeps them at the top of the Pac-10 along with USC who squeaked by Arizona 17-10. I will try to get a highlight video posted later today.

Blount ended up with two TD's as did Jeremiah Johnson. Jeremiah Masoli went 17/26, 147 yards, one TD (to Terrence Scott) and one interception. Justin Roper played the fourth quarter and threw for 86 yards on 4/4 and one TD to Chris Harper. Matt Evensen kicked two field goals to complete the scoring.

It was a very impressive win and you have to give the defense a lot of the credit. They looked sharp, focused and hungry to prove they can hold their own.

Now on to Cal next week which will undoubtedly prove to be a tougher game for Oregon. But I have faith in the new and improved Ducks.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oregon vs Arizona St. Preview

With both teams coming off a bye week everyone should be well prepared for the game tonight.

But looks can be deceiving, each team has had issues on offense and defense. ASU with it's lackluster running game and the Ducks with an inconsistent passing game.

Oregon gives up a ton of yards to the passing game and is ranked near the bottom in this statistic. The Sun Devils defense is not capitalizing on turnovers like they did last year.

The odds makers have Oregon as 3 point favorites and this number has been shrinking for the last week. I think the margin of victory will be at least 10 points in the Ducks favor.

Rudy Carpenter is still nursing a twisted ankle and Nick Reed likes his chances keeping Carpenter on the run. Remember last year in Eugene? Oregon had 9 sacks, Reed had 3.5 of them. Look for Will Tukuafu and Jerome Boyd to join Nick's party harassing Carpenter.

With an extra week of practice I think we might see a few plays on offense the Ducks haven't run this year. I expect Oregon will try to establish an early run game and mix in some short passes to loosen up the defense. Bellotti hasn't announced who the starting quarterback will be, but my guess is Masoli will start.

Special teams will be a key tonight. A positive turnover margin, a solid kicking game and return teams holding on to the ball. If the Ducks do well in these areas they will come away with an easy victory.

Who did the most to improve with the extra week of rest?

My prediction:

Oregon 30 - ASU 20


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Walter Thurmond III, who has been nursing a pelvic injury for the last month, was in full pads yesterday, meaning he is eligible to travel for the game at ASU.

Pass defense will be the Ducks biggest concern as the Sun Devils haven't been able to run the ball this year. Jarius Byrd, who has some nagging side effects after playing seven games is feeling better after the bye week.

“They all have little dings when you play this many games,” Bellotti said. “But I feel like we’re in the process of improving, and that we understand how important it is to defend the pass in this game.”

ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter is nursing his own injuries, a twisted ankle, and won't be as mobile as he normally is. Look for Nick Reed and Will Tukuafu to take advantage of this.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Redshirt sophomore Remene Alston suffered a broken foot in Monday's practice. Alston will probably miss the rest of the season. Coach Bellotti said Alston stepped on the foot of a teammate and rolled his ankle during a kickoff drill.

The loss won't have a dramatic impact on the running game as Jeremiah Johnson, LeGarrette Blount and Andre Crenshaw have all seen action this year. Let's hope Alston heals quickly and no other injuries impact the team.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Some good news for those of us who cannot travel to away games came out yesterday. The Nov. 1st game at Cal will be televised regionally by ABC and kick-off is set for 12:30 local time.

Practice yesterday was intense (more like a Tuesday practice) as all but a few players were in full pads and kept at it for more than two hours. With just about everybody returning to the "healthy" status and no one getting hurt. Good news indeed.

Word is, the starting QB job is Masoli's to lose. Justin Roper will need to excel at practice this week to take over that role.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Verbal Commitment Everett Benyard

Everett Benyard of San Diego's Cathedral Catholic high school gave his verbal commitment to play at the U of O today. The 6'6", 320 lb. Benyard fills a much needed position for the 2008 class.

He has great size and strength and plays with a lot of bravado.Rivals ranks him as the 66th offensive tackle nationally and as the 85th best player in California this year.

He had offers from both Washington schools, both Arizona schools and Utah, in addition to Oregon.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

The Ducks finished up their bye week yesterday, and are off the next three days. Mike Bellotti, Steve Greatwood and Robin Pflugrad were the only coaches on hand. The veterans mostly sat out leaving the redshirts and walk-ons to scrimmage.

After practice, Bellotti praised Justin Hoffman, Dewitt Stuckey and guard Carson York for praise. He said that “a couple of our DBs are pretty athletic. But they’re just inconsistent. When they know what they’re doing, they’re pretty good.”

“I’m happy nobody got hurt,” Bellotti said. “And I’m happy there seemed to be some give and take on both sides.”


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud announced that senior defensive end Nick Reed has been name to their Mid Season All-America Team. Reed is the only Pac-10 player that was named. Nick just keeps adding to his growing resume. Well deserved I might add.

