Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Michael Clay talks at media day, Darrion Weems has some fun with Terrell Turner, Chip Kelly on the playing surface, practice warm ups, and KVAL reporter Dirk Weisaar on preparation time. Video courtesy of KVAL and the R-G.

• Keeerrrttt1 posted his 23rd Vlog and talks about Rose Bowl events, the new uniforms, predictions and a music recommendation.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chip Kelly talks with Mike Jorgensen of OSN about the 2011 season and the Rose Bowl and then LaMichael James talks with reporters at the media day event yesterday.

• Dan Rubenstein of The Solid Verbal show talks with CBS Sport's Bruce Feldman about the matchup of Oregon and Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. (audio podcast)

Steve Summers recaps the media day event with select player and coaches comments.

• The ODE crew got some great photos at the media day event and at the practice field yesterday.

Rob Moseley wonders if LaMichael James will get one of his "signature plays" in the Rose Bowl, something he hasn't had in the two previous postseason games.

What he would like to do, though, is cap this season with a big moment worthy of remembering. Because so far, his career lacks a defining postseason highlight.

Even James doesn’t argue that. “Not at all,” he said. “I’ve got to win one.”

• Rob Moseley has two more stories of interest. The Ducks are as healthy as can be expected for this time of year and the scout team is doing their best to emulate Wisconsin in practice.

• Lucas Clark reports Oregon would like to have a fast, physical start against the Badgers.

Oregon’s biggest catalyst in establishing offensive tempo remains in the hands of redshirt junior running back LaMichael James.

The key, he said, will be sustaining drives in the opening quarter, particularly in facing a Badgers offense that tries to dominate the time of possession.

• Aaron Fentress notes that Oregon's three freshmen cornerbacks will likely play a huge role in the final outcome of the Rose Bowl.

“This is what you live for,” Troy Hill said. “This is why I came here. I knew we were going to be in these big games. As a competitor, that’s what you want to do. You want to play against the best, you want to be considered the best. These are the types of games that make you the best.”

• Lindsay Schnell thinks De'Anthony Thomas could be the x-factor for the Ducks and his teammates agree.

"He's so exciting, you just want to watch him," Darron Thomas said. "That's why he's special. A lot of guys can't do what he does."

Barner agrees. "If you don't know where De'Anthony is," Barner said, "you're in for some trouble."


Friday, December 30, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

FishDuck tries to figure out which plays Chip Kelly and the coaching staff might try against Wisconsin in this second of two part series. As always, Charles does a great job explaining all the different formations and plays.

ESPN bloggers Ted Miller and Brian Bennett preview the Rose Bowl game.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Darron Thomas, Mark Helfrich, LaMichael James, Carson York, and Kenjon Barner talk with reporters at a press conference for the offensive players yesterday. Video courtesy of the R-G and KVAL.

• Ken Goe says Hroniss Grasu has been a pillar of strenth at cneter this year.

It's why Darron Thomas contends that Grasu's impact on this year's team rivals that of freshman teammate De'Anthony Thomas, the Pac-12's co-offensive freshman of the year.

"I don't believe I've had any bad snaps, any snaps going wild or anything like that," Thomas said. "I think he is one of the best centers. I think he is going to be the center here for a long time."

Give some of the credit where it belongs: to the freshman at the point of attack, who plays with the low-key, self-assurance of a seasoned veteran.

There is still a lot of buzz surrounding Mark Asper's actions when he assisted a man choking at a restaurant the other night. Even made in onto ESPN's Sportscenter Wednesday night.

Speaking of buzz, the new uniforms and helmet are still generating plenty of talk. Here is a better picture of the new helmet away from any glaring indoor lights.

Ted Miller reminds everyone that Oregon isn't going away even if LMJ goes to the NFL.

Darron Thomas' second trip to the Rose Bowl is dramatically different than the first when he was finishing up his redshirt season.

LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner are both weighing their options on joining the NFL draft next year, hard to blame them.

• Aaron Fentress and Tom Mulhern continue their comparisons of Oregon and Wisconsin and weigh in on the "intangibles," and both agree Oregon has the advantage.

• David Melo @ continues his story on Oregon's 2001 postseason with part four.

• Chris Courtney gives his three keys to an Oregon victory over Wisconsin.

1. Dictate Tempo2. Hold [Russell] Wilson in check: 3. Win the trenches


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oregon Ducks Defense and Special Team Highlights 2011 - Part One

Defense and Special Team play win games and the 2011 team has provided many exciting moments. Here is part one of two and includes games up to and including the Colorado game. Part two will be uploaded to YouTube shortly after the Rose Bowl so subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven't already.


Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• Eddie Pleasant, Anthony Gildon, Michael Clay, Brandon Hanna, and Taylor Hart answer questions at yesterday's press conference. Video courtesy of the R-G.

Mark Asper put his Eagle Scout skills to good use at Lawry's restaurant yesterday as a guest was chocking on a big piece of meat.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Nick Aliotti talks with reporters at a press conference yesterday and Rob Moseley has an Aliotti companion story.

