Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Alamo Bowl: Oregon Highlights vs Texas



Here you go Duck fans, all the best Oregon offensive, defensive and special team plays from the game against Texas yesterday. Enjoy.

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Morning Mud: Bonus Video







Nick Aliotti, Mark Helfrich and Marcus Mariota talk with the media after the game last night. Video courtesy of KEZI and DuckFBNews.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud



ESPN shares their recap of the game as Oregon rolls over Texas 30-7.

■ Beating Texas was fun but I was a little underwhelmed by the play and play calling of the offense and left with more questions than answers. Will De'Anthony be back and if so why wasn't he used more? Red zone play concerns, QB concerns if Marcus isn't healthy, Helfrich isn't Kelly and it showed and my list goes on but I will take the win and get on to the links.

Andrew Greif gives Avery Patterson and Nick Aliotti we ll deserved credit; Jason Quick also liked the play of the defense; Josh Huff broke a long standing Oregon receiving record and went out in style; Victor Flores says Oregon had a huge quarterback advantage; Rob Moseley credits Marcus Mariota, Nick Aliotti, Mark Helfrich and has a post game notebookCharles Fisher shares his thoughts; Dale Newton liked the defensive effort; John Canzano has a lot of questions for DAT (good read); Beth Maiman liked the play of Marcus Mariota and the defense; coverage wraps up with articles from The New York Times, ESPN and GoDucks.com.

■ Game photos from Michael Arellano and Ryan Kang (part two here,) and Thomas Boyd.

■ I will be back later today with my regular highlight video of the game so stay tuned.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Oregon vs Texas Motivational

2013 Oregon vs Texas Motivational from OregonVideo on Vimeo.

It's time to bring it. Video courtesy of OregonVideo. Finish it!

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Alamo Preview - Mac & Mose



Andy McNamara and Rob Moseley discuss the Valero Alamo Bowl and the 2013 Ducks football season. Video courtesy of GoDucksdotcom.

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Morning Mud: Bonus Video



■ Here is a little video to get you pumped up for the Alamo Bowl. Compilation courtesy of robbie p.



Here is the full pregame news conference held by Mack Brown and Mark Helfrich yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.



■ GoDucksdotcom provides some entertaining footage shot at Rudy's BBQ following the pep rally.



■ Warren Williamson and Joey McMurry talk about retirement of Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti and the match-up between the Oregon defense and Texas offense.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Jason Quick says it will be power against speed at the Alamo Bowl today and has all the details about watching the game. Jason also predicts an Oregon victory.

It’s no secret Texas wants to run the ball, especially after watching the likes of Stanford, Arizona and Oregon State shred the Ducks’ defense in November. Although the Longhorns have a bruising back in 225-pound Malcolm Brown, their offensive line has been thinned by injury.

Getting a lead could be important for the Ducks, in order to force erratic Texas quarterback Case McCoy to throw.

Oregon has some injury concerns, most notably leading tackler, linebacker Derrick Malone, who as of Saturday wasn't practicing because of a knee issue, but the unit figures to play an inspired game in defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti’s final game.

■ Andrew Greif lists his five things to watch for in today's game.

■ Rob Moseley and John Canzano have a few thoughts on the press conference Mack Brown and Mark Helfrich attended yesterday.

■ Andrew Greif wonders what the backup QB's future plans are now that Marcus Mariota has declared he will be returning next year.

■ Ryan Kang and Michael Arellano took some photos during the kickoff luncheon yesterday and a visit to a local food bank.

■ Mark Helfrich had nothing but praise for outgoing defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti during the press conference yesterday.

“As I said the other day, Nick’s contributions have been – you can’t overstate them enough, and I think that’s the best way to put it of his contributions on and off the field have been immeasurable,” Helfrich said.

■ My prediction: Oregon 38 - Texas 24

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video







Marcus Mariota and Scott Frost talk about Marcus' knee and then Don Pellum and Ricky Havili-Heimuli talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.



Molly Blue provides the full press conference from yesterday.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Saturday practice report and closed with these thoughts.

Oregon's run defense, which took its lumps against Stanford and Arizona late in the season, figures to be tested again Monday by Texas.

Like concerns about the Ducks' motivation, concerns about the run defense won't have a chance to be put to rest until the game, regardless of what the Ducks might say beforehand.

"We've addressed what we thought we needed to address," Pellum said. "We won't know until Monday."

Linebacker Boseko Lokombo said the solution is simple.

"We just need to hit," Lokombo said. "That's the bottom line."

■ Ryan Kang shows us pictures of the helmets to be worn tomorrow and the field painting at the Alamo Bowl is complete.

■ It will be hard to fill Nick Aliotti's shoes and it seems everyone has an opinion including Ken Goe, John Canzano, Jason Quick and Dale Newton.

