Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley reviews the defensive backs now that spring practice has concluded.

Who to watch in August: ...The battle between [Tyree] Robinson and [Reggie] Daniels will be a primary position of intrigue in preseason camp. Robinson is a highly touted young freshman who was a scout-team standout last fall, but Daniels has been waiting in the wings for his chance, and might be poised to break out. Guys like Hill, Harrison and Mathis figure to continue pushing Mathis, and to compete for time at nickel. There's also a talented quartet of freshmen on the way; as always, I'll assume redshirts are in order, but with an open mind to the possibility one or two could be immediate contributors.

■ Andrew Greif introduces to the man behind the myriad possibilities of Oregon footballs uniforms and already knows what will be worn for 2014 in each game....and here is a custom pair of Nike's for the team....

■ Marcus Mariota received an academic honor earlier this week.

■ Josh White talks about his first and last days at Must say I liked Josh's writing.

Oregon softball fell to Florida (4-0) yesterday and will face elimination later this evening against the winner of the Louisiana-Lafayette and Oklahoma game.

■ Oregon crushed Clemson, 18-1 yesterday in the opening round of Regional play.

Oregon starter Tommy Thorpe (11-4) earned the win, working seven innings of one-run ball and limiting Clemson to five hits. He allowed four walks and had four strikeouts.

 George Horton talked with the media after the game. Oregon will face and takes on Vanderbilt later today.


Friday, May 30, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Non-conference kickoff times were announced yesterday as Oregon faces South Dakota at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 30, Michigan State at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 5 and Wyoming at 11 a.m. on Sept. 13, all at Autzen Stadium.

Two Pac-12 kickoff times have been set, both involving midweek games. The Ducks will host Arizona for their Pac-12 home opener on Thursday, Oct. 2, on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. and Cal on Friday, Oct. 24, on FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. 

■ Cheridan Hawkins tossed a one-hitter to outduel national player of the year Lacey Waldrup as Oregon beat Florida St., 3-0, at the Women's College World Series yesterday. Another good article on how the team is embracing their role model status.

■ Tyson Alger gives you five things to watch for as the baseball team begins their games later today at the Nashville Regional.

■ Tommy Thorpe will start on today for the Oregon Ducks as they take on Clemson and the humidity.

"It doesn't do us any good to last another day or anything. We're trying to win this thing," [George] Horton said. "I think we'd be at a disadvantage depth wise if we go into the losers bracket." 


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Ted Miller looks at the Pac-12 North schedule for 2014 and had this to say about Oregon.

This schedule sets up for a national championship run, including the Pac-12's nonconference game of the year against Michigan State, a likely top-5 team. The Ducks miss two South teams that are almost certain to be ranked in the preseason, so those are good misses. They don't play consecutive road games all season. By playing at Cal on a Friday, they get an extra day to prepare for Stanford at home. The Oct. 11 trip to UCLA could loom large in the national title race, and we might get a rematch in the Pac-12 championship game. So, because the Ducks play Arizona on a Thursday night, it's notable they will get a couple of extra days to prepare for the Bruins.

■ Chantel Jennings looks at the QB stats for Marcus Mariota which were pretty impressive until his injury.

■ Oregon softball coach Mike White talks about the challenges facing his top-seeded Ducks as they prepare for the 2014 WCWS.

■ Courtney Ceo, Cheridan Hawkins and Janie Takeda were named All-Americans by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, the group announced Wednesday.

■ Six Ducks earn all-conference accolades in baseball.

Starting pitcher Tommy Thorpe, closer Jake Reed, infielder Mitchell Tolman and catcher Shaun Chase were named to the all-conference team. Starting pitcher Jeff Gold and second baseman Aaron Payne received honorable mention.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Ted Miller has Oregon at #1 in his "way to early" Pac-12 Power Ranking heading into summer.

I know. We always rank Oregon here, underrating Stanford and its more physical but less sexy style of play. But the return of QB Marcus Mariota and a veteran offensive line is just too tantalizing. The Ducks look like the Pac-12's best bet for an entrant in the inaugural College Football Playoff.

■ Ted isn't alone with the Sporting News and ESPN also predicting the Ducks close to the top at the end of the regular season.

Speaking of ESPN, they had nothing but nice things to say about Marcus Mariota's return to the Ducks this year.

■ Charles Fisher believes the Spring Game revealed preparations for this year's contest against Stanford.

Mark Flores looks at recruiting and Dale Newton shares a story on one very special player.

■ Jon Wilner breaks down the numbers for Pac-12 revenue for 2012/13.

■ Dreams do come true according to Rob Moseley.

For several months now, the Oregon softball team has been on the “Road to OKC,” metaphorically speaking. On Tuesday, the Ducks made their dream a reality.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ The Oregon baseball team will face Clemson in the opening round of the NCAA Regionals on Friday in Nashville, TN.

"We're going to need some guys to step up," [George] Horton said. "On paper our best chance is to get through it in three. (But that's) easier said than done."

In related stories: Tyson Alger gives you a first glance at the Nashville Regional; Aaron Fitt believes the Ducks are "dangerous" according to this report; George Horton talks to the media after the selection show yesterday.

