As usual, this was the Ducks’ Thursday pregame walk-through, in which they review offense, defense and special teams plays against the scouts at a slow tempo. So, no highlights to report. ... A dense fog hung over Autzen Stadium when the workout began, but it burned off over the course of the morning. … UO coach Mark Helfrich plans to be on site for at least a portion of ESPN’s “College GameDay” on Saturday morning. … Jake Pisarcik’s dad, former NFL quarterback Joe, and the parents of DeForest Buckner and Jake Fisher all were in attendance this morning.
■ Jonathan Hawthorne also had some thoughts on the practice yesterday.
■ Ken Goe has five questions for a Los Angeles area reporter who covers UCLA.
■ Dale Newton has key matchups for the game this weekend. and also wonders how De'Anthony will be used in his return to football this week.
■ Andrew Greif and Josh White preview the UCLA game.
■ Ted Miller has the UCLA vs Oregon game as the Pac-12 game of the week and tells you why.
■ Good story on Daryle Hawkins and how he goes the extra mile to balance school and football.
■ Kevin Gemmell lists what to watch in the Pac-12 this week and talks about the game at Autzen.
ESPN’s College Football GameDay will be in Oregon for the Bruins-Ducks showdown. While the Ducks' offense gets plenty of attention -- and rightfully so -- it’s that defense, allowing fewer than 18 points per game -- that has been equally spectacular, if not underappreciated. They’ll go against a UCLA offensive line that is young and a bit banged up. The Bruins scored a season-low 10 points in the loss last week to Stanford. Part of the decline has been the loss of running back Jordon James, who is questionable this week. In their last two weeks, per ESPN Stats & Information, UCLA backs have been hit at or behind the line of scrimmage on 60 percent of their designed runs. In the first four games they had nine rushes of 20 yards or more. In the past two games, zero. On the flip side, Oregon has had no trouble running the ball (332.4 yards per game), and should be bolstered by the expected return of De’Anthony Thomas.