Chris: "Our offense has got to learn to step up," said Oregon head coach Chip Kelly after practice, "but that's a positive thing for us that our defense is that good."
When asked if he thought that it was still early enough to give the defense the edge, Kelly didn't waffle.
"No. That's worn off. Everybody's got the same stuff in. The defense just played harder today."
Rob: The most compelling part of the day was right at the end, in a couple of game-management tests for the two. Each threw a touchdown pass, Thomas hitting Brandon Williams for six in a red-zone situation, and Costa dumping off a ball that Kenjon Barner took to the house. Earlier, Thomas had a beautiful deep ball to Jeff Maehl. Each also had an interception that probably wasn’t his fault; Thomas had a pass slip through the hands of Dontae Wiliams and go right to Brian Jackson, while Costa was picked off by Michael Clay, though I have a suspicion a running back broke off a route on that one. Those late touchdowns were the exception during the second half of practice, which was dominated almost entirely by the defense.
• Ken Goe notes that Kenjon Barner is back to full strength and looks very good.
“Kenjon is a special, special player,” UO coach Chip Kelly said. “We felt before the season ever started we have two great, great running backs.”
"He can do so many things. He’s a versatile kid. To move him to receiver, put him in the slot, is no big deal for him. Put him in the backfield, move him around, kick returns, punt returns – our challenge as a staff is to find out how many different places we can put Kenjon to get him the football.”
• Rob Moseley shares a feature story that appeared in the R-G yesterday about the abundance of options at the tight end position.
Oregon tight ends coach Tom Osborne has a good problem to have in determining a backup for the probable starter, junior David Paulson. JC transfer Brandon Williams, senior Malachi Lewis and newcomer, freshman Curtis White. How is going to step up their game?
• Two weeks from tomorrow is opening day versus New Mexico. Don't have tickets yet? No worries, GoDucks.com has a special offer for you.
The University of Oregon and Bi-Mart have collaborated to offer a $20 discount on remaining reserved seats for the Ducks’ Sept. 4 football season opener vs. New Mexico in Autzen Stadium.
Coupons are expected to be available Friday in any one of the seven Bi-Mart stores in Eugene and Springfield that will offer a discount from the on-line purchase of a regularly-priced $41 ticket.
Kickoff for the Ducks’ season opener will be 12:30 p.m.
Instructions on how to take advantage of the offer are printed on the coupons, which can be redeemed by accessing the athletics department’s official website, www.goducks.com.