Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

 Perhaps nothing defines Oregon football more than Jerry Allen calling a Ducks game. Turn off the TV announcers and listen to Jerry on the radio while watching the game when you get the chance, you won't be disappointed. "Calling Perfection" looks at the special moment last year at the end of the Civil War game when Jerry couldn't hold back the emotion. Excellent story. Video courtesy of BenDforDuck.

 ESPN reports that the season opener against LSU at Cowboy Stadium is sold out (80,000 tickets) and SRO tickets will start going on sale as early as July 8th.

 Ted Miller continues previewing and ranking position groups and looks at the receivers for each Pac-12 team. He has Oregon in the lowly "we'll see" group.

Jeff Maehl and D.J. Davis are gone and they took 119 receptions with them. Lavasier Tuinei caught 36 passes and Josh Huff caught 19, but there's little experience beyond that. The Ducks are stacked at tight end and the incoming class is thick with speedy, touted receivers. But, as we've said before, "we'll see." 

 How about a fictional story involving Pac-12 commish Larry Scott having video call conversations from a hot tub. First with Google execs Sergey Brin and Larry Page and then with Apple's chief guru Steve Jobs. Highly entertaining and recommended reading for your Thursday morning.

 Dale Newton takes a look at class of 2012 recruit OLB Brett Barfaro. He is 6'2", 220 lbs. and runs a 4.5 forty out of Liberty HS in Hillsboro, OR.

Liberty head coach Eric Mahlum told's Jerry Ulmer, "He's kind of a manchild. "He's a big, physical kid, and he loves to hit. He's fast, and he's got good natural instincts. For us, he's kind of a game-changer. When we're on defense, the kids kind of rally around him and his passion."


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 One of my favorite writers at ATQ is Takimoto and he delivers again as he looks back at the defining moment of Chip Kelly's first season as head coach. It was late in the fourth quarter during the 2009 Civil War and I'll always remember this game, good stuff, and the embedded video isn't too bad either.

 Adam Jude shares a couple of screenshots of the just released demo version of EA Sports' NCAA Football 12. The demo features Oregon playing Texas and is that Eddie Pleasant with dreads?....hmmm...

 Dale Newton introduces incoming freshmen Lake Loa-La'ai. A 6'4" 245 lb. DL with 4.8 forty speed out of Kamehameha Schools Kapalama HS in Honolulu, HI.

This spring Koa-Ka'ai was one of 12 state athletes to be inducted into the Hawaii High Ring of Honor for athletic achievement and character.  Twelve young men and women from all sports are selected throughout the state each year by an independent committee.  It's a big deal.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Jon Wilner assesses the options available to Pac-12 commish Larry Scott when it comes to the Pac-12 TV Network and fits them into three categories.

Model one would partner with and existing provider to re-brand an existing channel. Model two would partner with an existing cable or satellite operator to develop a new channel. Model three would partner with Google or Apple to deliver a streaming service via the internet and perhaps YouTube, Google TV or Apple TV. Most of the comments agree that it will likely be a combination of two of the choices. Interesting read so be sure to check it out.

 Ted Miller has another preseason position review as he looks at tight ends. He fits Oregon into the "great shape" category right behind Stanford.

David Paulson was first-team All-Pac-12 after catching 24 passes for 418 yards with four touchdowns in 2010. He's also a good blocker. Backup Brandon Williams is an impressive specimen who figures to contribute more this fall -- unless touted true freshman Colt Lyerla eclipses him.

 Ted Miller has a poll wanting to know who you think is the most likely to regress in 2011. He gives you five choices; Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, USC or Washington. As of this posting Stanford was winning with 27% of the votes. Oregon ranked 4th with 19%.

 Bob Rickert has the second part of his Q&A with former Duck QB A.J. Feeley.

 Dale Newton introduces incoming freshmen OL Tyler Johnstone. 6'6", 250lbs. with a 4.93 forty out of Hamilton HS in Chandler, AZ.

