Wednesday, September 30, 2009
What we’re seeing, four games into a head-coaching career, is a program in good hands.
Someone involved with the program’s daily inner workings told me the most remarkable thing about Kelly during the last few weeks was that he never changed anything. Not after Boise. Not when Masoli faltered. Not at any point.
“The head coach stayed the course,” he said. “It’s pretty impressive.”
Yeah, it really is.
Be sure to check out the complete story here.
• John Hunt and Jeff Smith collaborated on this piece, "UO football: The impact of Walter Thurmond's injury."
While the emphasis is on WT (and rightfully so) there are some other nuggets in the article as well.
Such as T.J. Ward returning to practice, Cliff Harris practicing with the first team, how the new backfield will look and Oregon petitioning the NCAA to allow Tyrece Gaines to redshirt this year as he only played one snap.
Catch the full article here.
We all know about the season ending injury sustained on the opening kick-off against Cal but you have to tip your hat to a guy who exudes such class and confidence when faced with adversity.
You will be missed on the field WT but we wish you the best and a speedy recovery.
Video courtesy of GoDucks.com.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
It's fair to say no team in the nation has so dramatically reversed a bad first impression than the Ducks. Oregon handed Cal coach Jeff Tedford his worst defense, and it had nothing to do with turnovers or penalties but with players making plays on both sides of the ball. The Ducks and quarterback Jeremiah Masoli started grooving in game 11 last year. So, really they're way ahead of schedule.
• Rob Moseley looks at how the Ducks stack up when it comes to the rankings. And while he doesn't come out and say so, I think we can all pretty much agree the people that vote for the AP and USA polls don't really have a clue.
• No word yet on Walter Thurmond III but the delay in releasing his condition doesn't seem like good news to me.
• Nice to see the recognition that Ed Dickson received this week, and well deserved. It was announced yesterday that Dickson was named the Pac-10 offensive player of the week. This comes on top of the Walter Camp Football Foundation national player of the week honors.
• GoDucks.com posted their weely football release for the WSU game. Everything you need to know can be found here.
• Oregon's game at UCLA on October 10th will be regionally televised by ABC. Kickoff is set for 12:30pm local time.
Monday, September 28, 2009
ESPN's Pat Forde discusses the "big men" on campus, the last minute is about Jeremiah Masoli. They should have a little Ed Dickson in there as well but I will highlight Mr. Dickson when I put together my video of the blowout against Cal later in the week.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
|Canzano: On the Ducks win|
Oregonian columnist John Canzano praises the longtime Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Alioti. Video courtesy of Molly Blue and the Oregonian.
|Postgame: Chip Kelly|
Oregon 42 - Cal 3. It was a great day to be a Duck fan. There are not enough superlatives to describe the level of intensity we saw yesterday. Everybody brought it.
In this video (courtesy of Molly Blue and the Oregonian) Chip Kelly talks with the media after the game.
p.s. I will be driving to Seattle today to watch the Seahawks take on the Chicago Bears (thanks again Dick!) so my highlight video will be delayed a couple of days.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Question: Masoli has said he thinks the passing game is very close to clicking. Do you agree?
Answer: Definitely. A couple of plays, even the interception we had last week, were right there to be made. It’s just the little details that we’re messing up. If we can eliminate those mistakes we’ll be fine.
• Ted Miller had his own Q & A with Chip Kelly. I admire Kelly a little more each week. His one word answers fit him to a tee. Such as this snippet:
TM: How do you stop Jahvid Best?
Kelly does go on to explain in the next segment, check it out here.
• Speaking of tackling, Adam Jude takes a look at the linebackers and how they match up when trying to stop Jahvid Best.
“He’s fast,” UO linebacker Eddie Pleasant said, “but we got fast guys, too.”
Best certainly demands the most of any defense. On Saturday, the Ducks figure to find out quickly if they’re up to speed.
• The crowd at Autzen will play an important part in today's game. You might even call them Oregon's 12th man. John Hunt notes that the crowd noise has bothered Cal and Jahvid Best in the past.
"Honestly any other away game I don't really even hear the crowd,'' Best told reporters this week. "Oregon's the only place where it just really got on my nerves.''
Let's bring it today Duck fans. A full 60 minutes of bedlam.
• It's time to bring this post to a close but before we depart for Autzen we would be remiss if we didn't talk about predictions.
The pundits are picking Cal of course (here and here) and why not?
I'll tell you why not. Remember 2000 and a similar Duck team was taking on 6th ranked UCLA, so why not again?
Or like me and Nick, your just so wrapped up in the Ducks that your blinded by all the facts.
But perhaps the best reason is because Cooper picks the Ducks to win today, 32-31.
My prediction: Oregon 27 - Cal 21
Friday, September 25, 2009
Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews is doing the math in his head, setting up the equation for how disrespected he and the Ducks feel.
Last weekend, Oregon won its second in a row... ending No. 18 Utah's 16-game winning streak.
Yet no return to the national ranking for the Ducks.