Lindsay Schnell notes the Oregon defensive unit likes playing for the slightly "crazy" Aliotti.

"He might be a little crazy but I think it's a good thing," lineman Brandon Hanna said. "It allows him to push us and drive us in ways other coaches can't. I think what the media sees is what we see -- he's very transparent. You're going to know how he's feeling; he's a really emotional and passionate guy, and I think our guys respond to that. You see his energy and you want to play hard for him."

• John Canzano has a good story on the relationship between Nike's Phil Knight and the University of Oregon.

Knight gets his share of fair criticism. He's opinionated. He didn't build the bold Nike empire by tip-toeing around. But as the uniforms were unveiled on Tuesday, and the eyes darted from the Blazers and everything else on the planet to photographs of a Rose Bowl uniform, it was plainly obvious how wise the guy is. 

Also, how smart the Ducks must be to listen to him.

• The Pac-12 and the Big Ten announced a collaboration yesterday that will see the two conferences play each other annually in all sports. The announcement received applause from both sides.

Ken Goe and Rob Moseley both have a story on Anthony Gildon who has found ways to contribute while battling injuries this season.

• Aaron Fentress and Tom Mulhern compare the matchup between Oregon and Wisconsin coaches and give the edge to Chip Kelly and the Ducks.

• has their Rose Bowl football release posted. Learn all you need to know about the big game.

Darron Thomas might not have the stats he did last year but he manages the game better according to Stephen Alexander.

Alexander also has a nice piece on true freshman Colt Lyerla.

• Are you down in the greater LA area and want to know about all the Duck events being held? Keeerrrtt1 has you covered.

• Dale Newton lays out his "dream scenario" in a story titled: "Rose Bowl facts and friction: Wisconsin versus Oregon." (and yeah, I could go for some "reality" like that too)

To win, the Ducks need consistency, execution and some big plays. Dream scenario: they get LaMichael James loose in the running game and he outduels or negates Ball. Meanwhile, De'Anthony Thomas, playing at home for the first time in Southern California, has a breakout, big day to cap his marvelous freshman season, scoring three times on a kickoff return, a pass and reverse, launching his campaign for the 2012 Heisman. Nick Aliotti puts together another good plan for a big game defense, and the Ducks outlast a very good Wisconsin team for their first BCS win since the 2001 Fiesta, their second Rose Bowl trophy ever.

Happy are those who dream dreams, and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• FishDuck tries to figure out what plays and formations would work best against Wisconsin in part one of what will be a two part analysis.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chip Kelly introduces some member of the team (skip to 4m) and David Paulson talks with reporters about his holiday break, Disneyland and getting back to practice. Video courtesy of the R-G and eDuck. Adam Jude has an accompanying article.

• Kenjon Barner provided the best picture of the day. Does LaMike look just  a little worried? Priceless.

• Undoubtedly, the biggest news from yesterday was the new Oregon uni's Nike unveiled. The consensus seems to be favorable as George Schroeder, Dr. Saturday, Ted Miller, Sean Meagher, and Aaron Fentress give their opinions.

Ken Goe notes that a few members of the team were stuck in their hotel elevator for 2 hours yesterday.

Aaron Fentress compares the matchup of assistant coaches between the Ducks and Badgers.

Ted Miller believes De'Anthony Thomas has made some "mythic" plays this season.

"The first thing that jumps out is his athletic ability -- how quickly he can do things," Ducks coach Chip Kelly said. "Not only is he fast, but his ability to change direction is incredible. It's how quick he gets out of cuts. There's a suddenness to him. I don't think people appreciate it until they really see him in person. Then they're like, 'Wow!'"

Ted Miller also has a good story on Chip Kelly's wit and wisdom.

• Keeerrrttt1 @ looks at Oregon's integral role in the history of the Grandaddy of them all. Another great article by Kurt, be sure to check it out.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

"Win the Day" from Just a little something to brighten up your Tuesday.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley and Adam Jude pick the brain of recruiting guru Matt Prehm in this special edition of the Postgame Brew.

• Aaron Fentress and Tom Mulhern compare the matchup of speed vs. size between Oregon and Wisconsin and both gentlemen give the edge to the Ducks.

The Oregonian's Aaron Fentress says: Edge to Oregon. The Ducks' overall team speed has looked rather ordinary against elite competition over the past few seasons but the Badgers don't fall in that category. 

The State Journal's Tom Mulhern says: Edge to Oregon. TCU's speed at wide receiver and on defense were big factors in the Badgers' 21-19 loss in the Rose Bowl last season. The bigger problem this year is with Oregon's backs, who can break a big play at any time.

The Duck entourage has landed in the LA area and make a special trip to Disneyland today.

• Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller matches wits with Big Ten blogger Brian Bennett regarding the Rose Bowl.

Josh @ takes a closer look at the Badgers special teams unit.