Tyler Johnstone is very much in touch with his inner Brian Urlacher.  He brings a linebacker's intensity and aggression to the offensive line, and it's impressive to watch.  He has great drive as a football player, a guy who competes hard on every play.  It's clear he wants to win, and understands winning means winning the confrontation in front of you. Part of the reason he plays in such a focused, intelligent way is that he's also a 4.0 student.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Dale Newton concludes his series with LSU blogger Bob Wynn as he grades the defense. Yesterday Dale gave the Duck defense a D- for their off-season issues but has given Oregon an overall B- which is probably more realistic when you look at the complete group and not just 3 players who made stupid mistakes.

Oregon's defense has the potential to be a mobile, stifling and extremely effective defense, but with seven senior leaders graduated and three key role players on personal probation, they are largely unproven.  They'll be tested by an LSU team that manhandled Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl 41-24.

Dale also introduces incoming freshmen LB Rodney Hardrick, 6'1", 225lbs., and a 4.53 forty from Colton H.S. (Colton, Ca.)

He has good size for a high school player, and he can run and hit.  The offensive experience and accomplishments are always a real plus; Chip loves versatile athletes, and guys that have that background tend to more aggressive, a heat-seeking missile for turnovers and defensive big plays.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

 Dale Newton looks back and grades the Oregon Defense for 2010 and gives them a B+. He included my videos of the defensive highlights which I have included here.

The 2010 Duck defense was stingy and opportunistic. They erased their mistakes with aggressiveness, and made far more big plays than they gave up.

Dale also grades the 2011 defensive unit to this point and gives them a D-, mostly due to off-field issues the Ducks will have to overcome before the regular season kicks off against LSU. He ends his story with this:

"The Ducks fully believe their coach when he tells them that "luck favors the prepared mind."  In two years they've established themselves as a group that won't give in to adversity.  Now it's the defense's turn to overcome a seemingly impossible combination of graduation, attrition and stupidity."


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Bob Rickert continues his "Once a Duck always a Duck" series as he sits down with former Oregon QB A.J. Feeley. This is Part 1 of a two part Q&A.

 Dale Newton looks at a couple of possible 2012 recruits and likes what he sees in these prospects.

Jeremy Castro: A four star 6'1" 240lb. LB out of Vista Murrieta H.S. in Murrieta, CA.

Forget the 40 time: no one has put a stopwatch on linebacker/defensive end Jeremy Castro, but coaches don't need one: as a high school junior he had 111 tackles and 11 sacks.  Already he has offers from a host of schools, including LSU and Oklahoma.

Josh Garnett: A 6'5" 275lb. OT out of Puyallup H.S. in Puyallup, WA.

He's a huge, elite lineman, prodigiously strong, mobile and athletic enough to be throwing blocks 30 yards downfield. He doesn't just throw blocks, he throws opponents, shoving them down like poorly-dug fence poles.

 George Schroeder reports that Oregon has hired the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King to represent them in any possible inquiry brought on by the NCAA regarding the Lyles affair. One of their lawyers, Mike Glazier has been referred to as "The Cleaner" and has been hired by other universities facing similar issues.

Dale Newton gives a letter grade to each of the offensive position groups for a future article being compiled by LSU blogger Bob Wynn. He gives our running back group the highest possible mark, A+.

This is the most devastating, effective running attack in college football, and it has a good chance of being even more varied, innovative and productive in Chip Kelly's third year as head coach.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Ted Miller continues his Pac-12 preseason position reviews with a look at the running backs. Not surprising that he has Oregon first in the "great shape" category. Personally, I think he should have created a special category for the Ducks, something like "ultimate shape."

It's not just that the Ducks have Heisman Trophy finalist and unanimous All-American LaMichael James coming back, it's that they have Kenjon Barner and Lache Seastrunk to help carry the load. When you toss in touted incoming freshman De’Anthony Thomas -- play or redshirt? -- Oregon may have the best backfield in the nation.

 Addicted to Quack has a fantastic piece called "A Few Good Coaches" as Matt Daddy spoofs the entire recruiting mess at the expense of Lieutenant Canzano. Hillarious and a must read.

 Dale Newton continues to introduce the new recruits of 2011 and has a nice profile story on LB Carlyle Garrick.

On signing day, Chip Kelly said, "The more kids we can get, the Ifo's, the Colt Lyerla's, the kids...that can play multiple positions, the better off we're gonna be."  Put Garrick in that category.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Ted Miller wonders who will be the Pac-12's potential impact freshmen? Here are his candidates for Oregon.

