Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

reverse image

reverse image

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Friday practice report.

There were no helmets on, but it was an up-tempo rehearsal of all the plays and potential substitution situations the Ducks might need against Nicholls, everything from the hands team for an onside kick to hustling out the field-goal unit in the final seconds after the offense spikes the ball with no timeouts left.

■ Jason Quick, Bob Laws and Dale Newton give you a preview of today's game, what to expect and what to watch for.

■ New logistics await fans and teams alike navigating in and around Autzen Stadium.

■ Some of the freshmen you'll likely see today on the field are working hard to stay ready.

■ Ken Goe looks at ways Oregon might utilize the talents of Thomas Tyner.

■ T-shirt vendors got a reprieve from the U of O after they reversed their decision to put a minimum royalty in place.

■ My game prediction: Oregon 69 - Nicholls St. 10. Uni's lots of white...

■ Ted Miller asks did you know?

-Oregon has been ranked in the preseason six consecutive years.
-Oregon RB/WR De'Anthony Thomas needs eight yards to reach 4,000 for his career.
-The Ducks’ No. 3 preseason ranking in both the AP and USA Today (coaches) polls matches the       program’s highest (2011) to start a season.
-Oregon’s string of five consecutive 10-win seasons (2008-present) is tied for eighth-most nationally in the modern era.

Kevin Gemmell has the number one pick for the Pac-12 top 25 players for 2013 and Marcus Mariota starts right off where he finished in 2012.

He ended 2012 as our No. 1, and we see no reason to penalize him for getting better in the off season. Yes, he should be even better in 2013. With an outstanding line and cast of players around him like De'Anthony Thomas, Colt Lyerla, Josh Huff and a surging Byron Marshall, expect Mariota to build off his incredible numbers that made him an All-American honorable mention last season. Look for the postseason accolades to increase as well.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Marcus Mariota and Colt Lyerla talk to the media fter practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Thursday practice report.

Today was a "mental day" on the practice schedule, essentially a walk-through of all the plays the Ducks plan to run against Nicholls on Saturday, and the various substitution scenarios they'll need to be aware of if certain situations arise.

■ Kevin Gemmell has his "what to watch in the Pac-12" on week one posted and there are a lot of Oregon mentions.

■ Hayden Kim compares the Ducks with Nicholls St. Personally, I don't think there is too much to compare.

■ Oregon football is a hot topic on BuzzFeed. No surprise there.

Predictions are starting to come in and basically there is no hope for Nicholls St.

■ Bruce Ely takes a closer look at the lifetime of preparation Mark Helfrich used to fuel his rise to head coach of the Ducks.

"He's an Oregon boy born and bred and if you're an Oregon boy you want to be the head coach of that university," [Andrew] Walter said. "As far as I'm concerned he's one of the few who gets to live that dream." 

He's the first to acknowledge the charmed nature of his full-circle career arc. He couldn't have planned it any better if he'd tried. 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

KEZI 2013 GameDay Preseason Special

Jake Zivin compares Mark Helfrich to his predecessor, and them goes one on one with Nick Aliotti and Josh Huff.


Morning Mud: Bonus Video

 ■ Scott Frost and Oshay Dunmore talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

KEZI looks at the new Autzen Stadium features awaiting fans attending the Nicholls St. game on Saturday.

Rob Moseley has your Wednesday practice report.

A team red-zone period really highlighted how dangerous the Ducks are due to the number and versatility of their offensive weapons. Given the dual-threat abilities of Marcus Mariota, De'Anthony Thomas, Byron Marshall, Colt Lyerla, Josh Huff and others, the Ducks have the ability to put the pressure on a defense, forcing them to process an endless variety of options in a split-second. ... Marshall continues to show a real propensity for catching the ball out of the backfield. Coaches have said he has the ability to do some of the all-purpose things Thomas can, and Marshall proved that at times today. ... Torrodney Prevot continues to learn the nuances of pass coverage, to complement his pass-rush abilities at SAM linebacker. He had a pass breakup today, for the second day in a row.

The Oregon football weekly release has posted giving you everything you need to know about the game on Saturday.

The true freshmen are eagerly waiting for Saturday.

■ Boseko Lokombo is the lone returner for the line backing corps and we think he'll have a better year than 2012.

Mark Flores has the latest in recruiting news.

■ Don Gilman wonders how far can Oregon go.

■ Jason Quick believes you get "nasty and nice" with Rodney Hardrick and Derrick Malone.

“We are trying to make everybody proud, and we feel like we have a lot riding on us. We are playing for our city, our families, this school. So there’s a lot of pride. But we are doing it together.’’ (says Derrick Malone)


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Nick Aliotti, Don Pellum, Derrick Malone and Rodney Hardrick talk to the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.

Mark Helfrich talks to the media in his Tuesday press conference before the first game.

GoDucksdotcom wants you to know that fall is almost here which means it's time for football!


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your practice report from yesterday.