• Paul Buker looks at the way Oregon can exploit Wisconsin weaknesses.

• On the flip side, Aaron Fentress looks at what Oregon needs to get better at to defeat Wisconsin.

Dale Newton has some thoughts on the ways Oregon can prevent another BCS loss.

• BenzDuck opens the history book and looks at how Duck fans could "follow the action" for the 1917 Rose Bowl. Obviously there was no Twitter, Facebook or television but this was even before commercial radio started. Very good read.

In Eugene, on New Year’s Day in 1917, the solution involved a theater, a Western Union guy, a contraption on a stage and a guy with a megaphone.

The theater was the Heilig, on Willamette Street between 6th and 7th, a venerable, balconied Vaudeville edifice, later a movie house, eventually  among the many victims of urban renewal in the Seventies (the Hult Center occupies its former location).

Click here for the rest of the story. has a special preview of the new Nike Integrated Uniform System uni's Oregon will be wearing at the Rose Bowl.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud would like you to see the "Experience Autzen - Civil War 2011" video. Very good compilation.

• Brian @ counts down his list of the 19 best seasons in Duck football history.

• Rob Moseley looks at how the Ducks have done recruiting this year as the coaches hit the recruiting homestretch.

National signing day is Feb. 1 in 2012, and recruiting websites have identified 17 recruits known to have made verbal commitments to sign with the Ducks. At least one, quarterback Jake Rodrigues, plans to enroll for winter term at the university.

Jared @ looks at the history of Oregon in the Rose Bowl and offers his prediction of the game next week.

Wisconsin might be the epitome of the Big-10 cliche of big cornfed road-graders wanting to grind it out in the trenches, but Oregon has proven that they can get past teams with bigger lines wanting to outmuscle the speedy but undersized Duck defense, just as Stanford.  Where Wisconsin can not match Oregon is team speed, and it is a huge difference. Oregon 38-21.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Top 21 Oregon Duck Touchdowns for 2011

• A little Christmas present to all my Duck friends around the world. Here is a video I put together because of an idea inspired by Takimoto @ Addicted to Quack. Here is the link to his original post @ATQ:.

Enjoy the Holidays with family and friends.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Before we get to the links I just wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy your holiday season.

• Steve @ has a Christmas wish we all might agree with, keeping Chip Kelly around.

• Divieira @ ATQ has a special "Twas the Night Before Gameday" post.

• Aaron Fentress compares the kicking and punting team between Oregon and Wisconsin and gives the edge to Wisconsin.

• Lindsay Schnell has a touching story on Gary Campbells son, Bryan, who will make an extra special trip to the Rose Bowl to watch the team closet to his heart.

Rob Moseley believes collaboration has been key for the Oregon defense under head coach Nick Aliotti.

“The bottom line is, how do you get your work done, and do you win games,” Aliotti said. “I’m very lucky — I have three really expert coaches.”

Making their collaboration all the more impressive are the diverse personalities involved. Azzinaro is a gruff former boxer who tends to keep to himself. Neal can be gregarious one moment, brooding the next. Pellum is the stoic of the group.

And having a coach like Aliotti with an open mind.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Keeerrrttt1 presents his twenty second Vlog episode. Kurt talks about everything Duck related plus a bonus music recommendation.

• Aaron Fentress breaks down the matchup betwee the Wisconsin receivers and the Oregon defensive backs.

The Oregonian's Aaron Fentress says: Even. Oregon's secondary has been picked on for giving up plays but it has faced at least three future NFL quarterbacks. The group is solid.

• Ted Miller wonders who has the most to prove in bowl games and Oregon makes the list.

• Speaking of lists, Santa has his Pac-12 Christmas list. Find out whether your team was naughty or nice and what Santa plans to put under your tree. Courtesy of Kim

BenzDuck wonders if Oregon and Wisconsin were separated at birth. Their histories are eerily similar.

• Ken Goe reminds everyone that just because Matt Barkley decided to return next year is no reason to hand USC the Pac-12 title next year.

How about a 1-2 punch of the explosive De'Anthony Thomas and Tra Carson, who brings some size to the position that Oregon hasn't had since LeGarrette Blount.

Darron Thomas will be a third-year starter at quarterback. Three of five starters return on the offensive line. Colt Lyerla will have settled in at tight end. There will be young, speed receivers on the perimeter. The defense, young this season, is loaded with playmakers.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Josh @ breaks down the Wisconsin offense and what the Ducks have to do to slow them down.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

The Pac-12 conference does a preview of the Rose Bowl and they pick Oregon. The "three-headed monster," LMJ-KB-DAT, will be too much for Wisconsin.

• David Melo @ looks back to Oregon's 2001 postseason in part three. David also includes a Q&A with 2001 Oregon Lineman Corey Chambers.

• Aaron Fentress compares the Oregon receivers versus the Wisconsin DB's.

The Oregonian's Aaron Fentress says: Edge to Oregon. This group isn't great but the Badgers secondary hasn't faced many top passing teams.