Colt Lyerla is going to play for Oregon next fall, likely as a hybrid tight end/H-back sort. But the Ducks are solid at tight end. They need either Devon Blackmon or Tacoi Sumler to step up as an outside receiver. We're going with Sumler who has special speed and is more polished as receiver.

 Bob Rickert continues his series, "Once a Duck always a Duck" as he sits down with former Oregon CB Aaron Gipson for a little Q&A. I remember sitting in the student section ripping Gipson apart for his awful plays when he was a freshmen. I had quite a different opinion by the time he was a senior. Good read.

 Dale Newton reports that Oregon added commitments from twin brothers Stephen and Eric Amoako of Martin High in Arlington Texas.  Each 5-11 195, they boast sub 4.5 40s.

The Amoako brothers are a perfect fit for the Oregon defense.  They're fast and physical.  Eric had 59 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 interceptions last season.  He returned a fumble 61 yards for a score in 58-48 victory over Flower Mound back in September.  The two had dual offers from Kansas State, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Purdue with a season yet to play as preps.

 Adam Jude notes that suspended CB Cliff Harris was a no-show for the third day at Oregon's voluntary summer workouts.

Dale Newton introduces 2011 recruit Christian French in this profile story on the incoming freshman.

French is the one, the athletic package that one player in a hundred has.  6-5, 236, according to his Oregon bio.  He's run a 4.4 40  and 10.68 hundred meters (Kenjon Barner runs a 10.76, LaMichael James at 10.51--that's fast company.)  Guys that size simply aren't that fast very often (Usain Bolt is 6-4, 6-5, but he weighs between 190 and 207 lbs.)

The intrigue, though, goes further than his uncommon size/speed combination.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 The Lyles fiasco continues to brew as Bob Clark reports that Oregon has released more documents and phone records. Dennis Dodd is in Eugene and notes that Chip is his normal "busy" self despite all the controversy and Dodd thinks this whole thing won't slow the Ducks play on the field. Ted Miller gives the Ducks the benefit of the doubt and takes a wait and see attitude.

 Adam Jude reports that Cliff Harris was a no-show at the first voluntary summer workout on Monday but Kiko Alonso was there.

Ted Miller is starting his preseason position reviews for the Pac-12 and has Oregon in his "great shape" category.

As a sophomore, Darron Thomas was good enough to earn second-team All-Pac-10 honors and throw for 363 yards and two touchdowns in the national title game. What will he do as a junior? Bryan Bennett didn't have a great spring, but the redshirt freshman has a lot of skills.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 George Schroeder reports that the Willie Lyles’ “2011 National Package” is filled with class of 2009 recruits. That seems to be the biggest "smoking gun" everyone is talking about. When you are finished with Schroeder's version you can read similar articles by Dennis Dodd, Adam Jude, and Aaron Fentress. A lot to do about nothing (IMO) so far.

 How do Pac-12 football and basketball programs rank in terms of profitability? Oregon comes in 37th nationally according to this report.

 OL Nick Cody (along with two others) won an award for this video, Recruiting Sevices: Athletes Getting EXPOSURE or EXPOSED? Nick and the others did a fine job with their work and it seems very relevant considering the whole Lyles mess.

 Bob Rickert has a nice Q&A with with former Oregon player WR Garren Strong.

 Dale Newton continues introducing the 2011 recruits and shares his profile story on OL Jake Fisher.

The Traverse City (Michigan) athlete was rated the #25 offensive tackle prospect by and a four-star prospect.  He was first team All-State.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Get Your Gang Green On - Oregon Football 2011

mrrustyduck posted this video on YouTube a couple of days ago and it has some great pics of Autzen Stadium and some clips from the games last year. The music wasn't the best but it's a slow news day for Oregon football.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there. Here are a couple of poignant stories about the special relationship between a Father and his children and how sports is often a big part of those memories. The first is by George Schroeder back in 2008 and John Canzano this year. Enjoy.

 Dale Newton believes there is a quiet revolution in recruiting at Oregon.

Chip Kelly is an innovator.  He cuts through tradition and habit by constantly asking and evaluating, is this the best way to do this? In every detail, from practice organization to offensive tempo to fourth and three, he finds better ways.