The UnderDucks sense they have an opportunity to make a statement when Cal visits raucous Autzen Stadium.
"That's what we plan to do," Matthews said. "We hope we can shock the world."
• Next up is Miller's story on what to watch for this week in the Pac-10.
While Jahvid Best will try making another statement in his bid for the Heisman, Miller ranks Oregon's defense as "fair to middling." Also in question is the passing game.
The Ducks can't beat Cal without a passing game, which means Masoli needs to revert to his form at the end of 2008 when he was one of the nation's premier pass-run threats.
Call me a homer but I think Oregon will catch Cal off guard this week.
• Miller takes a shot at picking the winner of this weeks Pac-10 games.
California 30, Oregon 24: A big game for both teams with season-long ramifications.
You'll be eating your words on Sunday Ted.
• Going to end the post today with another fun piece over at Off the Pond. Headline for this story, "Hey Cal, Aren't You Excited for USC?" Nick ends with this:
Nobody blames you for looking ahead. I’d be excited, too. I’d probably gloss right over the patsy on the schedule that you haven’t lost to in 4 years. In fact, you should. Rest up, stay healthy. Mentally prepare yourselves for the juggernaut that is USC.
If nothing else, at least you’ll have an excuse on Sunday.
Only thing that Nick left out is the Jedi mind trick. Move along, this isn't the team you are looking for.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
All indications are that Oregon will unveil a retro-style uniform when the Ducks face California on Saturday.
Much of the team is wearing yellow helmets for practice today. That’s yellow like the 1994 Rose Bowl team wore, not like the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl team wore.
On sale in the Duck Shop at the Moshofsky Center are green throwback jerseys and new T-shirts featuring Oregon’s old interlocking UO logo.
Moseley even snapped pictures, check it out here.
• Practice yesterday had a few players moving up on the depth chart according to Rob Moseley.
Eddie Pleasant looks poised to rejoin the starting defense after giving way to Josh Kaddu against Utah, while D.J. Davis and Lavasier Tuinei each got some reps with the No. 1 offense in place of receiver Jamere Holland today.
• Carson York continues his Oregon football journal over at "Behind The Ducks Beat." His new piece is titled, "Adversity prepares Ducks for Pac-10 season." To sum up his story York writes:
Every bump in the road so far has taught us something about ourselves and will hopefully make the rest of the season smoother and a successful one. Over the next 10 weeks we will determine how the 2009 Oregon Ducks will be remembered. We plan on making it a good memory.
Really good piece, check it out here.
• How about a little fun to end this post. Nick at Off The Pond thinks what we need is to manufacture a little hate towards Cal.
It’s a big game Saturday. And it’s not a natural rival. In fact, I always kinda’ liked Cal. But that won’t do. Friends we cannot be. We need to manufacture some animosity to get this thing going.
Show your love for the Ducks by leaving your "why I hate Cal" comment at Nick's place.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Rory Cavaille was back for the first time since should surgery and did some receiver drills in a red protected jersey.
T.J. Ward and Javes Lewis were out with ankle injuries but both of them said they hope to be back today. Be nice to see T.J. back on the field, especially with Cal coming up next.
• Oregon released it's player of the week list for last week and the winners are:
Offense: LaMichael James
Defense: Spencer Paysinger
Special Teams: Brandon Bair
Offensive Scout: Everett Benyard
Defensive Scout: Mike DiVincenzo
Special Teams Scout: Garrett Davis
Good job guys, it was a nice win.
• John Hunt takes a look at the young O-line and what playing at home has meant to them. Here is a little preview of the article:
"I know it was a big breath of fresh air to not have the crowd on our throats against Purdue and against Utah," sophomore right guard Mark Asper said. "It was real refreshing to have them behind us and not have to battle against that to start things out."
"Yeah, home field advantage always plays a big role," Asper said. "But for the young guys we have out there, just speaking for myself, it helped me a lot."
Check out the complete story here.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Moseley tracked every pass Masoli threw in drills yesterday; he was 50-of-64 for the day, with at least five drops, one ball thrown away and two nice breakups by defenders.
Moseley also noted that T.J. Ward didn't suit up and Ward says he has reached a plateau in his recovery.
Sounds like it might be another week before Ward will be ready.
• LeGarrette Blount wasn't at practice yesterday (or at Saturday's game), but for good reason. Sometimes you forget that there are more important things than football.
Moseley reports that on Thursday, he became the father of a newborn son, which probably explains his absence. Merissa McCullugh gave birth to the baby boy at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield.
Congratulations to the proud parents.
• Ted Miller posted his Pac-10 Power Rankings yesterday and has Oregon at #4 after the win over Utah.
Chip Kelly took a lot of crud for the debacle at Boise State. Maybe some of it was fair. But what do we say about a team that has yanked itself up by its bootstraps and is finding ways to win, even if those ways and wins aren't exactly beautiful? We say, "Good job." Now all Kelly has to do is beat Cal and all is forgiven among the Ducks faithful.
• No one will comment on the, "Chip Kelly is a man of his word" story from the Every Day Should be Saturday blog but it has a ring of truth to it.