The State Journal's Tom Mulhern says: Edge to Oregon. Fenelus is a solid cover man but a lack of overall speed in the secondary is a major concern.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Lindsay Schnell has a short update from yesterday's practice before everyone headed out for the holidays.

As I'm writing this and you're reading it, the Ducks are in the midst of their last practice before the holiday season. Practice will end around 11 today and then players and coaches will take off -- some of them out of state, others to their offices. Everyone meets back up in Pasadena on Dec. 26.

• Oregon center Hroniss Grasu has become an integral part of the offensive line this year.

“I try to get better every single day, and hopefully I have,” Grasu said. “Every single game I feel like I’ve been getting more comfortable — every single practice.”

His experience is blossoming off the field, too, Grasu said, in his ability to watch film and put it to use on the field, better anticipating what the defense will do out of various formations.

• Rob Moseley continues his "ask-a-Duck" series with fan psoed questions for De'Anthony Thomas.

• Aaron Fentress continues his examination of Oregon and Wisconsin as he compares the Duck's D-line to the Badger's O-line.

• Keeerrrttt1 @ notes that former Oregon student-athletes would like just a little recognition and respect from the university they played for.

• Michael Clay had a little 49'er help on choosing his path to Oregon.

• George Schroeder reports that a trip to Pasadena is becoming passe for some folks. (warning for Dave, you won't like it)

• Lindsay Schnell has a good story on Boseko Lokombo's long path to Eugene from the Congo.

Lokombo wasn't like some of the California kids who come to the Northwest and see the white powder for the first time knowing full well what it was. At the time, Lokombo was 6 and had just landed in Quebec, Canada. His origin of takeoff: The Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

"I had never seen snow before, I had no idea what was happening," recalled Lokombo, laughing. "I was amazed, I was fascinated. And I remember an hour or two later I couldn't feel anything. I was frozen. Just seeing snow for the first time was big for me. That memory comes back a lot." 


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Isaac Remington talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Duck Stud: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley and Lindsay Schnell have your Tuesday practice update. KVAL furnished the video of Brandon Hanna after practice.

Rob: The Ducks were inside the Moshofsky Center this morning (yesterday) in full pads, and will be again Wednesday morning. Both practices are formatted like Wednesdays during a normal game week, Chip Kelly said, that being one of the heaviest work days of each week.

Lindsay: Chip Kelly informed the media today that he is growing sick of answering the same questions every day after the Ducks wrap up a closed practice, so us reporters changed it up, asking the coach what was on his Christmas wish list. 

His response was classic Kelly: "To end this conversation."

• Josh @ takes a closer look at the Wisconsin defense.

Rob Moseley looks at the Oregon itinerary while in LA for the Rose Bowl.

• Matt Hinton has a pair of Ducks on his "best breakout players of 2011" list, DAT (#2) and Hrosniss Graus #10.)

• Will it be another slow start for Oregon against Wisconsin?

Aaron Fentress looks at the Duck "O" line vs the Wisconsin "D."

• Rob Moseley continues his "ask-a-Duck" series with fan posted questions for David Paulson.

• The Duck football team along with the O Heroes group brought a little Christmas cheer to some underprivleged kids in the community.

On Saturday, the O Heroes group, an organization run by assistant athletic director James Harris that focuses on community service, took 20 underprivileged children from the Bethel School District to Target, handed them a $100 bill and helped them go shopping for their families. The kids also got some gift-giving advice from a handful of Oregon football players who participated in the event, as they paired off to hunt for presents. Kids did the shopping, and players did the cart-pushing.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

David Paulson and Colt Lyerla talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley has your Monday practice update and KVAL provides the video of Darron Thomas after practice.

The next two days would normally be lighter workouts. Thursday is Oregon's normal walk-through day, and Friday is another non-contact day, during the regular season. But the Ducks can treat them more like normal practices right now. Assuming they did less hitting than usual today, they can do more than usual the next two days.

• A.J. Jacobson has a Q&A with Nick Aliotti.

• Ken Goe notes that stability and continuity have led to a winning program for Oregon.

• Rob Moseley continues his "ask-a-Duck" series with fan posed questions for John Boyett.

• Bob Rickert reports that the son of Howie long, OT Kyle Long, has verbally committed to the Ducks.

Ted Miller wonders if "bowl swag" is better than Santa.

• The Pac-12 Network continues to build as they hired Leon Schweir as its Senior VP of Production and Operations.

• Adam Jude figures the Oregon "D" will be tested against the XXXL Wisconsin "O" line.

Told that Wisconsin’s offensive line is bigger than all but two in the NFL, Oregon sophomore defensive tackle Taylor Hart nodded knowingly.

“That’s what I’ve heard,” he said. “It’s definitely a fun challenge,” Hart said, “and we’re up for it.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

The SeanGshow put together this 2011 highlight reel for your enjoyment on a Monday morning.

Colt Lyerla talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of MaxWilliams247.