He's applying the same bold, systematic, analytical, efficient approach to recruiting, and one evaluation at a time, he and his staff are transforming the Oregon football team.

Dale also has a profile on a new member of the Ducks in 2011, OL James Euscher.

Aloha offensive line coach Bill Volk told Jerry Ulmer of oregonlive, "Besides his physicality, and his unbelievable athleticism for a big guy, his leadership and demeanor probably mean way more than what he does on the field. He's the foundation, the chemistry builder, the guy everybody turns to for leadership in that crunch moment. He has such an aura about him."


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

 Andy Mac shares the complete 2011-12 Bowl schedule which includes seven postseason games that Pac-12 teams can qualify to play in assuming that many teams have the prerequisite winning record.

New Mexico Bowl (Sat., Dec. 17, 11 a.m. on ESPN) – Pac-12 No. 7 vs. MWC
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas (Thu., Dec. 22, 5 p.m. on ESPN) – Pac-12 No. 5/6 vs. MWC
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (Wed., Dec. 28, 5 p.m. on ESPN) – Pac-12 No. 3 vs. Big 12
Valero Alamo Bowl (Thu., Dec. 29, 6 p.m. on ESPN) – Pac-12 No. 2 vs. Big 12
Hyundai Sun Bowl (Sat., Dec. 31, 11 a.m. on CBS) – Pac-12 No. 4 vs. ACC
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (Sat., Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. on ESPN) – Pac-12 No. 5/6 vs. Army
Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO (Mon., Jan. 2, 2 p.m. on ESPN) – Pac-12 No. 1 vs. Big Ten

 Dale Newton answers a reader's email that posed three questions: Is Chip to blame? Are we recruiting too many "nice" guys? Is Cody Carriger the real deal?

Dale and "Trout Webfoot" both have interesting perspectives on the questions.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 As might be expected, most of the Duck football stories revolve around Cliff Harris. Personally, I am over it. Chip Kelly made his decision and I stand by the coach who has made these tough decisions before and will probably make them again. Kelly will let Harris back on the team only if he proves himself and I think it is the right decision.

If you want to read what all the other folks are saying here you go. Ted Miller puts in his two cents worth. Erin Andrews talks with Rob Moseley and Mark May. Kenjon Barner sticks up for his friend but stand by his coach too. Dale Newton wonders who will replace Cliff at corner and says it starts with Anthony Gildon but Terrance Mitchell is a likely candidate. Bob Wynn believes DeAnthony Thomas should get a shot at replacing Harris.

Dale Newton notes that Oregon picked up another verbal commitment yesterday, Cody Carriger out of Montana.

He's the son of a former linebacker coach, a three-sport athlete in Montana's top division of prep sports, a 6-7, 230 defensive end/tight end.  He runs the 100 meters in 11.47 (utterly phenomenal for his size), anchors the 4x100 relay team, and was the leading scorer in the Southwest Montana basketball All-Star classic.  He runs a 4.8 40, has a vertical leap of 35.5 (utterly phenomenal for his size) and a 3.5 GPA.  He plays football with a nasty streak and loves contact.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley reports that Chip Kelly has suspended Cliff Harris indefinitely from the team and will miss the LSU game at a minimum, after that it is up to Cliff.

“Cliff’s future is clearly in Cliff’s hands,” Kelly said in the release. “Earning an opportunity to represent the University of Oregon and this football program certainly rests far beyond a player’s ability on the field of play. Our behavior out of the spotlight often is more important and will be held to a higher standard.

“Until Cliff is able to conform to the same standards all of us must comply with, his status will remain unchanged.”

 The compliance issue regarding Cliff's little escapade, getting the car from U of O employee Mindy Schmidling (payroll specialist in the business office), might be a non-factor if the facts check out.

A compliance official from another school suggested Tuesday that, if the facts as currently understood are true, the payment to Schmidling would likely protect the players’ eligibility. The loan of the car would be ruled an extra benefit, and Oregon would report it as such to the Pac-10 — the first step in such situations — but because it was of no monetary value, the players’ eligibility would not be threatened.

 National Football Authority writer Mitch Coffman believes that Lavasier Tuinei could be the answer to the loss of Jeff Maehl.