It was a very light day at practice yesterday as most of the coaches are out on the recruiting trail. They spent most of their time by breaking up into two teams competing in four different drills. They did cone drills that you see a lot when players work out for pro scouts, and another was a mini-obstacle course.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

The Ducks next game on Oct. 25th at Arizona St. will have no live television coverage as both appeals have been denied. OSN will be there to record the game for a tape delayed broadcast. Might be time to ask your favorite sports bar that has satellite coverage if they will have access to the live feed.

In practice yesterday the main focus was on the passing game. Roper and Masoli along with the receivers got lots of reps running routes, timing patterns and working on passing drills. According to reports, it sounds like Roper had some very nice plays.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

According to reports, when asked about Chris Harper, coach Bellotti confirmed that he would be staying on his receiver job for the rest of the season. Personally, I think it's a better fit for the talented freshman.

Jarius Byrd was named the Pac-10 defensive player of the week following his performance against the Bruins. He had nine tackles, intercepted a pass and had three pass breakups in the game.

Oregon’s game against ASU will be a 7 p.m. kickoff with no television coverage. Oregon has appealed to Arizona State for a change in the start time to accommodate a possible OSN broadcast, and has appealed to the Pac-10 for a waiver to produce a telecast in conflict with FSN if the game time isn’t changed.

Let's hope they can work this out because if they don't it won't be available on the O-Zone either.


Monday, October 13, 2008

UCLA vs Oregon Big Hits

I had a couple of requests for 2 more plays from the game. Both plays are in the 4th quarter. First up is the Jarius Byrd interception and then the Jeremiah Masoli hit on UCLA strong safety Bret Lockett.

Just so I don't have a bunch of negative feedback from Boise St. fans, the hit T.J. Ward put on Terrence Austin leading to the interception should have been called as helmet to helmet contact and wasn't. Much to my relief Terrence Austin is alright and traveled home with the team after being released from the hospital with a mild concussion.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Oregon coach Mike Bellotti held his weekly teleconference last night and stated that the Ducks will work on improving consistency.

When asked if he considered putting in Justin Roper during the UCLA game he quickly came back with "no." He stated that UCLA was keying in on making the quarterback beat them and he felt that Masoli was better suited to do that as Roper has limited mobility.

“This is maybe one of the most-needed byes in a long time,” Bellotti said of his team’s open date this Saturday. “Playing seven straight weeks at this level of competition has become a tough thing to do.” But he has been pleased with their attitude.

“In terms of our character and willingness to fight and scrap, that’s been tremendous,” Bellotti said. “The character of this team I don’t question. We just have to get better at consistency of performance, and the first thing is to get healthy this week.”


Sunday, October 12, 2008

UCLA vs Oregon Video Highlights

As promised, here are all the Oregon scores* from the game last night.

*I included a couple of bonus plays.


Oregon 31 - UCLA 24

Oregon managed to outlast the Bruins, mainly by the scrambling efforts of Jeremiah Masoli who was ineffective as a passer. He rushed for 170 yards on 24 carries but passed for only 42 yards, on 5 for 19. The receivers weren't helping his cause as they dropped five passes.

The passing game was highlighted by a 25 yard catch from Chris Harper in the endzone. LeGarrette Blount went 111 yards on 7 carries. Most of his yardage came late in the game on a 69 yard run when he faked out one defender and ran through 2 more on his way to the endzone and the final touchdown of the game.

Our defense was much better than last week but UCLA's offense is much worse than USC's. We should have never given up 24 points to the Bruins and we should have scored another 3 or 4 TD's. This game should have been a blow out.

The Ducks kicking game needs resucitation. Matt Evensen missed 2 field goals and on kick-offs, pulled it to his left twice, going out of bounds and giving UCLA the ball on their 40 yard line, inexcusable from a senior.

The good news is we won the game and have 2 weeks to work things out before heading to Arizona St. and then onto Cal. We need that time to get healthy and practice.

I'll post a highlight video of the game later today.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

UCLA vs Oregon Preview

Gameday and uncertainty is prevalent if your like most Duck fans.

Will the defense rebound after the drubbing we took against USC? Will Justin Roper or Jeremiah Masoli start, and which one will do the best? Can we get the running game on track again? The list goes on.

One question I already know the answer to. Autzen stadium will welcome back Rick Neuheisel with fierce intensity, guaranteed.

Look for Masoli to get the start and Roper to be used sparingly unless he comes in and fires up the offense in his first series. I think the running backs will have success going to the outside, Jeremiah Johnson in particular. Jaison Williams will have a big game.

The defense will respond, specially the backfield as they keep receivers in front of them and let the D-line and linebackers take care of the run.