Keeerrrttt1 shares his 21st vlog and shares his thoughts on many topics including Duck sports.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley and Ken Goe have your Sunday practice update. Video of CK after practice courtesy of MaxWilliams247.

Rob: Asked about his team's focus right now, a little over two weeks out from the Pac-12 title game and with two more weeks left before they play another game, Kelly said that "they understand the task at hand."

"It's been really good," Kelly said. "Really, really good. It was great last week, and continued, we gave them three days off and came back on Friday."

Ken: With the game still two weeks away, the Ducks are simulating a regular-season practice schedule this week as much as possible.

Kelly said this sort of defined schedule has worked well for Oregon's bowl prep in the past. The Ducks are playing in their third straight BCS game.

• Ken Goe calls Nick Aliotti a crafty schemer and a winner.

Aliotti gets kicked around the fan message boards sometimes, commenters dismissing him as Nick Allowiotti. But consider this:

    -- In Aliotti's 16 seasons as a major college defensive coordinator, his teams have won outright or shared seven conference championships.

• Rob Moseley shares a nice story from the print edition of the R-G on how seven locals have contributed to Oregon's success.

• Aaron Fentress compares the Oregon and Wisconsin running backs.

• Steve Maher at tries his hand out at predictions as he rates the Pac-12 bowl games.

• Rob Moseley continues his "ask-a-Duck" series as fans pose questions for LaMichael James.

Jared Sawyer at has devised his own BCS playoff system and it's not too bad. Check it out here.

• Dale Newton believes it is a good sign when LMJ says the Ducks are hungry for a bowl victory.

Athletes of character, and people of character, rise up to their best efforts with this kind of hunger.

If the Ducks sustain this mindset through their bowl preparations, their performance in the Rose Bowl will be something to see.


Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Nick Aliotti, Chip Kelly, Gary Campbell, and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu talk with reporters after practice and then Dirk Weisaar looks at the young Oregon backfield. Video courtesy of KVAL


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley and Ken Goe have your Saturday practice update and KVAL furnished the video of LaMichael after practice.

Rob: Yesterday's practice kicked off a five-day stretch of practices prior to the holiday break that the Ducks will treat like a normal game week. The exceptions will be the final two practices, Tuesday and Wednesday; usually those would be like walk-through days, on Thursdays and Fridays during the season, but the Ducks will hold fuller practices this week.

Ken: LaMichael James flatly denied that he has decided to declare for the NFL draft.

Speaking to reporters Saturday following Oregon’s closed practice, the Oregon junior contradicted a story first reported online by The Oregonian on Wednesday that he will forgo his final season of college eligibility.

“My future is irrelevant right now,” he said. “Come Jan. 3 it will be relevant, because my season will be over. But I owe it to my teammates, the fans and my coaches to think about (the Rose Bowl) right now. That’s my most important goal right now.”

• Aaron Fentress takes a closer look at the QB matchup between Oregon's Darron Thomas and Wisconsin's Russell Wilson.

• Adam Jude goes back 10 years and re-visits the Wisconsin-Oregon matchups when they traded nail-biting wins.

Rob Moseley continues his "ask-a-Duck" series as fans pose questions to Kenjon Barner.

• Kim Hastings at reminisces through the last five decades and wonders what team or individual player might be your favorite. Here is a small sample from Kim's opening paragraph.

Down through the decades, Oregon football has provided countless hours of memories.  Many of them were great, but some of them memorable for other reasons. Many of them were awesome, but some of them seemed to be more about the rain…which never falls in Autzen Stadium now, but seemed to with some frequency back when.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

OregonGridiron has a little motivational video for the Rose Bowl for your Saturday enjoyment.

Chip Kelly, Terrance Mitchell and De'Anthony Thomas talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.

• Ivan Maisel and Gene Wojciechowski preview the Rose Bowl Game for ESPN.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley and Aaron Fentress have your Friday practice update and KVAL provides the video of Kenjon after practice yesterday..

Rob: The Ducks were inside the Moshofsky Center this morning in helmets and jerseys for their first practice after a three-day break from Rose Bowl preparations.

Today, Chip Kelly said, was a little different; some position coaches weren't back from recruiting, including receivers coach Scott Frost and running backs coach Gary Campbell, and so Oregon held more team drills than usual.

Aaron: Oregon coach Chip Kelly said Friday that he has not talked with running back LaMichael James regarding his future and won't until the All-American receives his draft evaluation from the NFL.

James, however, has said he has yet to make a decision regarding his future. He was not available to the media Friday, when the team returned to practice in preparation for the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin on Jan. 2.

• One college football league? Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott believes that's where we are headed.

Former Oregon WR Jeff Maehl got promoted to the Texans regular team after initially being recruited to the practice squad. I always believed he would make it one day. Glad he is getting his chance.

The Oregon kickers, Rob Bear and Alejandro Maldonado, want another shot in a big game.