Maehl was an incredible player, but Tuinei has the potential to be even better. Why? Well, he stands at 6’5” and weighs-in at 216 pounds. He also runs a 4.5-ish 40-yard-dash. Maybe it’s not the fastest 40-time for a wide receiver, but Maehl only ran a 4.63 at the NFL combine this spring.

 LSU blogger Bob Wynn compares O-lines between the two teams and gives the edge to LSU.

 Dale Newton introudces one of the Duck newcomers, JC transfer DT Jared Ebert.

Ebert has serious ability.  He was rated the number two JC defensive tackle by JC Gridwire Magazine, a second team Juco All-American, 4-stars by and 247 sports., with offers from TCU, West Virginia, Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas, Washington State and several others. He's has excellent speed and agility for a player his size; the services list him at a 4.8 40.  He finished up his community college work in time to enroll early and participate in spring drills, getting acclimated, showing effort and hustle, and recording four tackles in the Spring Game.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

 Darron Thomas talks with ESPN's Jay Crawford about what he and the team learned from the loss to Auburn in the video above.

 DT was busy doing interviews at ESPN, you can listen to the audio podcast of DT talking with Ivan Maisel here.

 More on the Cliff Harris incident including possible compliance issues as a U of O employee rented the car Harris was driving when he was cited for speeding.

 Dale Newton continues introducing the class of 2011 as he profiles LB Tyson Coleman and CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Here is a sneak peek at each profile.

Tyson ColemanTyson Coleman lays wood.  Watch his highlight video and you get a key clue to how tough and physical he is by watching him carry the ball as a tailback.  An inside runner with authority,  when he gets to the second level as a running back, he's looking for someone else to hit.  On defense, he sheds blocks and reads the offensive play well.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu: A cornerback with an offensive background is often more aggressive when the ball is in the air; they find it easier and tend to react like it belongs to them rather than being passive or careful.  He'll be a ballhawk, the very best kind of corner, a good and aggressive tackler with a little linebacker in him.  His style compares to Jairus Byrd rather than Cliff Harris.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

 Former Oregon WR Jordan Kent was a multi-sport athlete for the U of O before moving on to the Seattle Seahawks and has a real passion for teaching young football players. He has taken those experiences and created his own company, Edge Combines, a two day football camp that will make its way to Eugene next month. Video courtesy of KVAL.

• The big news yesterday was Cliff Harris being cited for doing 118 mph on I-5 just south of Albany by the OSP. Bad decisions continue to haunt Harris and it remains to be seen what the punishment will be once Chip Kelly has all the facts.

 Todd Kaufmann reports that filling the hole left by Jeff Maehl won't be easy but there are several likely candidates, most notable Josh Huff.

 Rob Moseley sends congratulations to graduating members of the football team. Some graduates still have a year of eligibility left including Anthony Gildon, Eddie Pleasant, David Paulson, Carson York and Terrelle Turner.

 Dale Newton continues to introduce the 2011 newcomers as he profiles LB Rahim Cassell.

He plays fast and hits.  At 6-0, 205, he's probably too small to play as a true freshman, but he's a promising player with a great motor, an ideal linebacker for Nick Aliotti's system.

 DE Alex Balducci out of Central Catholic H.S. in Portland has verbally committed to Oregon.

The 6-4, 270 lb. defensive end is the number two-rated recruit in the state.

A U.S. Army All-American who sported eight offers, including Washington, Boise State and Oregon State, Balducci is listed at 4.85 in the 40 with a 265-lb. bench press.  He has room to grow and get stronger.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Dale Newton introduces the recruits that will be filtering onto campus during the couple of weeks as he welcomes the class of 2011.

This week, 22 mothers will say good-bye to their sons, entrusting them to our care as a community.  The members of the 2011 Oregon recruiting class are about to officially become Ducks, committing themselves to a five-year adventure, the opportunity to test themselves against the best college athletes in the world, in the most difficult and violent game in the world.

 Dale Newton will have a recruiting story for each of the 22 recruits and starts off with WR Devon Blackmon.

Blackmon oozes talent and confidence, with an infectious, outgoing personality.  He tweeted a storm to Duck fans during his recruitment, flashing a wide, happy smile wherever he went.