Marcus Mariota had 1:10 and one timeout in which to march the offense 60 yards while facing a six-point deficit. He used the full array of weapons at his disposal, passing to Colt Lyerla, Keanon Lowe, Josh Huff, De'Anthony Thomas and Daryle Hawkins on the drive, and getting positive rushing yardage from Thomas, Huff and Mariota himself. Rodney Hardrick had a beautiful pass breakup at the goal line on the drive's penultimate play, but Huff followed with a "touchdown" for the offense

■ Nicholls St. hopes to be more competitive than there last game against a  Pac-12 team. (no chance)

Ted Miller wonders "who is really the best QB?" When it comes to the Pac-12 it's Marcus Mariota.

Bryan Holt has a BCS preview.

■ Charles Fisher wonders if all the BCS championship pices are finally in place for the Ducks.

■ Andrew Greif says Oshay Dunmore's switch to defense makes the LB corps even stronger.

Rob Moseley shares the new look of Autzens north side.

Dale Newton highlights the recruits who will be on hand for the season opener. Here is a sample:

Offensive tackle Sam Jones of the Littleton, Colorada Grizzlies is visiting Saturday when the Ducks take on Nicholls State. A 6-5, 275 pile-driver who's rated 4 stars by ESPN and 3 by the other services, Jones is a strong, agile linemen who can pull and get upfield. He can lift 435 in the squat and benches 345, picked First Team 5A All-State by the Denver Post.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your practice report for yesterday.

Highlights: The one chance for the ones to go head-to-head was FUJI to start the day, and Marcus Mariota marched the offense down the field, connecting with Josh Huff for a long completion to cap the drive. Marshall showed off his burst running between the tackles when the twos took the field. Mariota connected with De'Anthony Thomas for a long completion in a later team period, a rare misstep for the defense on this day.

A guy who stood out in particular was Erick Dargan; a starter late last season, Dargan is listed as a backup now that Avery Patterson is back, but Dargan isn't sulking. He made an explosive break on the ball to foil a pass during position drills, and later even took a rep as a scout in seven-on-seven. Tyson Coleman had a rep that showed off his improved comfort level at inside linebacker, blasting through the line and forcing a back to jump outside, into the arms of another defender.

■ Oregon announced their official depth chart yesterday.

■ If you are an ESPN Insider ($) you'll find a lot of familiar names on Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay's "picks and prospects" list.

■ Jason Quick gives you a sneak peek at Saturday's opponent Nicholls St.

ESPN and the Sporting News both have Stanford and Oregon as the top two teams in the Pac-12 conference power rankings.

ESPN: The Ducks are again a preseason top-five team and national title contender, with their North Division rivalry with Stanford becoming one of college football's must-see games. There are plenty of reasons to believe that new coach Mark Helfrich, stepping up from offensive coordinator, will maintain the juggernaut Chip Kelly built, including having just about all of Kelly's assistant coaches coming back. But there is certainty only in seeing it happen on the field. The Ducks do have an advantage in terms of schedule, with Stanford playing USC, UCLA and Arizona State, and Oregon missing the Trojans and Sun Devils. And Stanford doesn't play Colorado, either.


Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Gary Campbell, Hamani Stevens and Alejandro Maldonado talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Jackson Long tries to predict what kind of season is in store for Duck fans.

With a returning offense capable of ridiculous stats, expectations run high across the college football landscape for Oregon’s 2013 campaign.  New head coach Mark Helfrich and his team have set a high bar for themselves, and as is the natural tendency for sports fans everywhere, the Duck faithful also have soaring hopes for their team.

■ Jason Quick looks at the friendship that has grown between Marcus Mariota and Hroniss Grasu.

It’s difficult for either to pinpoint exactly when their relationship really started to  blossom, but it was sometime this summer, and somewhere between the greens of Eugene golf courses and the felt on the pool table at Grasu’s home.

“This relationship I’ve built with Hroniss is pretty special,’’ Mariota said. “It’s something that is going to last for the rest of my life.’’

Added Grasu: “We have become very close. We click very well.’’


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Andy McNamara (covering for Rob Moseley) has the practice report for yesterday.

Dior Mathis carried his strong fall camp into the first game-week practice, intercepting Jeff Lockie on one series of 7-on-7 and breaking up a Jake Rodrigues pass to Devon Allen on the next. Mathis is one of several Ducks with starting talent who happens to play at a deep position.

■ Mark Helfrich talked to reporters after practice and hinted at the depth chart which will officially be released tomorrow. Helfrich also talked about position battles and who will redshirt among the freshmen.

One of the most anticipated decisions of fall camp was announced when he said running back Thomas Tyner will not redshirt this season. Other freshmen who Helfrich said "will play" include LB Tyrell Robinson, LB Torrodney Prevot and TE Johnny Mundt.