“I’m really hungry,” said Maldonado, the UO sophomore who hasn’t attempted a field goal since missing a kick that would have forced overtime against USC on Nov. 19. “I want to show everybody I’ve got what it takes.”

“I know I can do it,” said Beard, the junior who made both of his field goals in Oregon’s other loss, to open the season against LSU, but hasn’t attempted one since due to a quad injury. “If I’ve already done it, I can do it again.”

All they’re asking for, these two woebegone placekickers for the Ducks, is another chance.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• Josh at looks at the Badger defense, what they are good at and how to score on them.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
The Sporting News has two Oregon freshmen on their freshmen All-America team.

Running back/receiver/special teams player De’Anthony Thomas and  OL Hroniss Grasu.

• Ken Goe notes David Paulson is all business, in the classroom and on the field.

"He don't make big speeches," said defensive end Terrell Turner, Paulson's roommate. "He leads by example."

Every play, every day.

Ted Miller lays out what to watch for in Pac-12 bowl games.

FishDuck is looking to expand and is looking for volunteers to assist with their website.

• Dale Newton has a guest blogger who breaks down the Oregon "D" line recruiting class.

• A.J. Jacobson also takes a close look at the "D" line recruiting class this year.

• Adam Jude reports a stress fracture has had Josh Huff injured but undaunted this season.

“I’m finally able to get back in the groove of things and finally playing like I wanted to play,” the soft-spoken sophomore from Houston said this week. “The injury has been holding me back and I’ve just been fighting through it and fighting through it, but there has been nothing but great rewards at the end, and I got of preview of that against UCLA.

“I look forward to doing the same thing against Wisconsin.”


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Rob Moseley, Adam Jude and Wisconsin alum Curtis Anderson talk about the matchup between Oregon and the Badgers in this special edition of the Post Game Brew.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
• Not much can top the news that LMJ will be playing his last game as a Duck in the Rose Bowl but there were a few news worthy items from yesterday. One note on LMJ. He said through a U of O spokesperson that he has not officially declared yet so we will wait and see.

• Aaron Fentress notes that although Wisconsin has a big "O" line the Duck defenders are not intimidated.

“It’s no concern,” Oregon defensive end Terrell Turner said. “They are strong. We’re going to be just as strong as them. Everyone always looks down on our D-line and we go in there and play as hard as we can.”

• Rob Moseley reports that Terrance Mitchell is "the guy" in Oregon's backfield.

“Confidence takes you a long way,” Mitchell said. “You can have fake confidence and real confidence. I’m trying to have that real confidence, to the point where I’m back in high school, where nobody fazed me. I was still humble, don’t get me wrong. But I wasn’t worried about anybody.”

The AP All-America team was announced yesterday where you will find LaMichael on the second team as running back.

• John Canzano has a Q&A (audio provided) with former Oregon running back Dino Philyam where they discuss the Rose Bowl matchup with Wisconsin.

Ted Miller looks back at his preseason predictions, some good some not, in part one and part two.

Keeerrrttt1 over at opens the history books and looks back at the 2000-2001 series with Wisconsin.

• Dale Newton takes a closer look at verbal commit Stetzon Bair.

He has the most kickass football name since Bronko Nagurski. You'd expect Stetzon Bair to manhandle offensive linemen like steers, chasing down ball carriers like strays in the mesquite, all the time exuding the confident, manly fragrance of victory. The legend writes itself. From a tiny town in Idaho near the Montana border, southeast of the Panhandle, he stands 6-9, 265 with his boots off, a former Mormon missionary from Iowa Western Community College, with four years to play three.

The fact that he's the younger brother of a Duck legend just makes it even better.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LaMichael James will declare for NFL draft

LaMichael James
• According to Aaron Fentress and sources inside the Oregon football program, LMJ will play his last game as a Duck on January 2nd.

I wish him the best of luck but will sure miss seeing him run for TD's at Autzen.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Aaron Fentress says the Ducks are using their time off wisely and preparing harder for the Rose Bowl this year.

"It's rough being here for two weeks and not playing a game," defensive tackle Isaac Remington said. "But everyone is pretty focused."

Maybe even more so than in the past.

"(The team has) definitely had a different attitude," Eddie Pleasant said. "We have a different mindset this year."

• Dale Newton has a Q&A session with a Wisconsin blogger and has parts one and two here.

• Josh at has a good article if you would like to know about the Wisconsin offense.

• Adam Jude notes the Oregon football coaching staff earn a nice bonus for getting into the Rose Bowl.

• Rob Moseley has another fan submitted Q&A, this time with Mark Asper.

• Ted Miller takes look at 2011's best Pac-12 freshmen and you'll find an Oregon player at the top of his list.

True freshmen of the year:

Offense: Oregon's versatile De'Anthony Thomas rushed 53 times for 440 yards with five touchdowns. He led the Ducks with 42 receptions for 571 yards and nine touchdowns. He ranked 13th in the nation in kick returns, returning two for touchdowns. That's 16 total touchdowns. He ranked 17th in the nation in all-purpose yards. 