Next up from Dale Newton on his 2011 recruit profile stories is RB Tra Carson.

Here's the first thing you need to know about Tra Carson:  he went to Liberty-Eylau High School, and replaced LaMichael James as the starting tailback.

He broke LMJ's school record, 54 touchdowns as the Leopard's mainstay, falling just 35 yards short of the career rushing record, finishing with 4,185 yards.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Take a leisurly ride down memory lane and learn the behind the scenes politics of getting Autzen Stadium built. It was the direct effort of Leo Harris and BenzDuck shares the wonderful story of all the tenacity that was involved. Here is how the story starts:

Eugene being Eugene, it’s a wonder Autzen Stadium ever got built.

Hayward Field by the early ’60s was a wreck. The oldest stadium in the conference that hadn’t been significantly rebuilt at some point, it was cramped, uncomfortable, and small. About the only thing you could say good about it was that it was in Eugene, and most of the seats were covered.

 Todd Kaufmann at National Football Authority says that Oregon's Chip Kelly has the staying power of a career coach.

In two seasons as the head coach, Kelly has taken this program to back-to-back BCS bowl games, the Rose Bowl and the BCS National Championship.

"Kelly could be the biggest sleeper coach in FBS football," said Fox Sports' Lisa Horne. "You have to understand where Oregon football was and where it is now.

 Dale Newton has another recruit with eyes on Oregon as he profiles Jared Afalava.

Afalava is a 6-2, 220-lb. aggressive, hard-hitting outside linebacker from football hotbed Bingham High of South Jordan, Utah, the 13-0 5A  State Champions.  He was 1st team All-State and junior MVP last season, recording 87 tackles, 5 interceptions and one sack.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley notes that Oregon-LSU tickets are sold out meaning you will need to check out sources such as StubHub or Craigslist to get yours if you want to go.

The UO athletic department brokered an allotment of 15,000 tickets and cancelled a scheduled sale to the general public that was to begin today after season-ticket holders and donors scooped up nearly all of them. The Tigers, meanwhile, sold about 37,000 seats directly to their fans, with the remainder of the 80,000 tickets distributed by the NFL franchise.

 LSU blogger Bob Wynn does a Q&A with Matt Daddy of ATQ and Matt represents Duck fans well with his comments.

 Dale Newton has a good story on Darron Thomas and states DT is not a system quarterback.

Thomas is too versatile to be written off as a product of the system.  When the situation called for it he ran for 117 yards against Stanford, and four weeks later he threw for four touchdowns on the road against USC.  By now four different quarterbacks have started under Chip Kelly, and the junior from Houston has the best numbers of any of them.  And he's only getting started.

 George Schroeder says that you shouldn't expect the mess in college sports to go away anytime soon.

What really happens with college sports? You probably don’t want to know. And the people who do know, they don’t really want to change anything.

The dirty little secret isn’t what we’ve suddenly learned about how those Buckeyes have been doing business. It’s that those things happen all over, all the time.

 Robert Stroup takes a look at recent Duck history and thinks Oregon fans have come to expect more out of their team now that they have tasted winning in a consistent fashion.

 John Canzano interviewed former Duck QB Dennis Dixon recently and has posted the audio for your listening pleasure.

 Dennis Dodd reports that commissioner Larry Scott rules college sports from his Pac-12 roost.

This is the story of how a tennis-playing, Ivy-educated history major with thinning hair is changing your life.

Not just your college sports-viewing life. Not just changing the former sleepy West Coast conference that was the Pac-10, or even college athletics. It's bigger than that. When Larry Scott leaves office as Pac-12 commissioner -- which may be sooner than later, judging by his swift, mind-blowing accomplishments -- his legacy will draft behind him like a comet's tail.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

 Marty James at the Napa Valley Register interviews John Boyett in the video above and files this report as the Oregon safety visits his former elementary school and lends a hand during their annual "field day." Good stuff.

 Mitch Coffman has a quick analysis of QB Darron Thomas and includes my highlight video of DT as a bonus.