■ Photos from the pep rally last night are here and here. Looks like good times.

Jason Quick says being rested and healthy will be a big plus for Oregon especially when it comes to Marcus Mariota. Rob Moseley and Beth Maiman also add their views.

Andrew Greif talks about the possibility of Scott Frost leaving Oregon for a head coaching job. Good read.

■ Phil Steele has Oregon beating Texas by three.

Josh Huff has the chance to break several long standing records at Oregon tomorrow.

Huff is coming off perhaps the best game of his career, when he had a career-high nine catches for 186 yards and three touchdowns against Oregon State. His 12-yard touchdown catch with 29 seconds left proved to be the winning play in the Ducks’ 36-35 victory.

Now, his teammates would like to see him go out not only with a victory, but with some records.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video





Brian Jackson interviews Nick Aliotti in the first video and might have a future after football. The second video is the complete announcement from Aliotti. Video courtesy of DuckFBNews and KEZI.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud



■ KEZI followed the team yesterday and covers topics from the Nick Aliotti announcement, NFL decisions and visiting Sea World.

Here is the official announcement from Mark Helfrich and GoDucks.com.

■ More thoughts on Aliotti's decision from his players, Ted Miller, former head coach Mike Bellotti, Rob Mullens and Rob Moseley. Here is a comment from Ted Miller:

While the Ducks have been known more for their offense during their rise to the nation's elite, Aliotti consistently put together defenses that ranked highly in the Pac-12 and nation, particularly when you went beyond obvious statistics -- such as yards per game -- and used more advanced metrics that accounted for the Ducks offense having no interest in time of possession. 

Aliotti will be missed, as a coach and a personality.

■ Michael Arellano continues his photo countdown to the Alamo Bowl and pays homage to the student section at Autzen Stadium.

■ Eric Evans shot some photos at Sea World yesterday as several select players attended.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video



KEZI shows you how the Ducks spent the last couple of days in and around San Antonio. From practice to getting the field ready, a visit with wounded warriors, and catching a NBA game.



■ Tyler Johnstone quizzes some folks visiting the Alamo with a little Duck trivia.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Andrew Greif was in attendance for a short window of open practice yesterday at a local high school.

Media were invited to watch the first 10 minutes of the practice, held at a local high school, and in the time the Ducks held two, five-minute periods, with quarterbacks throwing to receivers at one end, defenders practicing stripping the ball for fumbles at the other, and UO’s customary blaring soundtrack playing over it all.

■ Beth Maiman and Victor Flores also attended and add some additional thoughts and a short video clip.

■ Michael Arellano, Ryan Kang and GoDucks.com shot some practice photos yesterday.

Dale Newton believes winning the game against Texas begins by not losing bowl week. Dale also compares Texas and Oregon on paper to try and figure out who will win the game.

■ Andrew Greif compares bowl week preparations between Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich and can't find many differences.

■ Brian Jackson got to meet a childhood friend on Wednesday after a two year separation.

■ Nine members of the team visited Brooke Army Medical Center's Center for the Intrepid yesterday to pay tribute to some wounded warriors.

"For them to see somebody like this group come in, it's uplifting for them," Mark Phillips said.

Turns out, though, he could have just as easily been talking about the players, too.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud



KEZI was on hand to document Oregon's arrival in San Antonio yesterday.

■ Rob Moseley also adds a busy schedule for the Ducks in preparation for the Alamo Bowl on Monday.

■ Ryan Kang continues the photo countdown to the Alamo Bowl with a look at Autzen Stadium.

 Dale Newton discounts Stewart Mandel's prediction of doom for Oregon against Texas.

■ ATQ looks at all the stats to figure out a winner for the Alamo Bowl.

The current spread is Oregon -14. That is what should happen if Oregon plays to their level. I just don't see that happening, especially given that it's essentially a home game for Texas, it's Mack Brown's last game and we've not demonstrated a turnaround. If I were a betting man, I'd take Texas and the points. I still think we win, but I think it's a lot closer than 14.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Merry Christmas to everyone who regularly visits or maybe just stopped by for a little Ducks news. Enjoy the day with your loved ones.

Victor Flores compares the Texas and Oregon special teams unit.

Advantage Oregon. Texas’ major kicking advantage can’t make up for its deficiencies in every other area. Losing Johnson only solidifies Oregon’s edge on special teams.

■ Michael Arellano continues his photo countdown to the Alamo Bowl and takes a closer look at Hroniss Grasu and the offensive line.

Steve Summers lays out the itinerary for the Ducks leading up to the Alamo Bowl as they travel to San Antonio today.

■ ESPN has a fun piece as several of their bloggers "flipped" conferences to gain a little perspective outside of their normal conferences. Heather Dinich came to Eugene from the ACC Conference and took in the Utah game.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video



GoDucksdotcom posted this Civil War motivational video yesterday that was shown to the team just prior to the game.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Beth Maiman compares the quarterbacks for Texas and Oregon.