• Redshirting freshmen are making quite an impression on the rest of the team.

The Ducks redshirted four scholarship offensive linemen this fall — James Euscher, Tyler Johnstone, Jamal Prater and Andre Yruretagoyena — and Mark Asper got to see them up close over the long weekend, watching with fellow veterans Carson York and Darrion Weems while the younger players got extended practice time.

“To be able to see the changes and the improvement they’ve had, I feel confident,” said Asper, who along with Weems will exhaust his eligibility following the Rose Bowl. “I feel at peace, like I’m leaving it in good hands. The future is bright.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Terrell Turner and John Boyett answer questions for reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley and Ken Goe have your Monday practice update and the video of Eddie Pleasant after practice is courtesy of KVAL.

Rob: The Ducks wrapped up their first set of Rose Bowl practices this morning with a workout inside the Moshofsky Center in helmets and jerseys — no other padding, and thus very little hitting.

Earlier Monday brought news of a verbal commitment to the Ducks from junior college defensive lineman Stetzon Bair, the younger brother of former UO lineman Brandon Bair.

Ken: "We've just been getting our legs back for the most part," safety Eddie Pleasant said. "We haven't gone over too much stuff (about Wisconsin). Us as players, we've watched a little film. But we've just been getting our legs back. We'll start going over stuff like that next week."

Lindsey Schnell wonders if the Ducks need a BCS bowl victory for validation? (A lot of interesting comments on this post.)

The Sporting News has a couple of early Rose Bowl predictions and both Matt Hayes and Steve Greenberg pick Oregon.

Ted Miller takes an extremely early look at the 2012 Heisman race where you will find a couple of Ducks.

• Rob Moseley has a fan submitted Q&A with Oregon LB Michael Clay.

• The Oregon defense will see a mix of the best offense's they have faced throughout the 2011 campaign.

“They can run the ball like Stanford, and they’ve got some guys that can go downfield like USC,” UO defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said. “And that’s probably why they average 45 points a game and are 11-2 going to the Rose Bowl.

“They’re good. But I’m fired up for it.”


Monday, December 12, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley has your Sunday practice update and MaxWilliams247 provides the video of CK after practice.

"I've seen indications of a team that is a lot more focused about right now -- when we're not really into the Wisconsin prep -- than I have in a long time," defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said. "And that's a lot of fun. That will overcome a lot of things."

Rob also notes that a lot of the younger guys are getting more reps in practice with the extra time before the Rose Bowl.

Younger players are getting more reps, veterans say. Injured regulars are taking time to get healthy. The Jan. 2 matchup with Wisconsin looms, but there will be time ahead to focus more intently on the Badgers.

“Right now we’re letting a lot of the younger dudes get reps, get a feel for the defense,” linebacker Josh Kaddu said. “We’re getting back healthy right now.”

Lindsay Schnell says the speech Darron Thomas gave to his team after the BCS game back in January set the tone for the 2011 season.

Thomas’ speech, Helfrich says, “redirected the momentum,” and signaled to Helfrich once again that Oregon’s roster is full of guys like Thomas — quiet motivators who find a way to win and set an example for younger players.

• Brian Libby at wonders if LaMichael James will be remembered as the greatest Duck player ever after his college days are finished.

• Dale Newton says that both Wisconsin and Oregon look to make a move forward as a national program.

With a win over the Badgers, if they find a solution to their physical size, offensive talent and hard-hitting defense, the Ducks can shake their label as a team that can't match up to physical teams or elite schools or teams that have extra time to prepare.

It's time, as Nick Aliotti said  in the interview room after the PAC-12 Championship Game, to win one of these darned things.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

John Boyett, Josh Kaddu, Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas, LaMichael James and Darron Thomas talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Adam Jude and Lindsay Schnell have your Saturday practice update and the video of CK after practice is courtesy of KVAL.

Adam: No. 5 Oregon was in full pads for its second postseason practice this afternoon inside the Moshofksy Center, a little more than three weeks to go before playing No. 10 Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2.

Lindsay: Players and coaches insist that they are preparing for this Rose Bowl no differently than they've prepared for the last two BCS games. There's not pressure to win, necessarily, but players and coaches alike have acknowledged that it's about time they win a BCS bowl for credibility purposes.

• Steve Maher at advises Darron Thomas to keep doing what you do and thinks DT might be the most under appreciated QB is recent memory.

Thomas possesses a 21-3 career record as a starter at Oregon and two Pac-12/Pac-10 titles. He holds the Oregon record for career TD passes with 63 with a season still to go.

His career completion percentage of 60.8 percent is better at this point than what Bill Musgrave (.574), Akili Smith (.566), Danny O’Neil (.562), Joey Harrington (.552), Chris Miller (.552), Tony Graziani (.540), Dan Fouts (.504) finished with.

With 5,642 career passing yards, Thomas stands No. 7 on the all-time list. If he throws for 2,702 yards in 2012, he’ll surpass Musgrave (8,343 yards) as Oregon’s career leader.