Helfrich said he plans to redshirt: WR Darren Carrington, OL Elijah George, OL Doug Brenner, QB Damion Hobbs, QB Taylor Alie, DB Chris Seisay, DB Tyree Robinson and DB Juwaan Williams.

Madison Guernsey reports on Helfrich's comments on game planning for Nicholls State.

■ Victor Flores revisits the odd and brilliant career of Darron Thomas.

■ Andrew Greif says "what a difference a year makes for quarterback Marcus Mariota."

Dale Newton profiles safety Erick Dargan.

He doesn't say much. He's not much of an interview, not funny like Rahim Cassell or Yruretagoyena and Johnstone. He's serious, matter-of-fact. But Erick brings it on the field, all business. He's part of the reason why the 2013 defense will be a nasty, opportunistic, relentless turnover machine.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

2013 Oregon Football Fall Camp from OregonVideo on Vimeo.

The Oregon video department takes you through a typical day at fall camp with Tyler Johnstone and Andre Yruretagoyena and then recaps fall camp with a montage of actual footage.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Scott Frost talks about his adjustment to offensive coordinator and calling plays from the booth.

Dale Newton predicts big things for the Ducks this year.

Ultimately Oregon's success or failure won't be determined by the coach who left. It will be determined by the coaches who stayed and the 85 players who've learned to think and prepare like champions.

It's going to be the most wonderful, amazing year of football you have ever seen.

■ Jason Quick talks about the players who made a name for themselves in fall camp.

■ Dale Newton profiles Derrick Malone who is looking for a bigger role on the field this year.

■ Ryan Kostecka lists his top five offensive plays from the Chip Kelly era and then looks at the biggest offensive threats in the Pac-12 which include Marcus Mariota and De'Anthony Thomas.

The hybrid wide receiver/running back is known across the nation as one of the most explosive athletes in college football. Not only is he a threat any time he touches the football, he can score in so many ways.

After his first two years in Eugene, Thomas has scored running the ball, catching the ball, returning a punt and returning a kickoff for a touchdown. With LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner gone from Oregon, look for Thomas to get the ball even more, a scary thought for opposing defenses.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Nick Aliotti, Mark Helfrich, Byron Marshall and Brian Jackson talk to the media after the scrimmage yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has the latest from the scrimmage held yesterday to end fall camp and it sounds like Bralon read the complete story. Addison had a good day. Lots of good reading in the report about the young players so be sure to

Addison had been limited by some nagging injuries over the course of camp, as nearly everybody has. But he looked great today; he gets compared often to De'Anthony Thomas because of their all-purpose roles, but he's much more of a slippery, shifty runner, as opposed to Thomas' elite speed.

"I had a lot of fun out there today," Addison said. "I was just excited I got a chance to participate today."

■ Ryan Kostecka takes a look at the Oregon receiving corps compared to the rest of the Pac-12.

■ Jason Quick notes it's time for some decisions regarding the two deep, who redshirts and game planning for Nicholls St.

■ Sam Arney lists the five things he is looking forward to seeing in the first game.

■ Hayden Kim looks at Josh Huff's evolution to a team leader.

■ Ken Goe has a piece on head trauma in college football and the need to ensure the safety of the players.

Dale Newton profiles Avery Patterson and his long road back from an injury late last year.

Teammates marveled at the courage and determination he's shown in his comeback. All-league cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu told Gary Horowitz of the Statesman-Journal,  “He’s looking good. Coming off an injury, he prepared to come back better than anyone I’ve seen.”


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Boseko Lokombo and Tony Washington talk to reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley has your morning and afternoon practice report.
Morning Mud

Morning: It was a morning of extremes; mostly a lot of teaching periods, interspersed with some high-intensity clutch situations. Right off the bat, Alejandro Maldonado and Matt Wogan were summoned for surprise field-goal attempts, and each went 2-for-2. Then in the middle of the practice, a single third-down snap on which the offense came up just shy of the first-down marker. Edge, defense.

AfternoonAs far as highlights from inside practice, Helfrich said that, had today been a scored competition day, the offense would have won. They got the best of an 11-on-11 scenario noted below. And during the third-down seven-on-seven period, Marcus Mariota was ripping it up as usual, with completions of note to De'Anthony Thomas and Keanon Lowe. Two freshmen hooked up for a conversion, too, when Devon Allen hauled in a Damion Hobbs pass.

■ Dale Newton believes the d-line will get an early test from an experienced Tennessee offensive front.

Ted Miller has Oregon up in his best case worst case scenarios.

■ Kevin Gemmell believes the Pac-12 is closing the gap when it comes to perceptions about defense.

■ De'Anthony and Ifo made it on the All-Herbie team which was announced last night on ESPN.

■ Dale Newton looks back at 2008-2009 when Jeremiah Masoli was the QB of the high flying Duck offense.

Dwayne Stanford returned to practice after recovering from knee surgery.

Ken Goe wonders if Mark Helfrich will have the same success as Mike Bellotti and Chip Kelly after being promoted from offensive coordinator.