Advantage Oregon. Looking at statistics and game performance, Marcus Mariota is an overall better quarterback than McCoy. Oregon is ranked No. 20 in the nation for passing yards, while Texas stands at No. 72.

■ Michael Arellano continues his photo countdown to the Alamo Bowl and talks mascots and includes one of his photos of "Puddles."

■ Andrew Greif has a bittersweet story on Gary Campbell and life lessons.

Charles Fisher analyzes the Texas offense and explains what they might bring to San Antonio to face the Ducks.

■ GoDucks.com has the weekly release posted for the game against Texas where you can learn all you need to know about the game next Monday.

■ Sophomores Garrett Cleavinger and Cole Irvin have been named to Louisville Slugger’s Preseason All-America Third Team Collegiate Baseball Newspaper announced yesterday.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Victor Flores compares the running backs for Oregon and Texas.

Advantage Oregon. Even with a healthy [Jonathan] Gray, Texas’ running backs aren't nearly as consistent or explosive as Oregon’s Marshall-Tyner-Thomas combo.

■ Michael Arellano has day eight of the photo countdown until the Alamo Bowl and turns his camera on the defense.

ESPN reports three Texas players have been ruled academically ineligible to play in the Alamo Bowl.

■ Nathan Roholt looks at a couple of options to make the football program more valuable.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video





Good motivational video for the Alamo Bowl and a few players from the men's basketball team get their Elf Me video done.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Joel Gunderson says perspective is needed on the two loss season.

Will Mark Helfrich be the next Chip Kelly?  Who knows.  Kelly went 10-3 his first year, Helfrich can go 11-2.  He has more talent around him, sure, but Kelly didn’t have the competition that Oregon faces now.  There was no David Shaw, Rich Rodriguez or Mike Leach.  While Oregon has gotten better, so has everyone else.  I would say 11-2 looks pretty good from here.

■ Richard Kolbell picked out twelve his photos from the 2013 season to show you Mark Helfrich's range of emotions.

■ A.J. Jacobson talks about the influence Budda Baker's mom had on his commitment to Oregon.

■ Michael Arellano talks about Marcus Mariota on his photo countdown to the Alamo Bowl.

■ Beth Maiman looks at how the wide receivers stack up to each other between and Oregon and Texas and gives the Ducks the advantage.

Just from a statistical standpoint Oregon is certainly a bigger threat in the pass game. The Ducks’ receivers are faster and have proven throughout the season they can ignite the team with big plays. With a healthy Marcus Mariota at quarterback, Oregon’s passing game should flourish like it did in the beginning of the season.

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video





Mark Helfrich talks to the media after practice and the women's basketball team poses for an "elf me" video. Video courtesy of KEZI and GoDucksdotcom.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Friday practice report.

Highlights: The play of the day was by Keanon Lowe, who, already winded after an 11-on-11 period with the offense, sprinted down the field on kickoff coverage, blew up a scout-team blocker and made the play. It was an example of relentless effort, and nobody brings that on a more consistent basis than Lowe. … B.J. Kelley hauled in touchdown passes from Marcus Mariota and Jake Rodrigues during team drills, and both Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner showed off their burst with long runs between the tackles. …

The day ended with an overtime scenario in which the twos bested the ones. Mariota got the No. 1 offense a chunk of yards with a pass to Josh Huff, but two plays later he was intercepted in the end zone by Erick Dargan. A Jeff Lockie completion to Blake Stanton and some Tyner rushing yards then put the No. 2 offense into field-goal range, and Eric Solis made the short kick.

Seth Prince shares Oregon's newest uniforms which will debut in the Alamo Bowl.

Dale Newton takes an in depth look at five star "athlete" Budda Baker from Washington, considered to be the sixth best athlete in the country who committed to Oregon yesterday.

■ Jason Quick talks about a few of the younger players making a name for themselves in recent bowl practices.

■ Victor Flores compares Texas and Oregon's secondaries.

■ Taylor Hart had to call an audible when the December snow changed his proposal plans.

■ Oregon is ranked #6 in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll.

Oregon returns six starting position players off the 2013 team, which finished 48-16 and advanced to the NCAA Regionals, as well as all three weekend starters on the mound. Overall, UO returns 12 position players, 11 of 15 pitchers, and two redshirts who could start while boasting one of the top recruiting classes in the country.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video



KEZI takes a look at the impact Marcus Mariota has had in his home state of Hawaii.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Ted Miller previews the players to watch during the bowl season and talks about Marcus Mariota.