According to the author, Oregon graduate Tony Seminary sent Kelly an invoice to recoup his costs to attend the Boise St. game. Sometime later Seminary received a check from Charles Kelly for the full amount. Seminary who only did it as a joke and returned the check but was duly impressed.
Said Seminary, “I think of Coach Kelly as a totally different person now, I have a different bond with him now thanks to what happened. Let’s just say he lost every game as an Oregon coach. You would never hear me calling for his head. It just wouldn’t happen. The guy showed an incredible amount of class.”
Good stuff for sure.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Personally, I can't even believe this is even a question that should be asked. Sure, his passing game isn't the thing of beauty it was at the end of the season but he started slow last year as well. He's working with a new O-line and a different set of receivers on top of that.
• Ted Miller seems to agree with me on Masoli when he posted his "what we learned in the Pac-10 story."
Did you write off Oregon? Not smart: After the Boise State debacle, Ducks fans seemed to panic, and Duck haters seemed ready to predict the certain demise of the Chip Kelly era after just one game. Those of us -- yeah, I'm taking credit for it -- who said, "Er, one game" and preached patience probably feel like gloating. But we won't because gloating is, well, often a lot of fun. It's not that Oregon doesn't have issues. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli's continued struggles is chief among them. And this might not be a 10-win team. But the idea that the program was on the cusp of spinning into the morass was absurd. And I'm still not selling my Masoli stock.
• George Schroeder looks at how the Oregon defense is carrying the Ducks right now in this story. Here are a couple of highlights:
Their defense is fast and athletic, with a knack for big plays — and it’s developing some serious swagger.
The only reliable indication of success so far is this: If Walter Thurmond scores (Saturday, it was on a punt return), Oregon wins.
For the second straight week, the defense made big plays. And Saturday, it also came up with big stops.
Third downs became fourth downs, and it’s possible we’re seeing the evolution of a team strength.
“The defense played unbelievable,” Kelly said. “If they can play like that, they’re gonna give us a shot.”
Very good read, check out the complete article here.
• Battle tested might be a good way to describe this Oregon team but now the games get even tougher. Cal is up next and Rob Moseley compares stats between the teams.
Looking at all those big numbers Cal has put up might be just a little misleading as they haven't exactly played a tough
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Credit this win to the defense. From Walter Thurmond III returning a punt 78 yards for a TD after Oregon held Utah to a three and out on the opening series to John Boyett intercepting a Terrance Cain pass with less than 2 minutes to play, it was the defense that "won the day."
Again, it wasn't pretty, it wasn't the powerhouse offense we saw last year, but it was a special day for the Duck defense. Job well done guys.
p.s. Highlight video coming your way later today.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Photo Courtesy of : http://ryanwelchphotography.com
Here we are, third game of the season, still left with more questions than certainty. Will the line improve? Will Masoli continue to gain consistency? Will the receivers catch the ball before they go for the touchdown? Are we going to need defensive touchdowns to win games? These are all good questions...questions that we may not have had in years past. There is a difference with this year.
In the past, we open against Portland State. We open against Idaho. How ‘bout having Utah State come in to get their whoopin’? Those games are practice. Those games...those games against Houston...they don’t test the team’s mettle. They don’t expose weaknesses. In many ways, they are practice games. Games that allow the team to gel. They are games that don’t stress out the players, but rather, put them in a comfort zone. It’s okay to make mistakes in those games, because those games, despite imperfections, have a predictable outcome.
This year’s team has four of their hardest games right off the bat. Imperfections are going to be exposed in Boise. Imperfections are going to shine a whole lot brighter against Purdue than they do against Montana. You see, this year we didn’t have the luxury of a warm-up. This year we had our face one inch away from a sander, and as you know, we got scratched. We played a good team, in their stadium, and we were beaten. We lost in disgrace. However, we learned that winning isn’t a given.
We came back, a little less green. We came back with something to prove, and as a team, we proved that we can win. We proved that touchdown drives are a part of our offense. No, it wasn’t perfect, and frankly, it wasn’t even pretty. But we won. We won in dramatic fashion. Now we know we can win close games. We won with defensive touchdowns. Now we know that Thurmond III is going to be something special this year. We won with four backs, Masoli included, that were effective moving the ball on the ground. We had lowlights, but we had highlights too.
So what is my prediction? I have two. I predict that Oregon is going to beat Utah, and excuses won’t be necessary. Utah is going to blitz us, and Ed Dickson is going to find himself open more often than not. Some of those blitzes will work, and drives will be stifled. But on some of those blitzes, Masoli will get away. Barner will get away. James will get away. I predict a few extra BIG plays this week. I predict Holland drops a pass, but catches several more. I predict that the defense bends—gives up touchdowns—but scores one as well. I predict Oregon puts 45 on the board, 35 from the offense alone. I predict the defense gives 17. Oregon victory. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better.