Darron Thomas signed a deal with indoor arena team the Lincoln Haymakers.

■ Ifo Ekpre-Olumu is #8 on ESPN's top 25 for the Pac-12.

Emerged as one of the premier defensive players in the country last year and was a turnover machine with his four picks and six forced fumbles. Now he comes into 2013 regarded by many as the top cornerback prospect in the country.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Everett BenyardAndre Yruretagoyena, De'Anthony Thomas and Tyler Johnstone talk to the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has the practice report for yesterday.

Most Entertaining: An 11-on-11 period to close the day, with the offense having the opportunity to drive the field. During the first possession, Marcus Mariota and De'Anthony Thomas put on an absolute show, seeming to trade big plays back and forth. The drill did end short of the end zone, however, and Matt Wogan made a 34-yard field goal. In his other two chances to direct drives, Mariota had one possession end on a pass broken up in the end zone by Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, then completed a touchdown pass to Daryle Hawkins on literally the last play of the day.

The Heisman Pundit likes Marcus Mariota and has him in the #2 spot on their top ten list.

The offensive juggernaut in Eugene is bound to produce a Heisman at some point and this could be the year. Mariota is coming off a spectacular freshman season where he produced 3,429 yards of total offense and 38 touchdowns. He should be even better in 2013, which means he’s likely to have the kind of numbers we've come to expect from recent Heisman winners. Mariota has good name recognition and he plays for a national title contending squad. He’s got early-season games against Virginia and Tennessee to give him some momentum (and some exposure on the East Coast) and late-season showdowns against Stanford and, potentially, in the Pac-12 title game, to help him seal the deal. Mariota should emerge as the Pac-12′s leading Heisman candidate.

■ David Piper @ATQ previews the running backs.

■ Erik McKinney believes CB Arrion Springs is Oregon's most important verbal commit recruit to date for 2014.

■ Jason Quick profiles Tyson Coleman.

■ The Sports Xchange previews Oregon heading into the start of the season.

Dustin Haines decidedly won the job as the holder on extra points and field goal attempts.

Mark Flores recaps the week in Oregon recruiting.

■ Chip Kelly chose Michael Vick as his starting QB over Nick Foles.

■ Dale Newton takes a closer look at safety Brian Jackson.

Jackson just quietly does his work, the janitor and night watchman in the secondary, a crunching tackler who has built his game through film study, hard work, and dedication in the weight room. He's smart. He's completed one degree and he's working on a second, a serious student in and out of football who stays connected to family in his hometown of Hoover, Alabama through telephone and text, with his younger brother through the Xbox headset.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Matt Lubick, Keanon Lowe and Josh Huff talk to reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley covers the action from the morning practice and the late practice yesterday.

Morning: Freshman cornerback Chris Seisay put on a little show in seven-on-seven. He was in coverage for a deep ball that was just a touch under thrown, and came up with the interception. Moments later he broke on an out route to break up a pass near the sideline. Then he had a receiver blanketed down the field, and the QB was careful not to under throw this one — so safety Tyree Robinson was able to swoop in and make an interception over the top.

AfternoonAs usual, the competition day was close entering the final period, an 11-on-11 scenario in which the offense had the chance to drive the field. Tyler Johnstone's pancake block to spring [De'Anthony] Thomas and a Jeff Lockie-directed drive that included a long pass to Devon Allen helped the offense keep it close. But the defense held on thanks in part to an interception by Arik Armstead — yes, the hulking defensive end — and a fumble recovery by Dior Mathis.

■ Will the Autzen sellout streak continue? Probably but you can do your part here.

■ Ryan Thorburn comments on the Ducks entering the dog days of fall camp.

Fox Sports 1 will be televising the opening game against Nicholls State. FS1 is channel 723 (HD) for local Comcast customers.

■ Coach Don Pellum is waiting for consistency from his inside linebackers.

■ Scott Frost has all the faith in the world in his running backs.

■ Jason Quick notes the punting job has narrowed to either Dylan Ausherman or Alejandro Maldonado.

■ Dale Newton profiles cornerback Terrance Mitchell.

“Confidence takes you a long way,” Mitchell said to Rob Moseley of the Register-Guard. “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.”

Terrance Mitchell's path isn't completed. The attention given to others, the notoriety of being a star athlete in a small college town, the pressure of high expectations, the trivial irritation of being relatively overlooked, none of that phases him. He just wants to win and compete.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Dale Newton believes Ifo Ekpre-Olumu has a date with the first round of the NFL draft next year.

Secondary coach John Neal likes safeties who can cover and set the tone physically for a defense. Pat Chung, Keith Lewis, John Boyett, T.J. Ward,  Matthew Harper,  they could all find the football and make things miserable for receivers over the middle.

Every one of those guys went on to play in the NFL. And Ifo Ekpre-Olomu might be better than any of them.

■ Here's a closer look at Oregon prospect Tony James.