This is pretty simple: Will Mariota be 100 percent against the Longhorns? If so, will he return to his midseason form, when he was the nation's best player and the leading Heisman Trophy candidate? That means using his legs to stress the Longhorns, both with designed running plays in the read option and scrambling on passing plays. If Mariota is back to his old self, he will put himself firmly in the 2014 Heisman race. And the Ducks should roll.

■ Seth Prince tells us who the ESPN announcers will be for the Alamo Bowl, Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe.

■ Kurt Liedtke and Josh Schlichter break down the Texas offensive attack.

■ Dale Newton looks at the disciplinary style of Mark Helfrich.

■ Beth Maiman compares the defensive lines for Texas and Oregon.

■ Andrew Greif takes a closer look at the many reasons it would be good to finish the 2013 season with a win over Texas. Here are just a few.

Seniors can ride off into the sunset as winners. The program can claim a fifth season with at least 11 victories. Coaches can walk into recruits' living rooms with another bargaining chip. Oregon can avoid being a complete footnote to the history of Mack Brown's final game at Texas.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video









Scott Frost, Marcus Mariota, Brian Jackson and Dior Mathis talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Wednesday practice report.

Highlights: The day began with the ones, twos and threes each facing off for a single snap. Mariota and Bralon Addison connected for a gain with the ones, Ayele Forde stiff-armed a defensive back for a long run with the twos, and T.J. Daniel stopped a run play at the line for the three defense. … Thomas Tyner and Jake Rodrigues had long gains during the team run period, and Tyner later broke two tackles for a touchdown in the red zone. …

Both Helfrich and several players mentioned the great showing by scouts today. Daniel had another tackle for loss later in the day, Darren Carrington was catching passes all over the place while playing the role of Texas’ big-play receiver Mike Davis, and Eric Amoako broke up at least two Mariota passes, one in the red zone. … During a pass period late in practice, Bucker tipped two balls at the line and Arik Armstead got to another.

Josh Huff would like to settle a score he has with Mack Brown and the Texas team.

■ Victor Flores compares the Texas and Oregon linebackers.

■ Hayden Kim has a short Q&A session with Scott Frost.

■ Dale Newton has news on three junior college commits.

■ Justin Wise lists his top ten moments for the 2013 season.

■  Sophomore left-hander Cole Irvin has been named a preseason third-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Oregon’s Saturday starter last season, Irvin finished with a school-record 12 wins while wrapping up his freshman season with a 2.48 ERA, a 12-3 record and four complete games. He claimed freshman All-America honors by both the NCBWA and Louisville Slugger, while earning honorable mention all-league recognition.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video









Mark Helfrich, De'Anthony Thomas, Bralon Addison and Chance Allen talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley has your Tuesday practice report.

Highlights: Joe Walker had a couple of impressive stops on run plays midway through practice, at one point teaming with Rodney Hardrick to drive a scout-team back 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage. … Avery Patterson popped a running back to break up a pass during drills, and later ran with a receiver to break up another. ...

Tyrell Robinson and Arik Armstead had tackles for loss, Ekpre-Olomu and Jackson intercepted passes and Stetzon Bair nearly intercepted a tipped ball at the line, all during team drills. … Thomas Tyner broke free for big plays both during run drills and on a pass play, getting blocks downfield from Keanon Lowe and Blake Stanton.

■ Beth Maiman compares the tight ends for Texas and Oregon as we count down the days to the Alamo Bowl.

Dale Newton looks at postseason accolades for both the current Oregon team and incoming recruits.

■ Hayden Kim sits down with Bralon Addison for a short Q&A session.

■ Andrew Greif looks at the young Oregon safeties as they "audition" to replace the graduating seniors in preparation for the Alamo Bowl.

Dec. 30 marks the finale for the careers of starting safeties Brian Jackson and Avery Patterson and the start of a new era along Oregon's last line of defense for those vying to replace them....

“It’s very important that I see them ready to go,” defensive backs coach John Neal said. “I’m looking at one of the best teams (Texas) we've played against all year, no question, of what they do and the talent that they have and still, I’m thinking about getting ready for next year, as well, as we mold at the same time.”

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Andrew Greif reports Josh Huff and Taylor Hart have accepted Senior Bowl invitations.

Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff and defensive tackle Taylor Hart have accepted invitations to play in the Senior Bowl, held Jan. 25 in Mobile, Ala., as a showcase for seniors to impress NFL front offices.

■ Kevin Gemmell has a Alamo Bowl primer where you can learn all the pertinent facts about the Oregon vs Texas matchup.

Victor Flores compares the offensive lines for Texas and Oregon.

■ Junior CB Troy Hill was suspended indefinitely pending the outcome of the legal process Mark Helfrich announced yesterday. Hill was charged with misdemeanor menacing and criminal mischief after an incident involving a female acquaintance.

■ Charles Fisher honors Ifo Ekpre-Olumu after his performance in the Civil War as he analyzes a few of Ifo's outstanding plays.