Some Duck fans may want to re-access their criticism of Thomas.

• Rob Moseley says now that final exams are done it's time to focus on the Rose Bowl and has this comment from David Paulson.

“We have some momentum,” UO senior tight end David Paulson said. “Now we just have a couple weeks that we really just need to focus and keep getting better.”


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• OregonGridiron produces another fine motivational video with lots of great highlights from their unique field level perspective.

• Keeerrrttt1 at takes a look at all the Duck news and has a music recommendation.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
LaMichael James was named one of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award yesterday. It is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football as selected by fans. You can vote here.

• LaMichael James, Josh Kaddu, Dion Jordan, Eddie Pleasant and De'Anthony Thomas make the Coaches All-Pac-12 team (first team) as voted by the Pac-12 coaches. Second team players include David Paulson, John Boyett and Jackson Rice.

• Ted Miller notes that Oregon should field a healthy team on Jan.2, something that has  been quite rare this season.

The Oregon team that plays Wisconsin won't be the team that lost at home to USC, when a number of defense starters -- Jordan, Gildon and Stuckey -- were banged up. 

That should be good news for the Ducks, who will need to be at their best to take down the Badgers.


Friday, December 09, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
• Stephen Alexander wonders if the Ducks can bully the Badgers?

Receiver Josh Huff says that the Ducks’ playmakers will be able to find open space for Thomas to deliver the ball to them against Wisconsin.

“We’re capable of anything,” Huff says.

“For me and the other seniors, it’s our last chance to play with the Oregon uniform on. And, for a lot of us, it’s our last chance to play football,” Paulson says, of the Rose Bowl. “So we’re going to give it everything we’ve got, and hopefully go out on top.”

• David Melo at opens the history book and looks at part one of two on Oregon's 2001 postseason.

• LaMichael James was named to the Walter Camp All-America team last night. James and Jackson Rice fell just short in the other categories, James for the Doak Walker award, which he won last year and Rice for the Ray Guy award.

• Ted Miller unveils his Pac-12 All-Underrated team where you will find four Ducks.

QB Darron Thomas, Oregon: Sure, he at times was off-target this year. But how many teams across the country would want a QB who was off-target with 30 TD passes and just six interceptions?

OL Mark Asper, Oregon: How do the Ducks block so well without a single first- or second-team All-Pac-12 O-lineman?

DT Taylor Hart, Oregon: A high-motor try-hard guy who's got great length and underrated athletic ability.

LB Michael Clay, Oregon: Missed some action due to injury but his 9.2 tackles per game in nine games ranked second in the Pac-12.

• Patrick Malee adds his own comments concerning Ted Miller's All-Underrated Team.

• Adam Jude notes that Carson York has been named to the second-team academic All-American team.

The academic honor is his third of the season after being named to the Capital One Academic All-District (8) and Pac-12 All-Academic first teams earlier in the year. He has been a first-team all-conference academic selection three times.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Patrick Malee says the Duck "D" will be tested one last time during the Rose Bowl.

“Usually when you play a team, you’re hoping they’re one-dimensional,” [Chip] Kelly said. “ So it makes it easy for you; you just have to defend the pass or you just have to defend the run. But a team that’s multidimensional like Wisconsin really presents the ultimate problems for you on the defensive side of the ball.”

• Lucas Clark calls the Rose Bowl a matchup of two of the nation's premier rushing attacks.

Over the last few years, Oregon’s potent offensive attack has garnered plenty of national attention...Meanwhile, Wisconsin, Oregon’s opponent in the 2012 Rose Bowl, has been equally impressive with the ball, but with a drastically different style...

Ted Miller has his annual season recaps posted and has one for Oregon.

A third consecutive conference title has Oregon flying higher than it's ever been as a program, and the Ducks show no signs of slowing down.

Offensive MVP: LaMichael James became the first back in conference history to rush for more than 1,500 yards three consecutive seasons, including 1,646 yards this year. He also scored 17 touchdowns and caught 17 passes for 210 yards and another touchdown.

Defensive MVP: Defensive end Dion Jordan earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors after leading the Ducks' defense with 13 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. The junior also had 40 total tackles and a forced fumble.

Cliff Harris issued an apology to fans on his Facebook page yesterday.

• Keeerrrttt1 opens the history books and looks at Oregon's games against Oklahoma. Kurt goes into a lot of detail so it is broken up into parts one and two. A lot of good video clips and commentary from Kurt on this one so check it out.

• Dale Newton welcome a guest writer who wonders, can Oregon win a big game?

• Andrew Greif takes a first hand look at the "madness" of Oregon's unsung hero, strength coach Jim Radcliffe.

Stories I’d heard described him as a visionary who’d helped develop, with his assistants, Duck athletes into a breed more successful than ever using techniques he’d perfected, if not developed outright.

He was, to me, the Howard Hughes of hang cleans, an Einstein of efficient movement, the Kesey of kinesiology.