■ Alex Shoemaker looks at reserve cornerback Troy Hill.

In 2012, Hill appeared in 10 games for the Ducks and saw a dip in production due to Ekpre-Olomu taking a firm hold of the second starting CB position. Hill finished the season with 26 tackles (22 unassisted, four assisted), one tackle for loss, five pass deflections and one interception that went for 29 yards and a touchdown. It was Hill’s first collegiate touchdown.

Going into the 2013 season, Hill will continue to play behind Mitchell and Ekpre-Olomu, but will see extensive playing time as a reserve.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Ricky Havili-Heimuli and Hroniss Grasu talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has the inside info on yesterday's practice.

Most entertaining period: The clutch drill at the end, in which the team was split into two squads, one needing to protect a lead and one needing to come from behind. The drill was run a couple times, once with one squad protecting a two-point lead, and Matt Wogan made a 38-yard field goal to bring his side back. The other side still had a chance to turn the tables, but Tyree Robinson broke up a pass and Rahim Cassell hauled in the tipped ball to end the drill.

With the scenario changed to make it a six-point difference, the No. 1 offense ended up having to punt with time left on the clock. The twos drove down near the red zone thanks in part to the sure hands of Eric Dungy, some nice running by Kenny Bassett and a great catch of a bobbled ball by Devon Allen. But ultimately, the scenario ended without a comeback.

Oregon found itself sitting in the #3 spot on the initial AP poll.

■ Mark Helfrich paid his respects to the Campbell family and received an unexpected surprise in return.

■ Jason Quick wonders if the kicking game will be a platoon operation this year.

■ Dale Newton wonders what kind of year DE Christian French will have.

If French follows up his great Spring Game with growing consistency and results on the field this fall, the Oregon defense could have a breakout monster coming off the edge in the 3/4-4/3 defense.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Marcus Mariota tops the Pac-12 in ESPN's latest Heisman Watch heading into the season.'s initial "Heisman Watch" poll has been published, and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota leads four Pac-12 players who made the list. 

Mariota ranked fifth, behind South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel -- the 2012 winner, you might have heard -- and Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron.

■ Ryan Thorburn tries to predict the initial AP poll heading into the 2013 season and has Oregon in the #4 spot.

■ Oregon sophomore Tanner Faris lays out what it takes to be an Oregon superfan.

■ Oregon is weighing their options when it comes to video game licensing.

■ ESPN has released its 2013 preseason All-America team where you'l find Marcus Mariota, De'Anthony Thomas and Ifo Ekpre-Olumu.

■ Dale Newton wonders how good can Boseko Lokombo be in his senior year.

Reporting from Oregon practice Thursday, Rob Moseley of wrote, "During pass-rush drills, the offensive line held its ground on reps by Everett Benyard, Karrington Armstrong and Jake Pisarcik. But Boseko Lokombo was absolutely unblockable, no matter who he went against."

The Ducks need Bo to be unblockable more often. If he does that, the limit is not even the limit, for him or his defense.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, De'Anthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Who will be the next "insert name here" Football? Could it be Marcus or De'Anthony? Maybe.

Within the Pac-12, there aren't many dark-horse candidates. There are some front-runners who immediately come to mind: Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas.

Rob Moseley has yesterday's practice report.

■ Sports Illustrated released their preseason poll yesterday and have the Ducks in the number five spot?

■ Dale Newton wonders if Tyson Coleman can take it to the next level.

■ Rob Moseley highlights the Portland standouts on the roster.

Is Byron Marshall ready for the spotlight?

■ Josh White looks at the stable of speedy Oregon receivers.

■ De'Anthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota both make ESPN's Heisman list.

■ De'Anthony is within several Oregon records this year.

Sad news from the Campbell household.

■ Jimmy Sherfy got a promotion yesterday after his efforts with the Hillsboro Hops.

■ Ted Miller has posted his Oregon season preview.

Oregon is again loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and poised for a Pac-12 and national title run. 

That starts on offense with quarterback Marcus Mariota, who was brilliant as a redshirt freshman starter in 2012, ranking seventh in the nation in passing efficiency. He's a top Heisman Trophy candidate, as is his best weapon, running back/receiver De'Anthony Thomas.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Scott Frost, Jeff Lockie and Jake Rodrigues talk to the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley reports on yesterday's practice sessions, the morning session is here and the afternoon session is here.

Morning : With no pads on, it was a session heavy on teaching and installation. The offense did two late periods of second-and-long, to reinforce all the reps they did in that situation during the scrimmage. Special teams included punt return and kickoff coverage.

Afternoon: After what head coach Mark Helfrich deemed a somewhat sluggish scrimmage Tuesday — he wanted to see a more physical team out there — the coach seemed to consider today's two workouts a bounce-back for the Ducks. Perhaps the fact this afternoon was a competition day got their attention. As is typically the case, the competition day came down to the final few reps, with the defense holding off the offense for a 25-24 victory.