■ Ted Miller has the full list of Pac-12 players who have received postseason honors as well as the ESPN version for the Pac-12. You will notice Oregon players on both lists.

■ Ken Goe wonders if the Mack Brown announcement will be a distraction or extra motivation for Texas.

Dale Newton says the Ducks better be prepared for Texas to run the bowl.

Against Texas, they'll have to be resilient and resourceful against what promises to be an emotional, fired-up opponent, playing for Mack Brown in his last game as Longhorn coach. The stadium will be a sea of burnt orange. Oregon's defense has to get some stops, and the offense has to find its rhythm early and get their hosts behind, force them out of four-yards-and-a-cloud-of-field-turf-granules. Otherwise, it could be an agonizing night, ending in another round of tough questions.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video









Mark Helfrich, Gary Campbell, Ifo Ekpre-Olumu and Torrodney Prevot talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Sunday practice report.

Highlights: Rushing yards were tough to come by again today, with DeForest Buckner, Boseko Lokombo and Stetzon Bair recording tackles for loss in 11-on-11. … The offense did convert a few first downs during the scenario, though, including on runs by Taylor Alie, Kenny Bassett, Lane Roseberry, J.J. Jones and Josh Huff. …

During seven-on, Huff hauled in a Mariota pass to convert a second-and-long, and Jake Rodrigues did likewise with Blake Stanton. … Dior Mathis, Chris Seisay and Terrance Mitchell all provided tight coverage on some incompletions, Mitchell’s coming on one of several spirited, physical reps he had matched up with Chance Allen. … While the “skill” guys did seven-on, the offensive line ran some very physical drills against the defensive line and MIKE linebackers, five-on-five.

■ Andrew Bantly says the 2014 Oregon commits lead by character.

Byron Marshall is the likely started for the game against Texas according to RB coach Gary Campbell.

Marshall hasn't carried since the first quarter at Arizona on Nov. 23, when he aggravated an ankle injury.

Campbell said he thinks the time off has helped Marshall.

“I think it has helped him tremendously,’’ Campbell said. “I think the time off has helped everyone. I think all the guys in the backfield will be fine for the game.’’

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Morning Mud: Bonus Video







Mark Helfrich, Josh Huff and Marcus Mariota talk to the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.

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Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Saturday practice report.

Highlights: With the Ducks rotating ones, twos and threes in and out very quickly, some mismatches developed throughout the day. During one 11-on-11 period, Marcus Mariota burned the No. 3 defense deep twice, on balls to Keanon Lowe and Eric Dungy. … The threes weren’t totally overmatched, though, with Oshay Dunmore stopping a run play behind the line of scrimmage. …

During another 11-on-11 period later in the day, Arik Armstead had a tackle for loss, and Taylor Alie connected with Dwayne Stanford down the sideline despite blanket coverage by Chris Seisay. … Stanford hauled in a deep ball from Jeff Lockie during seven-on. … Avery Patterson and Joe Walker had nice pass breakups over the course of the morning.

■ Ryan Kostecka tells you all you need to know about the Texas Longhorns.

■ Embattled Texas coach Mack Brown officially resigned yesterday stating the game against Oregon will be his last as head coach.

■ Jason Quick believes Texas will focus on their running game against Oregon.

■ Victor Flores has a short Q&A session with Byron Marshall.

■ Junior CB Ifo Ekpre-Olumu says his decision of entering the NFL draft is coming soon.

“(The [NFL] evaluation) is definitely going to play a part in it, but I still think it is going to come down to if I'm really ready to leave college,’’ Ekpre-Olomu said. “You always have to fall back to your education.’’

Ekpre-Olomu said he is on track to graduate next fall with a degree in General Social Science with an influence in business.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Nice piece about the O Heroes and numerous players on the football team visiting Sacred Heart Medical Center recently.

They passed gifts out to children as a part of the Oregon Heroes Program. Oregon Senior Associate AD Craig Pintens tweeted a picture of the team from the visit, and GoDucks.com editor Rob Moseley retweeted posts from tight end Pharaoh Brown and linebacker Rodney Hardrick.

■ Madison Guernsey previews the Oregon vs Texas matchup in the 2013 Alamo Bowl.

The guys on the football team who came to Oregon from Texas are excited to being going home for the Alamo Bowl.

■ GoDucks.com has the 100 best photos from the Ducks 2013 football season.

■ Ted Miller wonders if it is a must win bowl game for Oregon on Dec. 30.

If Oregon beats Texas, it sets Mariota up as the leading 2014 Heisman Trophy candidate and it likely ensures a preseason ranking near the top 5 or at the very least the top 10. That means it starts 2014 squarely in position to play its way into the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Joseph Hoyt believes 2013 was just a bump in the road, not the end of an era.

