Ken: The second-ranked Oregon Ducks held their final pre-Christmas practice Tuesday morning in the Moshofsky Center.
After practice, the players left in a hurry, many to catch plane flights or pack the cars for the trip home.
Aaron: A great practice Monday was followed by another very good one Tuesday, leaving coach Chip Kelly pleased with where the team is heading into a long rest.
“They understand, obviously, what’s on hand,” Kelly said. “We’re 20 days away from playing in the national championship game.”
• Rob Moseley reports that Chip Kelly picked up his fourth coach of the year award yesterday.
Oregon's Chip Kelly was named national coach of the year today by The Associated Press.
The honor is no less than the fourth of its kind this month for the coach of the 12-0 Ducks, who face Auburn on Jan. 10 in the BCS title game. He's also been named coach of the year by the Football Writers Association, The Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
• The Oregonian continues their "Duck Fan of the Day" series with Anna Hartman and Duck Pond Man.
• Assistant coach Tom Osborne is no stranger to title games.
• Ken Goe says to watch out for Oregon's ball hawking defense in the title game.
"The team that gets the most stops, or holds people to 'threes,' turnovers, those are the keys," Aliotti said. "Turnovers, stops, trade "threes' for 'sevens' as much as you can -- that's really the secret."
Oregon's offense earns a lot of attention. But I think the opportunistic UO defense doesn't get nearly as much credit as it deserves.
• Tony Dungy, former NFL coach, whose son Eric plays for the Ducks, says that this Oregon team has something special.
"It’s the chemistry,” says Dungy, a longtime NFL coach with the Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers who now works as an analyst for NBC. “I was out here for their early fall practices and just watching these guys practice and the way they go about it and the fact that you have so many who don’t care who gets the ball or who scores touchdowns, that’s how you win and that’s what they’ve created here."