My other prediction is that those who are doubting that Oregon will win six games are going to be surprised. You see, by playing these tough games, I think we are on an exponential path of growth. Maybe I’ve blown it. Maybe I’m a total homer, and this is going to be a long season. It could be. We have a lot of questions left to be answered. Let’s get ready for the Utah ride!
If you liked this story as much as I do give Dave a shout out at his blog.
The Ducks held their walk-through in Autzen Stadium this morning, an event that was so secretive, the Duck mascot was even asked to leave.
Yikes, makes you wonder what we might see today.
Moseley also posted his prediction here. Bottom line? Oregon 23 - Utah 21.
Finally from Moseley, he has a piece on DE Gabe King. He is that four start recruit from North Carolina the Ducks have been recruiting along with three other players, 2 who have already given their verbals.
Seems Gabe was having some trouble with his "home address" and has been disqualified from playing back at Northern Guilford High School in Greensboro, N.C.
He has registered for classes at South Eugene High School and will be eligible to play after completing nine practices.
Read the complete story here. This should give the Ducks a huge advantage in getting his commitment.
• Great story by Adam Jude in the RG where he looks at Walter Thurmond's leadership style. Here is a preview:
And that’s part of the package, no matter the size, that makes Thurmond an ideal team leader, UO defensive backs coach John Neal said.
“He doesn’t act like a guy that’s been there,” Neal said. “He acts like a guy that wants to go somewhere.”
And if Thurmond is going somewhere, you can be sure he’ll be taking the Ducks with him.
Be sure to read the complete story here.
• John Hunt see the Ducks winning 31-28 and I will be posting Dave's prediction very soon, you'll like it.
Friday, September 18, 2009
It doesn't appear that T.J. Ward will be available for the Utah game but just about everyone else will be, so that is some positive news.
• Prior to the game (10:00am) Oregon will be holding the second annual football alumni event in the parking lot at Autzen. Check out some of the names of expected attendees. Right before the game the alumni will form the pregame tunnel that players will run through when the team takes the field. Sounds like fun
• Ted Miller has posted his week three Pac-10 picks and here is his take on the Oregon vs Utah matchup.
These aren't the same Ducks as last year. Yet. And these aren't the same Utes as last year. Yet. But here's a guess that Oregon takes another step forward after the Boise State debacle.
• Playboy has a fun story (link courtesy of Moseley) on one of the nations top 10 sports bars, O Bar & Grill in Eugene. Here's what they have to say in case you are at work and don't want to go directly to the website.
Eugene is a pretty laid-back town, but the diehards at the O-Bar are as intense and opinionated as any sports fans in America. “It’s like 300 different coaches in there at the same time,” says owner Jim Rise when asked about the atmosphere on game day. And once fans have downed a couple of $3 “Fuzzy Ducks” (a potent concoction involving peach schnapps, vodka, 7UP and an energy drink), lord only knows what they’re capable of: toga parties, drunken karaoke and a raging hatred for all opposing fans. A bonus: The U of O sports legends in the photos lining the walls often appear at the bar in person.
• George Schroeder posted a really good story on the offensive line, a very young group that seemingly plays in a fog. Here is a sample.
It doesn’t figure to get easier this week for the Ducks. Utah is ranked 18th, and the Utes are riding a 16-game winning streak, but that’s not the point.
They blitz as much as 50 percent of the time, and they do a very nice job of disguising their intent.
It’s enough to make veteran linemen lose sleep. It’s the kind of pressure — physical and mental — that leaves newbies discombobulated. Playing in a fog.
Here's hoping they see some sunshine burning through that fog.
• Jtlight at Addicted to Quack is readjusting his expectations on this years Oregon team. here is a sample.
But watching this team will be very different from years past. In recent years, we've seen Oregon teams jump out to a roaring start and this has led to heightened expectations early in the season. While some of these seasons may not have ended like we'd hoped, they were filled with a good deal of hype. This season is different. We have no expectations now.
Check out the complete story here. Good stuff JT!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The atmosphere was very lively from the start today, as Kelly in particular was quite vocal. Defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti seemed very pleased with how his side was performing.
Kelly said he wants emphasis on tackling this week after a number of missed tackles against Purdue last week. Secondary coach John Neal addressed his guys’ technique during a drill with them today.
LeGarrette Blount made an appearance and was in pads for the scout team for a short time.
Moseley also had a good story on the upcoming game with Utah. Here is a sample:
Oregon has been tested by two of college football’s better teams; Utah has experienced more success, albeit against lesser programs. Which path better prepared the respective teams will be borne out on the field Saturday.
“We’ve been battle-tested, and played in two big games,” UO coach Chip Kelly said. “We talk about ‘iron sharpens iron.’ We’ve played a pretty good slate. Boise State’s a heck of a football team, and obviously to go down to literally the last play of the game against Purdue, you hope those situations will pay off for you.”
• Jeff Smith at the Oregonian posted a nice piece on Oregon's running back by committee and says things are starting to take shape.