Instead of ridiculing a first-year head coach and a group of talented student athletes for faltering twice in a 12-game season, maybe fans should take a step back and look at the progress this program has made in the past five years. In a five-year stretch, losses happen, and expecting perfection from a team year in and year out is expecting the impossible.

■ Mark Helfrich and Mack Brown held a press conference yesterday from the Alamo Bowl and GoDucks.com has the details.

■ Sean Meagher sat down with former Oregon QB Darron Thomas for a short Q&A session. Thomas is back in Oregon as a QB for the AFL's Portland Thunder.

■ Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was named to the 124th edition of the Walter Camp Football Foundation second-team All-America squad.

Ekpre-Olomu follows return specialist Cliff Harris (2010), and running backs LaMichael James (2010, '11) and Kenjon Barner (2012), as Oregon's most recent Walter Camp All-America recipients.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud



Dan Rubenstein gives you three reasons to watch the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.

Kevin Gemmell says the Alamo Bowl is a "must win" for the Ducks.

Erik McKinney says Oregon is one to watch in the Pac-12 recruiting class rankings.

Are you getting excited for baseball? GoDucks.com says 18 of the games will be televised next year.

The Oregon Ducks baseball team will make 18 appearances on television during the 2014 season. Eight of the team’s 32 games at PK Park will be broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks while five of the Ducks’ 10 Pac-12 series will have all three games televised.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Marty Martindale gives us an early look at the Texas Longhorns.

Texas enters the game with an 8-4 record (7-2 Big 12) with a signature win over rival and Sugar Bowl bound Oklahoma. The Horns strength is their defense which has improved significantly since Greg Robinson was hired as defensive coordinator after an embarrassing loss to BYU in the third game of the season.

■ Erik McKinney ($) takes a look at Pac-12 important recruiting targets. For Oregon he has the following.

CB Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) 
5-10, 182 pounds 
ESPN 300 rank: 7 
The Ducks have significant targets at both wide receiver and cornerback -- the two positions Jackson could play -- but grabbing a commitment from Jackson would signify another huge recruiting victory for a Los Angeles area prospect over UCLA and USC. Jackson certainly wouldn't make or break Oregon's class, but it would give the Ducks another high-profile recruit similar to De'Anthony Thomas, capable of stepping into a similar role on offense and special teams.

■ ESPN and Yahoo rank the Alamo Bowl as the seventh best matchup this bowl season.

Andrew Greif reports tight end troubles plague Texas and Oregon as we head into the Alamo Bowl.

Dale Newton takes a closer look at Oregon commit, offensive tackle Haniteli Lousi.

According to GoDucks.com: The University of Oregon landed the sixth best baseball early recruiting class for 2014 according to the Perfect Game USA annual evaluation of NCAA Division I baseball classes. The Ducks class features 12 freshmen, including catcher Alex Jackson, the nation’s third ranked overall prospect.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Jason Quick gives us a sneak peek at the Texas Longhorns and mentions the last time we matched up in a bowl game.

Oregon and Texas met in the 2000 Holiday Bowl, which Oregon won 35-30 behind quarterback Joey Harrington, running back Maurice Morris and cornerback Rashad Bauman. Texas, which was ranked 12th, was led by quarterback Chris Simms. Texas has won four of the five all-time meetings.

■ Mark Helfrich has suspended TE Pharoah Brown for the Alamo Bowl because of his involvement in the snow ball fight last week.

Hroniss Grasu was named a finalist for Rimington Trophy yesterday. The trophy is presented annually to the outstanding center in college football.

Charles Fisher breaks down some new play variations aimed at protecting Marcus Mariota.

Ted Miller previews the Pac-12 bowl games and has this to say about the Oregon vs Texas matchup.

Oregon's matchup with Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl is interesting. If both teams show up with their best game, Oregon wins by two or three touchdowns. But the Ducks over the final four weeks of the season would lose to Texas. The Ducks need to be motivated. They need to know, for one, that the Longhorns figure to be fired up, as they are perhaps playing their last game with Mack Brown as their coach.

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Monday, December 09, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud



■ Rob Moseley, Editor of GoDucks.com, joined Erik Elken on the set of Sunday Sports Extra to discuss the Ducks' Alamo Bowl selection.

■ Here is the official announcement for GoDucks.com.

■ Rob Moseley says the Alamo Bowl is a chance for Oregon to finish strong and build momentum.

"Getting a win in this bowl game would be huge for us as a program," UO junior center Hroniss Grasu said.

Mariota termed the Alamo Bowl berth "an honor and a blessing," and predicted the Ducks would show up ready to play in San Antonio the last week of December. Initial plans called for Oregon to arrive in Texas on Christmas day.

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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Saturday practice report.