Although the Ducks garner most of their attention from the running game, and rightfully so, Thomas is the glue that holds the offense together. What Dixon did well, Masoli did a little better, and Thomas does very well. He can run, he can pass. And not just respectfully so. In Oregon’s hustle offense, on nearly any play, he is a threat to throw or run for a touchdown.

 Matt Daddy at ATQ has a little one-on-one debate with Rob Moseley on the role of the media in sports. Long, but a good read.

 Dale Newton does a Q&A with LSU blogger Bob Wynn on one of the most hyped games to open a season that I can remember. Another good piece by Dale.


Oregon Ducks Preseason Hype Video 2011

• The SeanGshow has put together some highlights from the last season to get you in the mood for a little football. September 3rd gets ever closer.


Thursday, June 09, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Ted Miller reports that a new award, the "Pony Express Award," will recognize the best two/three player tandem from across the nation. Making the watch list from Oregon are QB Darron Thomas, RB LaMichael James, and RB Kenjon Barner.

SMU’s legendary "Pony Express" backfield, Craig James and Eric Dickerson, have teamed up again for an award that recognizes college football's best tandem -- on either side of the ball -- the "Pony Express Award." 

Running backs Craig James, left, and Eric Dickerson were dominant at SMU in the early 1980s.
The award, the press release said, "will look at two- and three-player tandems from across the nation, ultimately honoring the combination whose work ethic, desire, on- and off-field leadership and playmaking ability best fuel their team."

 The ESPNU 150 for 2012 was announced yesterday and Oregon has 1 commit on the list so far, QB Jake Rodrigues.

 A blog dedicated to the Oregon-LSU matchup has an interview with Autzen Zoo blogger Kristi Rifenbark.

 Rob Moseley notes that Oregon Alumni Association members received an email yesterday offering a limited quantity of Oregon-LSU tickets.

 Bob Wynn compares LSU and Oregon recruiting classes and wonders if the ranking of the classes can pre-determine the outcome of the game.


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Ted Miller looks at Phil Steele's national rankings of returning offensive lines and says that while Oregon might have lost some starters, don't count them out just yet.

You also may see a repeat of 2009 for the Ducks. Sure, they lack experience up front. But Mark Asper, Carson York and Darrion Weems are a pretty solid returning core, not to mention that Steve Greatwood is one of the best line coaches on the West Coast.

 Rob Moseley reports that former Oregon WR Jordan Kent will he holding a 2 day footbal clinic on July 5-6 at North Eugene H.S.

Registration for the camps is $165, which includes two shirts and refreshments over the course of the two days. They’re open to all players entering ninth through 12 grades and are modeled after the NFL’s offseason “organized team activities,” or OTAs, with no hitting and thus no need for pads.

The current tour offers instruction on offense only, with coaching from two assistants on the Lewis & Clark staff and another from Linfield, along with Kent and former Washington State tight end Zach Tatman.

 Ted Miller looks back at the 2010 ESPNU 150 and has RB Lache Seastrunk in the "worth watching" list.

 Dale Newton has another of his recruiting posts and calls LB Kwon Alexander a franchise player.

ESPN notes that the 2012 BCS games have set tentative dates (except the Rose Bowl) due to the uncertainty of the NFL season.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 The Heisman Pundit lists the five teams most likely to win their first Heisman in the next five years and has Oregon at number one.

Whether you are a quarterback or a running back, you are going to put up big numbers in the Chip Kelly offense.  The Ducks have a ton of top-level offensive talent stockpiled and should be formidable even after current stars Darron Thomas and LaMichael James exhaust their eligibility.  Oregon has transitioned into a national power and, once that happens, Heismans naturally follow.  If James or Thomas can’t get it done, look for future stars Lache Seastrunk, Marcus Mariota, De’Anthony Thomas or Tra Carson to be the first Duck so honored.

 Dale Newton believes that Andy Staples at got it wrong when he listed Oregon as one of the top ten coaching jobs in the country.

 Ted Miller notes that the Oregon vs LSU game is already sold out.

Dale Newton believes that the receiver position is one of the easier places for an incoming freshman to make a difference.


Monday, June 06, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
• Dale Newton has a good read over at his blog and cautions Duck fans not to get too cocky as we all enjoy these heady days of winning our conference two years running and going to the N.C. last year.