The Register Guard found a replacement for Oregon football coverage formerly held by Rob Moseley.

■ Andrew Greif talks about the backup QB competition.

■ Luc Hancock talks about the players making the biggest impression at fall camp.

Marcus Mariota found himself on the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated.

■ Hayden Kim talked to Gary Campbell about Byron Marshall and his progress this year.

“So I think just being in the program and getting some playing time from last year has helped him to come in with more confidence and that’s another key,” Campbell said. “When a guy is confident, then his talents show because he’s got the feel for everything and he can do the things that he’s good at athletically.”


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Pharaoh Brown talks about his injury and then Nick Aliotti and Marcus Mariota talk about practice. Videos courtesy of the RG and KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Kevin Gemmell talks with Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olumu about high expectations.

■ Ted Miller pegs De'Anthony Thomas as #14 in the Pac-12 top 25 for 2013.

Oregon’s hybrid could end up No. 1 on the postseason list. Or he could end up unranked like last season. But like last year, it won't be a reflection of what kind of player Thomas is -- we know what kind of a player he is. It’s the fact that he’s so tough to categorize that makes putting him in a traditional ranking so difficult. There are better “true” wide receivers in the conference -- though not many. There are better “true” running backs in the conference -- though not many. Thomas falls into a no-man’s land, where he gobbles up yards per carry, scores per touch and "SportsCenter" highlights. He’s that rare player that can make a short run riveting while bucking the old stereotype that you have to run forward to return a punt for a touchdown. With Kenjon Barner gone, his role in the running game is likely to increase this year. We don’t know how the season is going to end up for Thomas. We just know we’re going to have a lot of fun watching it play out.

■ Practice didn't go so well for freshman RB Thomas Tyner yesterday.

Rob Moseley has a complete practice report.

Colt Lyerla hopes he gets more touches this year.

■ Dale Newton would like to see Oregon offer the "fastest player in college football" a scholarship.

■ Erik McKinney calls Budda Baker a "must have" recruit for Oregon.

Mark Flores offers his recruiting update.

■ Don Gilman believes the Duck's dream of a championship stands at a pivotal moment.

Ted Miller tallies up the totals where you'll find Oregon on top of his "positional reviews."

■ Rob Moseley reports Joe Walker is making his presence known at inside linebacker.

“He’s not a real flashy kind of guy,” said Grant Thompson, Walker’s weight-lifting partner and fellow UO linebacker. “After he makes a big play – which he does quite a bit – you don’t see him celebrate and go crazy.

“He doesn't need to draw attention to himself to show he’s a great player, and that’s how you earn respect around here. He’s a quiet kind of guy, but he lets his play do the talking.”


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Ron Aiken, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead talk to the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Mark Helfrich talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.

■ Practice reports from Rob Moseley on the morning and afternoon sessions.

MorningGetting the chance now to watch Marcus Mariota not just on Saturdays but each day in practice is something I won't take for granted. During seven-on-seven this morning, he was as locked-in as you can be. Three completions to Eric Dungy, another to Daryle Hawkins, and a rifled screen that was deftly hauled in by Thomas Tyner, who spent a series of the drill with the ones. There was also a nifty short pass to De'Anthony Thomas who made for the sideline and then, just as Ifo Ekpre-Olomu arrived to make the "tackle," deftly cut back and was off to the races.

AfternoonAmong the one-on-one drills was pass coverage for the linebackers. Derrick Malone and Boseko Lokombo had interceptions, Danny Mattingly stuck tight on Kani Benoit, and Brett Bafaro ran almost step for step with Thomas Tyner, who still managed to make the catch. There was also pass-rush for the linemen, with Jake Fisher and Taylor Hart having a spirited battle, and Arik Armstead and Andre Yruretagoyena engaging in another.

Andrew Greif talks about the long competition for starting jobs.

■ Alex Hausman believes the Pac-12 looks rougher this year but the Ducks look tougher.

Brian Flinn explains a new passing scheme in the Oregon arsenal.

■ TE Pharoah Brown left the afternoon practice session yesterday with a cast. Not good new at all.

■ Chip Kelly made a trade for Jeff Maehl yesterday which makes six ex-Ducks on the Eagle roster and a sneak preview of what the Eagle offense might look like this year with CK at the helm.

■ Dale Newton has a good piece on Marcus Mariota titled, "Aloha Means Touchdown."

And when things break down or the defense overcommits, Mariota can make a big play with his feet. He's a great judge of when to run and when to keep a play alive, making the defense defend one more player, a 6-4, laser-armed passer who also has the ability to run for 80 yards and a score.

He's a freakish combination of intelligence, leadership, maturity and ability, and the perfect triggerman for the Oregon offense.

Captain Comeback [Joey Harrington] thinks so. He called him "scary good."


Monday, August 12, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Jason Quick believes the Ducks' defensive line has what it takes to be remembered for a long time to come.