Highlights: After a few days off, there were a couple guys huffing and puffing today. But De'Anthony Thomas certainly had his legs under him, breaking off at least three long gains on runs or short passes. … Cameron Hunt got to the second level for a block that sprung one of DAT's big plays. … Defensively, Tyrell Robinson had a nice hit for a "tackle" on a screen pass, and Reggie Daniels came up with an interception. Unofficially, I feel like Daniels could challenge the likes of Terrance Mitchell for the lead in practice interceptions this season. … Though a receiver wasn't able to make the catch, Jake Rodrigues had a great throw deep down the sideline, zipping it between two defensive backs.

■ Here is the full version of Tyler Johnstone and SnowBrawl2013 between the football team and students on Friday.

■ Our chances for a fifth straight BCS game were dashed as Michigan St. upset Ohio St. The most likely scenario pits Oregon vs. Texas in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30. Dale NewtonSeth Prince and other pundits agree but we'll find out soon enough.

GO DUCKS!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud





Josh Huff and Tyler Johnstone organized a snow ball fight with the students yesterday and the team also went sledding down the hill to the parking garage. Video courtesy of KEZI and GoDucksdotcom.

■ The first step to Oregon going to a BCS bowl happened yesterday as Bowling Green took down N. Illinois and that fact didn't go unnoticed by Brad Edwards.

■ Dale Newton says Mark Helfrich is no Chip Kelly but who is?

Helfrich can't be Kelly. He doesn't have the same edge, or fierce knowledge of how to craft an offense or scheme a Cover 2. No one does. Kelly has a counter to the counter to the counter, a gimmick, a wrinkle and a fresh innovation of message to keep a team locked on when the noise is all around them. He's one of the best motivators and football minds in history.

What Helfrich can do is grow in the job, and in some ways, he's better suited for this stage of the Oregon story than his mercurial and gifted predecessor. Chip Kelly had a distaste for recruiting. He was impatient with boosters and hated hierarchy.

At that point, he's still not Chip Kelly, but he'll be a bright, organized guy with a plan, great talent and a winning organization. He can produce the results to match it.

If not, Mullens will reevaluate in a year.

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Friday, December 06, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Ted Miller puts his two cents worth in on Marcus Mariota staying at Oregon for another year.

The news that probably will have the biggest impact in 2014 in the Pac-12 and nationally was Marcus Mariota's announcement that he will again be Oregon's quarterback next fall and not enter the NFL draft. 

That, as we noted on Tuesday, makes Oregon the 2014 Pac-12 favorite, no matter that running back De'Anthony Thomas and/or cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu are unlikely to follow his example. In fact, the Ducks are a good bet to begin the season with another top-five ranking, in large part due to Mariota still being behind center -- his two-time first-team All-Pac-12 center Hroniss Grasu, no less.

Victor Flores also takes a look at Mariota's decision and says it reflects his true values.

■ Beth Maiman recaps the football season.

Dale Newton tries to explain the reason for the two losses during the regular season.

Kurt Liedtke shows you how it is still possible, although unlikely, for Oregon to get to a BCS game. Which games you should watch and who to root for are all included.

GoDucks.com recognizes DL Sam Kemp for his work with the O Hero program.

■ Ryan Kostecka names the ODE players of the year.

The Ducks may not have made it to national championship game, there are three players who stood out this year: one offensive, one defensive and one special teams player changed the outcomes of games in a positive way this season.

Because of their achievements on the athletic field, Josh Huff, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Bralon Addison have been named as team MVPs by the Emerald sports desk.

GO DUCKS!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud



John Canzano talks about Mariota and Grasu deciding to stay for another year and the vote of confidence for Mark Helfrich.

Chip Kelly also said that Marcus Mariota made a good decision.

■ Andrew Greif compares stats for the season against previous campaigns and calls out a decline in the defense.

Dale Newton and Matt Daddy also reflect on the decline of the defense this year.

■ Jason Quick takes a closer look at Hroniss Grasu's decision to stay another year.

Grasu said he will also take it upon himself to improve the play of the offensive line, starting with himself. Even though he was chosen as the conference’s best center for the second consecutive year, he says he could have had a better season. He doesn’t like the perception that Oregon isn’t physical enough up front, and that it gets pushed around by the bigger teams.

“We are hungry,’’ Grasu said. “We need to prove our doubters wrong. Our offensive line will be a physical offensive line, yet still be able to move around. It starts with me. I want to get better and I have a lot to do. There’s a lot of work ahead."

GO DUCKS!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
The big news from yesterday is Marcus Mariota and Hroniss Grasu announced they will be returning next year for the Ducks.

“It is an honor to be a student at the University of Oregon and to have the opportunity to represent our institution on the football field alongside my teammates,” said Mariota. “I look forward to earning my degree next year and to the rest of my career at this great University.”

■ ATQ got to spend a little quality time with LaMichael James recently and share the videos to prove it.