Oregon is riding high now and reaching higher. In Chip We Trust.  Until someone offers him six million dollars and a beautiful summer home on Hampton Beach.

Maybe he'll never leave.  Maybe the satisfaction of what he's built in Eugene will keep him there a long time.

This season, the Ducks could finish it.  Maybe, if everything goes right.  Or maybe the year after, when Darron Thomas is a senior, and the young defense and the offensive line have time to gel.

Do we have that much time before fate intervenes?  Because fate always intervenes.


Sunday, June 05, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Coach Kelly talks about the fund raising effort that took place at Emerald Lanes yesterday. More than $9,000 was raised to benefit the family of fallen Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilcullen. Video courtesy of KVAL.

• Dale Newton believes that Oregon fans shouldn't be too worried about the receiver position as Jefff Maehl left some big shoes to fill.

But the big question at receiver is a legitimate one: with Jeff Maehl gone, who do you throw to when you absolutely need a first down or a score?

The best answer may be the three-headed monster, the matchup nightmare at TE, Paulson, Williams and Lyerla. Big targets with soft hands, tough over the middle.


Saturday, June 04, 2011

Oregon Ducks 2010 Season Highlights - Video

How about a little OregonGridiron highlight video from last year on our first 80 degree day in Eugene this year. Good times.


Friday, June 03, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley reports the football team participated in two military style workouts the last few days.

On Tuesday morning, the UO football team met on the grass practice fields outside the Casanova Center for a workout that was part team building, part strength and conditioning, all under the watchful eyes of military-style drill instructors. There was more of the same Wednesday, except that the whole production was moved to Springfield’s Willamalane Park Swim Center, which was closed to the public for the workout from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Andy Mac notes that LaMichael James and Cliff Harris made another pre-season All-America Team, this time it was the Playboy version.

James was one of the two running backs and Harris was the all-purpose player on the 26-man team, which has been chosen by the iconic magazine since 1957.


Thursday, June 02, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Ted Miller examines Oregon's schedule for 2011 and believes the first two weekends in November will be the toughest for the Ducks.

Key stretch: The Ducks visit Washington and Stanford on back-to-back November weekends. The Huskies are bitter rivals and the Cardinal are the Ducks' chief competition -- from our preseason perspective -- for the division championship. The visit to Seattle could set up for a proverbial "looking ahead" game, but the hate Oregon fans have for Washington might prevent that.

 Andy Mac notes that Oregon picked up another television game this fall bringing the total to five so far.

The early Pac-12 football television selections for Fox Sports Net, Versus and FX were announced by the conference on Wednesday with FX picking up Oregon's home game vs. Nevada on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 12:30 p.m. PT.

 Dale Newton comnitues looking at possible 2012 recruits and likes what he sees in Ellis McCarthy.

McCarthy is a 6-5, 310-lb. sack monster from Monrovia High School in Monrovia California.  As a junior he had 53 tackles and 14 sacks, and he's being pursued by every top program in the country.

 George Schroeder has a good feature story on the waiting game Spencer Paysinger is playing due to the NFL lockout.

For concrete impact, though, here’s Paysinger. With his economics degree in hand, he went home after the BCS Championship game to prepare for a career.

“I’ve put everything outside of football on hold,” he says, and we shouldn’t blame him for trying — even after he wasn’t drafted.

But while all of pro football is on hold, no one feels the effect more than guys, like Paysinger, who just want to take their best shot.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Dale Newton takes a closer look at a talented defensive lineman from Honolulu, 6'7" 230lb. DeForest Buckner. Video highlights included.

Whatever Buckner may lack in raw speed (and he'd get faster and quicker working with the Oregon training staff) he makes up for in pursuit, desire and tenacity.  This kid is a football player, and would be a terrific addition to the 2012 recruiting class.

• The votes are in and the Pac-12 announced the winning logo for the inaugural football championship game, which just happens to be the logo I voted for.

Rob Moseley has been perusing the Twitter stream and has news that a few Ducks will have some interesting workouts this week.

• Recent QB commit, Jake Rodrigues, was at Stanford a couple of weeks ago for the Elite 11 Regional Camp and stole the show. Skip to 3:30 for the camp results portion of the video. The video will be the second one on the choices offered.