“I’m not going to anoint anybody the best this, or the best that, but if our guys play the way they are capable of playing, we will be very, very good up front,’’ [Nick] Aliotti said. “I don’t ever like to say that until it’s all over with, but you look at the guys ... all of them played for us last year and played well.’’

■ Andrew Greif talks about the the first day of daily doubles now that it's in the books.

■ Jackson Long shares his thoughts on Mark Helfrich's first season as head coach.

■ Dale Newton takes a look at the first week of fall camp.

Key veterans are already making plays, showing the leadership and ability the Ducks are counting on in a year expectations are unlimited. Ranked number three in the country in preseason polls like the USA Today/Coaches, part of the BCS formula, the team will also need some big contributions from a few newcomers to live up to their promise.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Oregon Highlights vs USC 11/3/2012

■ Last day of our yearly camping trip so enjoy the highlights as Oregon beats USC in their own backyard. I'll be back tomorrow with regular posts.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Oregon Highlights vs Colorado 10/27/2012

■ We are on our yearly camping trip for the next few days so enjoy the highlights as Oregon thoroughly dismantles a helpless Colorado team. I'll be back with regular posts Monday morning.


Friday, August 09, 2013

Oregon Highlights vs Arizona St. 10/18/2012

■ We are on our yearly camping trip for the next few days so enjoy the highlights as Oregon travels to the desert to thrash the Wildcats. I'll be back with regular posts Monday morning.


Thursday, August 08, 2013

Oregon Highlights vs Washington 10/6/2012

■ We are on our yearly camping trip for the next few days so enjoy the highlights as Oregon takes down the Dawgs once again. I'll be back with regular posts Monday morning.


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Mark Helfrich talks with the media after day two of practice.

Andy Mac and Jason Quick break down their day two assessment.

Andy: Eric Dungy makes the highlights blurb for a second straight day thanks to a sliding catch in the end zone, capped off by a celebratory side bump with De'Anthony Thomas. As in past years, Dungy’s hands will always make him a regular contributor to the practice highlight reel. Jeff Lockie hooked up with Blake Stanton on a nice throw and catch with Stanton finding an opening between two defenders to make the grab. Freshman wide receiver Devon Allen did a nice job of breaking up a would-be interception by Dior Mathis on an underthrown ball.

Who will be the ultimate victor in the Pac-12? My Magic 8 Ball says Oregon.

"Stanford and Oregon have absolutely earned the right to be up there on top of the list, and everybody else has to go after that challenge," UCLA coach Jim Mora said.

■ Bryan Holt looks at Oregon's three-headed offensive monster that opposing defenses have to face.

■ Mark Flores has the latest on recruiting.

■ Dale Newton would you like to meet the new boss.

Helfrich said he wasn't concerned about pressure or putting his own stamp on the program. "If I'm just known as the coach who kept winning after Chip Kelly left, I'm fine with that." He said he's spoken to The Visor several times over the last few months, and the main advice the parting head coach gave him was the same advice Kelly got from Mike Bellotti: "Be yourself."

■ Andrew Greif says, "led by Avery Patterson, the last line of defense is formidable."

"I know a lot of people are going to play in the secondary, I don't know where at," he said. "I just know every time I'm on the field I'm going to make a play. Hopefully, that will keep me on the field, make them want to keep me on the field." 


Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Byron Marshall, Brian Jackson, Jake Fisher, Daryle Hawkins and De'Anthony Thomas talk to the media during the Oregon Media Day even yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Mark Helfrich and Marcus Mariota talk to the assembled reporters during yesterday's Media Day.

■ Andy McNamara provides his take on the first day of practice.

Outside of a few new faces, the schedule, pace and drills remained basically identical to recent years … As previously reported, incoming freshman running back Thomas Tyner is indeed fast, but more impressive to me was how quick his feet are and his ability to accelerate into and out of cuts … Freshman offensive lineman Doug Brenner, the younger brother of UO four-sport student-athlete Liz Brenner, took some snaps at center … It was great to see the leadership of veteran receivers Josh Huff and Keanon Lowe, coaching up newcomers Chris Tewhill and Devon Allen. The WR unit is Oregon’s most experienced group on offense … The size and athleticism on Oregon’s defensive line is a sight to behold.

Sports Illustrated takes a closer look at Oregon's uniforms. Style and substance.

The Oregon Ducks’ football uniforms are sort of the original trendsetter in the category, taking uniforms from an obligatory piece of function to a key component in an overall branding strategy.

De'Anthony Thomas talks about his summer, expectations and his new pet iguana.

■ Cameron Pettus explains the "cover zero" defense Oregon uses when our opposition is close to scoring.

■ Dale Newton would like to see a little more personality during player interviews.

■ Ted Miller has Colt Lyerla and #20 in his Pac-12 Top 25 for 2013.