Joey Holland takes a look at Josh Huff's career at Oregon and where he stands in the Oregon record books.

John Canzano believes the Mariota-Grasu announcement is a huge win for Mark Helfrich.

Andrew Greif wonders about the backups to Mariota and Grasu and if they might decide to transfer.

■ Dale Newton adds his thoughts on Mariota and Grasu staying another year.

It's simply the best Christmas present that the Oregon coaches, team and fans could possibly have wished for. It puts this year's bowl game in an entirely different light. A few weeks ago, skeptics were talking about this being the end of the Ducks recent run of success. Now, it looks like a new beginning.

■ Todd McShay called it a smart decision by Mariota to stay for another year.

But the real story here to me is that a player who potentially could have been the No. 1 overall draft pick said, No, I’m not ready. There aren’t many guys mature enough to make that self-evaluation and turn down all that money. But outside of one year’s paycheck, I don’t see much downside to this. By spending another year in college, it might allow him to have more success in the pros and end up earning a bigger second contract.

Mariota could have succeeded had he left this year, but in the 2015 draft he’ll be so much more of a finished product. The upside is already there, but why not have the refined skills be there as well? That's why I think this is a smart decision.

GO DUCKS!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Josh Huff was named the Pac-12 offensive player of the week yesterday.

Huff, a senior from Houston, Texas, posted a career-high nine catches for 186 yards and three touchdowns in a last-minute 36-35 win in the Civil War over Oregon State on Friday evening. After catching a 12-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 3:09 remaining, Huff followed with another 12-yard score for the game-winning touchdown with 29 seconds remaining in the game. All three of his second-half scoring catches brought the Ducks back from deficits and eight of his nine receptions resulted in first down or touchdowns.

Ken Goe believes it might be time to take a step back and put a little perspective on the Ducks 10-2 season.

Charles Fisher takes a closer look at some of Josh Huff's plays during the Civil War.

Ted Miller has a Pac-12 week 14 rewind and has the Civil War as the best game.

Dale Newton likes what he sees for the Oregon commits who played last week.

■ GoDucks.com reports Mariota, Ekpre-Olomu and Grasu Repeat as Pac-12 Honorees.

University of Oregon standouts Marcus Mariota, Hroniss Grasu and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu all repeated as first-team Pac-12 Conference all-league selections as announced Monday morning by Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.

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Monday, December 02, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley reminds us it's the calm before the postseason storm.

The Oregon football team isn't scheduled to practice this week. Coaches hit the road for recruiting Sunday, two days after the Ducks wrapped up a 10-2 regular season with a dramatic, 36-35 win in the Civil War.

The next practices are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, a weekend that also will feature a storm of results from around the nation that will affect Oregon's bowl destination.

■ Kevin Gemmell talks about the Pac-12 rivalry games this past weekend.

Oregon rose one spot to #12 in the latest BCS standings.

Nathan Roholt wonders if Mark Helfrich is establishing a new identity for the Ducks?

■ Dale Newton goes inside the highlight tape and likes the gutty effort and the fierce loyalty the Ducks showed for each other during the Civil War.

As for the bowls, the key for the Ducks now is to embrace whatever matchup they get, and treat it as a chance to improve and compete. They showed a lot of heart and resilience in coming back to win the Civil War on a night they were beaten and tested. They played for each other and never quit.

GO DUCKS!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Marcus Mariota and Taylor Hart were named the MVP's at Oregon's award banquet yesterday.

In other awards Saturday, freshman tight end Johnny Mundt was named the top first-year player, and leading tackler Derrick Malone was named most improved player. Mana Greig, a former walk-on who eventually earned a starting job, was named top offensive lineman in a vote of teammates, and Hart was named the top defensive lineman.

Sophomore running back Byron Marshall was honored as an impact player on offense, and linebacker Rodney Hardrick won the Bob Officer Award for playing through physical adversity. Hroniss Grasu and Dustin Haines received awards honoring character as teammates, and the scout-team players of the year were Brian Teague on offense, T.J. Daniel on defense and Austin Daich on special teams.

■ Ted Miller has Pac-12 helmet stickers for Josh Huff and Ifo Ekpre-Olumu.

Josh Huff, WR, Oregon: Huff caught nine passes for a season-high 186 yards -- 20.7 yards per catch -- and three touchdowns in the Ducks' nail biting 36-35 win over Oregon State in the Civil War. Most important was his 12-yard grab for the winning score with 29 seconds left. Huff also hauled in another 12-yard scoring pass on the previous scoring drive on a fourth-and-11 play.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon: Ekpre-Olomu had a team-high 12 tackles -- all solos -- with an interception and three pass breakups in the Civil War. He also kept Beavers WR Brandin Cooks out of the end zone, though Cooks did catch 10 passes for 110 yards.

GO DUCKS!