On kick-offs our special teams will run the ball out instead of taking a knee in the end zone (a sore point with Bellotti in the USC game.)

I don't think it will be a huge blow out for the Ducks but we get in a solid win. My prediction:

Oregon 28 - UCLA 17


Weekly Poll Results

The results are in, and it was a solid victory for Jeremiah Masoli with 7 votes. Second place belongs to Justin Roper with 4 votes, followed by Chris Harper and Darron Thomas with 2 votes each. The question (click on image above for a larger view) was, "who will throw the most TD passes against UCLA?"

I have added the new poll for the next game against Arizona St. on Oct. 25th. You are asked your opinion on who will the Oregon vs ASU matchup. Let the voting begin.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Justin Roper was back at practice yesterday feeling much better and plans on challenging Jeremiah Masoli for the starting QB job against UCLA.

Defensive players, Thurmond, Paysinger and Tupou sat out with minor injuries and will be back soon.

LeGarrette Blount made it on ESPN's Bruce Feldman's list of the biggest impact newcomers in college football despite a zero yards game against USC.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Coach Bellotti stated in his Sunday teleconference with local media that he fully takes the blame for not having the team prepared for the USC game.

The emphasis this week will be in curing the defenses lackluster performance against the play action pass.

Good news on the injury front. Offensive tackle Fenuki Tupou and linebacker Spencer Paysinger will return to practice after leaving the USC game with injuries. Bellotti also expects Justin Roper will be back to practice.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

USC 44 - Oregon 10

The highlights for Oregon ended early. Limited to a single TD by Jeremiah Johnson in the 1st quarter along with a field goal by Matt Evensen.

USC started flat in the opening quarter and it looked like it might be a close game. That was wishful thinking as the Ducks were predictable on offense, nowhere to be found on defense and the Trojans rolled to an easy victory.

It was fairly obvious going into half time that if we didn't make adjustments this was going to be a long game. The offense sputtered and the defense looked no better. I really thought this game would be closer than it was.

Lots of talk on the blogs about Alioto and his defensive schemes, one thing they all agree upon, something has to change or everyone we play will come at us with play-action as USC and Boise St. both did.

I'm looking forward to next weeks game against UCLA at Autzen. Let's hope for some improvement.


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Weekly Poll Results

The results are in, and it was a landslide victory for LeGarrette Blount who received all the votes. The question (click on image above for a larger view) was, "who would have the most rushing yards against USC."

I have added the new poll for this coming week. You are asked your opinion on who will throw the most TD passes against UCLA. Let the voting begin.


Oregon vs Washington St. Highlights

As promised here is the highlight video from last weeks game. Something to get you all pumped for this afternoons game.


Oregon vs USC Preview

As Dave mentioned in a comment earlier in the week, this game will be Oregon's defining moment.

If we beat USC we will control our destiny this season. Most of the pundits and odds makers have already handed the game to USC.

USC has not lost two games in a row in recent history, they will be pumped up and angry after losing to Oregon St. last week, they are at home, and the list goes on.

It will take a perfect game from the Ducks and some miscues from the Trojans. It will take an outstanding game from our secondary, something they haven't done on a regular basis. It will mean controlling the line on both sides of the ball. We need to keep the Trojans guessing when we have the ball and limit turnovers. If we get off to a fast start I believe we will win this game.

I believe in this team. This game will define our season.

Oregon 38 - USC 35


Friday, October 03, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Jeremiah Johnson is looking to give his friends and family something to cheer about when he returns to his hometown to take on the Trojans.

Due to injuries or circumstances Jeremiah has never played against USC, at home or the road. The last time he played in the Coliseum was in high school, in 2004, during the city championship game.

"I plan on doing big things on that field," said Johnson. I think we'll see him do some special things in LA.

Look for my prediction post tomorrow morning.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

It was announced yesterday that Nick Reed (pictured) is a semi-finalist for the 2008 Draddy Trophy. This award honors academic success, performance on the field and community leadership. If Nick successfully makes it as a finalist he will be entitled to a $18,000.00 post-graduate scholarship. The finalist list will be announced on Oct. 29. Good luck Nick!

Jeremiah Masoli will be the probable starter against USC as Roper missed practice again yesterday with the same illness that has kept him sidelined since Sunday.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

It is looking like Jeremiah Masoli will be starting against USC after Justin Roper missed practice again yesterday with a flu/virus bug.

Eddie Pleasant and Jamere Holland returned to practice after missing the last few days because of the car accident they were in last week.

Returning to the Boise St. game and the late hit against Masoli for a minute. Coach Bellotti heard back from the Pac-10 office who said that safety Ellis Powers should have been ejected for the helmet-to-helmet hit.