Lyerla is versatile, and the Ducks like to use him all over the field -- split out, on the line, and even in the backfield as a lead blocker or ball carrier. At 6-5, 250, he's a mismatch in coverage and when he goes over the middle, he can completely change a defenses' game plan. His understated performance against Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl -- three catches for 52 yards -- completely changed the way K-State had to play defense. Expect high marks and postseason honors for Lyerla in 2013.


Monday, August 05, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Aaron Fentress and Scott Reed look closer at first year offensive coordinator Scott Frost and speculate on how well he might fare at his new job as fall camp starts today.

Fentress: New coach and former offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said Frost earned the opportunity during the spring when he called the majority of plays.

"He's a bright guy, sharp guy, who has done a really good job taking control of that role," Helfrich said. "He's somebody that I trust wholeheartedly as I do the other coaches."

Reed: Expect this offense to be very similar in their productivity as they were under Kelly. Frost is a very smart young coach that understands the principles of the blur offense; get teams out of position; get them tired; make their minds cloudy and strike.

■ Victor Flores looks at how Oregon tries to minimize the impact of injuries.

■ Dale Newton calls Daryle Hawkins a valued role player.

It's also an invaluable resource for the coaches to have a player that understands every aspect of the offense, able to fill in in an emergency in a number of spots, and serve as a leader and an example in a group of young receivers. It's impossible not to root for Daryle Hawkins, either as a football player or a person.


Sunday, August 04, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Aaron Fentress previews the running back position and features Byron Marshall.

As a true freshman last season he rushed for 447 yards and four touchdowns on 87 carries (5.1 yards per carry average) while displaying a strong knack for running both inside and outside.

He has enough speed to be a home run threat while also carrying enough bulk (201 pounds) to pound the ball inside.

■ Dale Newton gives us a closer look at incoming freshman wide receiver Darren Carrington.

In Darren's senior year he caught 51 passes for 902 yards and 12 touchdowns, ran 36 times for 202 yards and two more, even played quarterback and safety on the way to becoming CalHi all-state and all-CIF San Diego section. He'd made the varsity as a freshman, caught 37 passes for 825 yards and 10 tds as a sophomore.

■ Marcus Mariota has been named to the Manning Award watch list, awarded since 2005 to the nation’s top college QB.

Mariota is one of just three sophomores named -- though the award reserves the right to add names to the list after the season's start.

The 10 finalists will be announced Nov. 27 and the winner Jan. 8 in order to include the quarterbacks’ bowl performances. Media voters, a separate panel and Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning will choose the winner.


Saturday, August 03, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Mark Helfrich sits down with Ted Miller to talk about expectations for the 2013 season.

Josh White believes Oregon's big receivers just might make the difference in 2013.

Don’t look now, but with 13 players on scholarship, the Ducks appear to have some serious size and speed to work with at the receiver position in 2013 and beyond.  Over the past few recruiting cycles, a focus of the Oregon coaching staff has been finding players who can help improve production in the passing game.  Who will stand out among this group?

■ Madison Guernsey chooses her top special team plays of the last decade.

■ Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich held a brief conference call yesterday and is excited to start preseason camp on Monday.

Dale Newton takes a closer look at one of the top running back recruits in the nation, Joe Mixon, who has expressed an interest in Oregon as well as many other schools.

How will the new targeting rule be implemented this year?

Here's a quick update on how returning Ducks are doing in the summer baseball leagues.

■ Aaron Fentress previews the wide receivers and highlights Bralon Addison.

As a true freshman, Addison caught 22 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns. Modest numbers to be sure, but most of his touches displayed his smooth route running abilities, supreme confidence, sure hands and big-play potential.


Friday, August 02, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Pretty sweet compilation of some great Oregon moments courtesy of the SeanGshow.

■ Offensive Coordinator Scott Frost will ultimately be calling the plays this year but it will still be a group effort.

"My goal honestly should be, for the average fan or the person that knows a lot about football, to not be able to tell an ounce of difference from what we've been running and what we run now," Frost said Thursday from his spacious new office in the Ducks' Football Performance Center.

■ Ted Miller previews the safety position for the Pac-12 where you will find Oregon in the "great shape" category.

The Ducks welcome back Erick Dargan and Brian Jackson, but Avery Patterson is back from injury, so expect him to break back into the starting lineup. Again, this might be the nation's best secondary.

■ Hayden Kim outlines the anatomy of a kick.

Dale Newton points out Jake Fisher was involved in some heads-up plays last year.

The first USA Today coaches' poll was released yesterday and Oregon came in at #3.

■ ESPN takes you behind the scenes at HGI Graphics to see how they make some of the best helmets in college football and they're a local firm based in Newberg, OR.

■ Aaron Fentress previews the linebacker position where you'll find rising star Tyson Coleman.

In the Ducks' 3-4 scheme, the inside linebackers are expected to both fill holes and chase down ball carriers laterally. No Oregon linebacker is better equipped to do both than Coleman, who last year had 34 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks.