Having to replace six starters on defense from the 2010 squad, Oregon was solid on defense in 2011 — and Jordan had a lot to do with it. Now two full seasons removed from his switch from tight end to defensive end, Jordan came on very strong in the second half of the year — notching six of his sacks in the final seven games of the season. The First-Team All-Pac-12 defensive end tied for fifth in the conference in tackles for a loss, while leading the Ducks in TFLs and in sacks.
• Ted Miller posts some Valentine wishes from Oregon fans.
• In honor of African-American history month BenzDuck tells the intriguing, and sad, story of former Oregon running back (circa 1931) Joe Lillard. Great read if you like Oregon athletics history.
• Mark Flores @FishDuck.com takes a closer look at 2013 Oregon commit, RB Thomas Tyner out of Aloha HS in the Portland area. Tyner was selected as Rivals top-rated RB in the 2013 class.
• Rob Moseley has some thoughts on the most intriguing redshirt freshmen entering spring practices and also includes links to other stories.
Entering spring practices would no doubt include a quarterback as well, Marcus Mariota, who I think has a legitimate shot to challenge sophomore Bryan Bennett for playing time as Oregon moves on following the departure of Darron Thomas. Other redshirt freshmen who figure to have a chance to make an impact in 2012 would include receivers Devon Blackmon, B.J. Kelley and Tacoi Sumler, tight end Christian French and defensive ends Koa Ka'ai and Sam Kamp, all of whom play at positions of need for the Ducks.
• Mark Schlaback @ESPN wonders if Bryan Bennett is ready to take control of Oregon's high-octane offense.
Bennett, a rising sophomore from Encino, Calif., doesn't have much of a choice, after former Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas surprised nearly everyone by turning pro after the 2011 season. Bennett played in eight games last season, completing 25 of 46 passes for 369 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. At least Oregon has a couple of replacements ready for departed tailback LaMichael James: De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner combined to run for more than 1,500 yards with 18 touchdowns last season.