Despite (Andre) Crenshaw's experience, Campbell expects (Kenjon) Barner and (LaMichael) James to receive most of the workload against No. 18 Utah on Saturday at Autzen Stadium. He also hopes to get junior running back Remene Alston involved after Alston missed the first two games because of academic issues.
But the overall speed of the unit has increased, adding an enticing element to Oregon's spread-option offense. With no clear No. 1 runner, the players view themselves as interchangeable -- and equal -- parts.
• Freshmen offensive linemen Carson York is keeping a journal this season and submitted his story to the Oregonian. Here is a snippet from this weeks piece, "In face of adversity, new leaders emerge."
Our four new captains embraced their responsibilities during practices leading up to the Purdue game. We were all extremely aware of the need to rebound after a disappointing first week of the season and so Walter Thurmond, Jordan Holmes, Will Tukuafu and Jeremiah Masoli led the charge.
Although we were still far from our potential, we put enough points on the board for our defense to ensure the victory. It wasn't pretty, things did not unfold the way we planned, but very few things in life do.
Still, we faced adversity and -- spurred on by our new leaders -- we met the challenge.
Good stuff so be sure to catch the complete story here.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
• John Hunt also has a piece about getting Dickson more involved.
When told this week that everybody is wondering what happened to Dickson in the offense, Kelly said, "I'd like to see Ed more involved in the offense, too."
"He'll get it, he'll find me," Dickson said. "I've heard it all -- everybody sees it out there. I'm not going to hassle my quarterback or anything like that. They keep saying he's going to find me, so I'm just going to keep getting open and keep blocking for him."
• Not to swell on the subject, but Off The Pond has a good story on mixing things up on the offensive side of the ball, including seeing more of Ed Dickson. Here is a sample of Nick's thoughts.
I went to one practice in August. That makes me an expert. No really, it does. I was most impressed with Ed Dickson that day. I know, what a revelation, huh? The senior and potential All-American tight end stood out. With apologies for stating the obvious here, this guy needs the ball.
• Steve Summers at eDuck looks at why winning is bigger than statistics.
Statistics don't mean much to Oregon's head coach Chip Kelly. Winning or losing is all that really matters. While the Duck defense may have given up 27.5 points per game and are last in the Pac-10 in total defense, the statistics don't really tell the story of what is going on.
Check out the complete article here.
• The U of O announced yesterday that the Oct. 3rd home game against Washington St. could be moved to a 6:15 pm time slot to accomodate an OSN telecast.
The final determination will not be made until at least Sept. 21st after ABC decides which game it will use for a 12:30 pm time slot. I'll keep you posted.
• Remember the recent verbals the Ducks got from James Scales and Chris McCain, the two players from North Carolina? There are many things that go into recruiting but probably the most important are the connections you make.
Daniel Uthman from the Oregonian has a really good story on recruiting and how we might get a couple of more North Carolina recruits in the future.
One of the first people they met upon arriving for the Oregon leg of their tour was former Ducks star Dino Philyaw, a cousin to the players' mentor/tour leader Otis Yelverton. Then they caught up with current UO junior Remene Alston Jr., an old friend from Greensboro who was the first player tutored by Yelverton.
Good read so check it out here.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
T.J. Ward sat out again due to his ankle, though both Ward and Paysinger (elbow) are listed as starters against Utah on Saturday. Receiver Rory Cavaille had a helmet on and did drill work today. He’s ahead of schedule in his return from a shoulder injury, Kelly said, but still questionable against the Utes.
• Ted Miller takes a look ahead at the Utah game and notes that Oregon is still finding themselves.
The Ducks developing offense -- the line is still struggling -- and opportunistic defense will be tested by a Utah team that is a bit of a mystery. The Utes, though they own the nation's longest winning streak at 16 games, have hardly looked impressive during a wins over Utah State and San Jose State.
Check out the complete article here.
• The Ducks might be trying to find themselves but Utah is having their own troubles as noted here by Lya Wodraska of The Salt Lake Tribune.
In a way, the Utes have even more questions after the game (against San Jose St.) than before it, with offensive lineman Caleb Schlauderaff (knee) and star running back Matt Asiata (shoulder) leaving Saturday's game earlier than planned because of injuries. Both will be evaluated further, but their availability is at least in question for Utah's contest in Eugene. That means the duty of carrying Utah's offense falls more to quarterback Terrance Cain. Against the Spartans, Cain looked like a dynamic player at times, just average in other moments and too cautious in other crucial plays.
• GoDucks.com has released their Week 3 football piece, everything you need to know about the upcoming game. You will find it here.
• Nick at Off The Pond has a very entertaining story at his place and thinks he just might have over estimated his preseason predictions for this Duck team (didn't we all?) He starts off with this:
I feel like I whiffed on Oregon 2009. I thought they were a sure thing. Maybe not “Pac-10 champions sure thing,” but absolutely a challenger. Now, it’s a different story. Oh, they might still be a top tier team, but they might just unravel into the bottom, too.
Be sure to check out the complete story, good stuff Nick.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Here's the not so good:
Oregon was flagged for five penalties on special teams Saturday, all in the first half and all committed by its return teams. There was a roughing the kicker penalty, two flags for holding and two for blocks in the back.
“We need to clean that up,” UO coach Chip Kelly said.
But there is good news:
Freshman punter Jackson Rice with three kicks downed inside the 20-yard line, and Walter Thurmond III tallied 148 total return yards.
Placekicker Morgan Flint made all five of his point-after attempts and 1-of-2 field goals, the miss coming at the outer limit of his range, 46 yards...And defensive lineman Zac Clark blocked a Purdue point-after attempt in the fourth quarter.
Be sure to catch the complete article here.
• This story by George Schroeder sums up how we all felt after the game, you could feel everyone breathe a sigh of relief.
Here is a sample:
“Relief,” said senior cornerback Walter Thurmond III, speaking for his teammates and every Oregon fan, too.
The win wasn’t secure until Adams came down just beyond the end zone with 1:01 left, and a two-point conversion failed.
Even then, the noise in Autzen Stadium quickly died. Fans waited for the replay, just to be sure.
And a moment later, although officials had signaled an Oregon recovery of the onside kick, everybody waited until they unpiled the players, and a Duck held up the football.
We walked away with a win but it was a battle to the end, even for the fans in the stands.
• Adam Jude was on hand for the Sunday teleconference with coach Kelly yesterday. Overall, Kelly was pleased with the team effort against the Boilermakers but said we will need to make improvements as we go against #18 Utah on Saturday.
He (Masoli) really is a threat on the perimeter ... but we still need to find a rhythm in the passing game.”
Some of that can be blamed on at least four drops by UO receivers, but Kelly said part of that solution should involve senior tight end Ed Dickson, who has just three catches through the first two games.
“We need to get the ball to Ed more, and our quarterback knows that,” Kelly said.
On a side note to this story, even though Oregon is unranked, we are still listed as 4.5 point favorites according to John Hunt.
First up is Casey Matthews who intercepted Joey Elliott in the first quarter.
Next up is Kenjon Barner who scored the winning touchdown on this 21 yard run in the fourth quarter.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Here you go Duck fans. All of the Oregon scores plus a few bonus plays. I just finished uploading this to YouTube so the video quality isn't quite the best at the moment. When it has completely finished processing it will be available in HD.
Lots of missed opportunities on offense but there were some bright spots we can build from. How sweet was Kenjon Barner's fourth quarter touchdown run? Or seeing the potential of Jamere Holland? Yeah, he dropped a couple but he'll start hauling in those passes where he has nothing but the end zone in front of him.
I am thrilled in the progress from last week and have every confidence we can get better as the team gels and works together.
|Oregon Ducks postgame|
Jeremiah Masoli, Chip Kelly, Walter Thurmond III and Zac Clark talk to reporters after hanging on for a 38-36 win over Purdue.
Video courtesy of John Hunt and the Oregonian.
p.s. I will have a highlight video later in the day.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
What if? What if is the mantra of a weakling. What if is the regrets of an individual that cannot stand by the decisions they’ve made. What if the line held? What if we played faster? What if we took advantage of turnovers? What if the game hadn’t ended in the way it did? To live your life by what ifs, you must first be willing to drown yourself in your own pity. You must live your life not looking at the future, but miring yourself in mistakes.
In the wake of a defeat at the hands of Boise State, Oregon has avoided what ifs. Chip Kelly, humbly acknowledged that we were beat—out-coached, out-played. Chip Kelly has not bemoaned not having our tailback, but rather, in every opportunity given, has shown confidence in our ability to put quality backs on the field. We are not swimming in a pity pot, but rather, looking to our future.
And what does that future hold? We’ll know more about that today. Oregon has far superior athletes than Purdue. We are at home. It is the home opener. All of the cards are stacked in our favor, if we can play looking into the future, not worrying about the past. Today we have an opportunity to establish dominance and leadership on the field, on the sidelines, and in the stands. We have an opportunity to present ourselves as a class program.
When I walk into Autzen, I’m going to shake the hands of Purdue fans. I’m going to focus my energy forward, not backward. And by the end of the game, I’m going to be singing the praises of LaMichael James...the fast back that despite a weakened line, found a way to scurry to the outside, and gain positive yards. I’m going to relish in the poise that Masoli brings to the field for the second game of the year, and begin to drool at the prospects of a Rose Bowl season.
It’s easy to bring negativity with you following disappointment. But what will that get you? How will it help you? It’s time to begin a new season. It’s time to bring energy into Autzen. It’s time to represent the Ducks the way we expect them to represent us. Scream with me.
Do or do not, there is no what if.
But I expect (Masoli) him to show better leadership Saturday, and take more control of the offense, particularly in the running game.
In short, I expect the Ducks to look much closer to what we were all expecting about 10 days ago, and not the team that played Boise State.
Prediction: Oregon 34, Purdue 13
Late yesterday Moseley also reported that running back Remene Alston is available to play today after clearing up his academic issues and that T.J. Ward is unavailable (ankle) and will be replaced by John Boyett.
• Bob Rickert feels semi-confident about the Ducks.
Oregon should be fired up. They get the crowd behind them again, the defense should look even better against a team with fewer weapons.
Their defense has a lot to prove. Of course, so does Oregon's offense at this point...Every game is completely different...I think Oregon wins by a touchdown.
• Oregon landed another verbal yesterday. A teammate of Chris McCain (gave verbal yesterday), defensive back James Scales says Oregon is his choice also.
Scales may lack great size (5'10" 180 lbs.) and speed measurable as a defensive back prospect but he simply finds the football, makes plays and is a very productive defender.
• A ton of things went wrong last week but certainly one of the bright spots was punter Jackson Rice. Adam Jude takes a look at his debut. Here's a sample.
...Much to (special teams coach Tom) Osborne’s delight, Rice went out for his first punt, caught a sharp snap from (Michael) Clay and boomed a 48-yard punt that landed out of bounds at the Boise 4-yard line.
Nervous? Naw, not these freshmen.
Rice, in particular, drew more praise than anyone from UO coach Chip Kelly this week after his stellar debut for the Ducks.
“He doesn’t get fazed by anything,” Kelly said. “He had a lot of poise back there and has established himself as a pretty good weapon for us.”
• My prediction? Being the die-hard Duck fan that I am and with absolutely nothing to go by I see Oregon winning this by three touchdowns.
Final score: Oregon 45 - Purdue 24
Friday, September 11, 2009
...Morgan Flint was on point yet again in field-goal drills, and the defense has really been flying around the last couple days. Flint made a couple of “clutch” kicks to start the day, and Rob Beard followed by drilling a field goal of at least 50 yards, after missing similar attempts the last couple days.
• Ted Miller has his week two picks for the Pac-10.
Ducks show up, roll -- welcome back Jeremiah Masoli! -- wish they could get a do-over at Boise State. In more ways than one.
I'm with you Ted.
Miller also posted the Pac-10's bowl arrangements. This one could be deja vu.
Starting in 2010 is the Emerald Bowl: Pac-10 No. 6 vs. WAC Nos. 1, 2, or 3 or Army-Navy (WAC works with bowl to decide which conference team goes)
• Off the Pond has another "cause for hope" piece. This time Nick looks at Chip Kelly and compares him to golf's Tiger Woods.
Kelly has handled the fall-out from the Boise State game as professionally and expertly as one could hope for whether the coach is a seasoned veteran or an overwhelmed rookie. He’s still in charge.
...Now, he has to put it into action and make it count during 60 minutes of football. You get a mulligan coach. Let’s make this right.
Read the complete story here.
• You might have noticed that my normal graphic, the coffee cup, is missing today. The Oregonian put up a fun little tool that allows you to choose which uniform the Ducks will come out with against Purdue. That's my pick you are looking at along the right top edge of this post. What would you choose?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Defensive end Chris McCain, 6-6, 205, 4.75 40yd, Greensboro (NC) Northern Guilford HS, announced today on ESPNU that he has selected Oregon as the place he will commit. Now there is some good news.
Both units looked good against the scout teams, as you’d expect. The passing game looked particularly sharp towards the end of the day, and the defense came up with a number of turnovers.
• Ron Bellamy got a chance to talk with Danny Hope, the Purdue coach, about the upcoming game.
“I think they’ll be waiting for us,” Hope said. “They’re going to be ready to go. Again, one of two things will happen out of that (Blount) incident. It will be a distraction in some ways, or it will cause them to bond even stronger. One of those two things is going to happen.
• I'm not a huge fan of ESPN's Ivan Maisel but this is a pretty good read. He was embedded with the team last week in Boise and offers an insiders view to the Oregon locker room. Check it out here.
• Nick over at Off The Pond is trying to stay positive this week (aren't we all) and offers this "Cause for Hope: The Oregon Defense" story. Here is the last paragraph:
In the end, though, the result was 19 points, a number every single one of us would anticipate being good enough for a victory. Ultimately, I have to ask the question, did the defense put the team in position to win? In this case, they did. If they can just get the offense to record a first down in the opening half, the Ducks might be on to something.
Be sure to read the complete article here.
• If you are planning to watch this game on television or DVR the game you will want to pay attention to this announcement.
Seems that Fox Sports Northwest made a slight judgment of error and probably won't be airing the Oregon-Purdue game until the Mariners-Rangers baseball game has finished.
If you are a Comcast customer you will still be able to watch the start of the game on channel 415 (Northwest area). When the baseball game concludes you can switch back to the HD version on 734.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
T.J. Ward was still on crutches so he probably won't be available for the Purdue game.
One observation from Moseley:
The passing game seemed better today, with Diante Jackson making a couple of very impressive grabs and Jamere Holland using one hand to haul in a reception.
That is some good news, maybe we will see these two guys on Saturday.
• No big shock here but it is official, the Ducks fell out of the top 25 in the AP poll released yesterday.
• Adam Jude breaks down the depth at running back in this story.
LaMichael James moved to the top of the depth chart at running back... James, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound redshirt freshman from Texarkana, Texas, led the Ducks with 22 yards rushing on two carries against Boise State.
...Kenjon Barner, another redshirt freshman, and senior Andre Crenshaw will be the backups, though UO coach Chip Kelly said he will “look at anybody right now” to provide more depth at the position.
Here's hoping these guys have a fantastic day against Purdue.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
James should get no less than 15 touches Saturday and I’d even advocate for 20. If he can’t get the openings he needs running the ball, find other ways to get it done. If Kelly isn’t comfortable giving James that kind of load yet, he better get comfortable. This is the guy now. This is the star of your backfield even if his career line reads 2 carries for 22 yards.
Good stuff, give it a read.
• Now that we have one game under our belts the Ducks were permitted to expand the roster from 105 to 119 players. Eleven players were added and Andy Mac has all the details.
• Ted Miller looks at the running back and safety situation.
• GoDucks.com has posted the Weekly Football Release for the Purdue game. Everything you need to know about the Boilermakers and the upcoming game.
Monday, September 07, 2009
This is something that former Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen would likely never have done.
“It takes two to tango,” Scott said. “I was concerned about what I heard the Boise State coach say about how it was going to be handled. I’ll just leave it at that. I’m not going to second-guess anything that that conference decides to do.”
You can read the complete article at the NY Times college sports blog, the Quad. Link was provided by George Schroeder of the RG.
• The team will get back to the practice field today preparing for the home opener against Purdue on Saturday.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
|Canzano: More thoughts on LeGarrette Blount|
Here is John Canzano from the Oregonian. I like his assessment.
• George Schroeder on the aftermath and coach Kelly is really showing some leadership skills. Here are the final few sentences of the story.
The exuberance will return. X’s and O’s can be fixed, and the Ducks can get back to following the master schedule. But what Oregon’s football program needs most now is reassurance and resolve.
On Saturday, Kelly was making the right calls, and sending the right signals.
Very good piece, be sure to read the complete article here.
• Practice starts again tomorrow and the Ducks will need to fix some glaring issues before facing Purdue in the home opener. Purdue played Toledo yesterday in their home opener and won 52-31. Although Toledo (Mac-West conference) scored quite a few points against Purdue it was still a good indication that Purdue is capable of putting up some numbers.
Nick Reed and Max Unger made the roster after the Seahawks announced their cuts yesterday. Nice job guys!
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Dave posted this today on his blog and I thought I would share with readers here. Good stuff Dave!
It takes a lot for me to feel as though I’m short on words...I don’t know where to start...how can I organize this into something that makes sense? I won’t try.
I don’t want to belabor what happened at the end of the game, but I can’t help but mention it. To begin, Byron Hout was punched on the chin because he was an a**hole, and he probably deserved what he got...I don’t know this, but he’s probably deserved it for a long time. Boise State should suspend him...show the nation that they do not condone such behavior from their players. Blount also got what he deserved. It would be one thing if he was a leader on the team, a captain that everybody respected, but that is not what he represented. Blount was a prima donna, had caused problems in the past, and concluded his career with a move that will take years to erase from the memories of sports fans. I feel bad for Blount, but in some ways, this was coming. I hope he recovers. I hope he learns. I hope he makes it in the end. Done. Nuff said. Time to move on.
LaGarrette wasn’t the only source of embarrassment for Oregon on Thursday. Let us not forget the game. We have some issues, and losing our record setting tailback is only the icing on the cake. The concerns about our offensive line are real—very real. It’s easy to second-guess play calling, but if a back can’t run, and if a quarterback is constantly pressured, what do you expect to happen? Blount looked slow out there, and Masoli was not accurate...the issues on the line only made this worse. Kelly and his crew either needs to make these guys better, or plan plays according to how they predict the line will hold up. Having LaMichael James may help, because unlike Blount, he is more likely to speed it on the outside, away from the big defenders.
I’ve heard some positive things about the defense, but I don’t agree with all of them. The second half, Boise was clearly trying to run the clock...we knew that...they knew that...as a result, we stopped them a few times. But when they did choose to pass, we looked awful. Third and long. Complete for a first down. When we knew it was coming, we couldn’t stop it, and we are going to face faster, better players in the future, so we better get ready.
Losing to Boise is not the end of the season, but the questions that arise from a loss like this are real, and they are scary. We can bounce back. We can have a stellar season. We need the coaches to seriously look at our weaknesses, and we need to play around those. Our offense is about getting play makers the ball in space, and with some adjustments, I think we can still do that. My confidence has been shaken, but it is not broken. Next week will say a lot about Oregon as a team, and Kelly as a coach. I’ll be at Autzen. I’ll scream as loudly as I can. And I’ll be a proud Duck.
On a side note, the fans in Boise were absolutely fantastic. We had a great time with the folks around us. We were welcomed, wanted, and respected. I hate Sports Illustrated by the way.
Duckstud now: If you liked this article give Dave a shoutout on his blog.