■ Dale Newton wonders if the window is closing for Oregon football.

■ The softball team will face Florida State in the opening round of the Women's College World Series.

The top-seeded Ducks (54-7-1) and eighth-seeded Seminoles (55-7) will meet at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. They're part of the eight-team WCWS field that includes fifth-seeded Florida and 13th-seeded Baylor in Oregon's half of the bracket.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Bob Rickert looks closer at Josh Huff's early progress with the Eagles.

Josh Huff is already staying late to learn the different Eagles hand signals and nuances, and then going home and testing himself again. One more testament to his dedication and the hard work he's always put in that got him to this spot in the first place.

■ The softball team made it to the Women's College World Series series with a 6-2 win over Minnesota yesterday.

The team will open WCWS play Thursday against Florida State in Oklahoma City. Mike White, Janie Takeda, and Cheridan Hawkins talked to the media after the game.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
The softball team continues to dominate in the Super Regionals with a 10-2 victory over Minnesota yesterday at Howe Field.

They can move on to the Women's College World Series with a win Sunday at 2 p.m., or in a third game at 5 p.m. should the Gophers even the series. (Coach Mike White talks to the media after the game)

The baseball team ended their regular season as the Ducks fell to Cal 5-3.

Oregon will find out what NCAA Regional site it will play at on Monday morning when ESPNU televises the selection show at 9 a.m. (George Horton talks with the media after the game yesterday)


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Walk-ons Kenny Bassett and Grant Thompson were awarded scholarships by Mark Helfrich yesterday.

"It's very exciting to acknowledge and reward the hard work and dedication that these two young men have demonstrated on and off the field," Helfrich said.

■ Andrew Greif reviews the special team unit now that spring practice has concluded.

■ Chantel Jennings lists the five standouts from the football spring practices.

■ Oregon softball coach Mike White says a new stadium for the team is long overdue and Rob Moseley says it is a chance for redemption at the Super Regional.

■ The baseball team ran into a brick wall losing to Cal 6-0 yesterday.

The Ducks (42-17, 18-11 Pac-12) and Cal will play their regular-season finale Saturday at 7 p.m. Regional host sites will be announced Sunday evening, and the full NCAA field will be unveiled Monday.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Pretty cool that Mike Bellotti has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for his tenure at Oregon.

Bellotti went 116-55 in his 14 years as head coach; including his time as offensive coordinator, he was part of more than 25 percent of Oregon’s 613 all-time victories entering 2014. He led the Ducks to Pac-10 titles in 2000 and 2001, and a Fiesta Bowl victory to cap the 2001 season, though it's less-heralded triumphs such as the 1996 win over Arizona that still resonate just as strong with Bellotti.

■ Kevin Gemmell looks at how the Pac-12 fared in giving up points after turnovers during 2013.

■ Andrew Greif reviews the Oregon coaching staff now that spring practice has completed.

■ Jason Fowler has an update on recruiting compared to the SEC.

■ Tyson Alger says Mitchell Tolman is seeing benefits from dealing with frustration.

■ Tommy Thorpe's first complete game propelled Oregon to a 5-1 win over Cal at PK Park yesterday.

Thorpe allowed six hits and one run over nine innings Thursday, striking out eight and walking just one. He went eight scoreless for the fourth time in his career, and the second this season, before recording an out in the ninth for the first time. (George Horton talks with the media after the game.)


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley reviews the defensive line for the spring practices.

Who to watch in August: By the time preseason camp rolls around, [Sam] Kamp will have had another three months to condition his body for carrying around close to 300 pounds. It’s crucial the Ducks solidify the depth behind Balducci, and Kamp is probably in the best position to do so. That would ease the pressure on any of the freshmen to come in and make an impact right away. As [DeForest] Buckner, [Alex] Balducci and Armstead showed, however, it’s possible for true freshmen to come in right away and play valuable roles as backups, and the new faces Oregon signed in February look like they have the size and talent to be factors early if necessary.

■ Jeff Gold could set a new record for most career wins by an Oregon pitcher on Friday.

On Friday, in the second game of the Ducks’ three-game homestand against California, Gold will try for his 24th career victory. That would break the UO record he shares with Alex Keudell after winning his 23rd game, and 10th of the season, last week at UCLA.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley has a spring practice review on the offensive line.

What happened in April: Among the starters, the big news was that the light really seemed to turn on for Stevens. Among the strongest players on the roster, the fact he’s entering his senior year perhaps provided a sense of urgency. The Ducks also got a breakout spring from veteran reserve Andre Yruretagoyena, who took reps at left tackle while Johnstone rehabbed his knee. Yruretagoyena is another guy motivated to realize his significant talents, and he could challenge for time at a few different positions come fall.

■ Andrew Greif has a spring football review of the defensive line.

■ Kevin Gemmell looks at points after takeaways for the Pac-12 north in 2013 where Oregon had the best numbers.

■ Researchers say Marcus Mariota is worth $2.5 million to the U of O.

■ Joe Daniel analyzes a game last year versus the dawgs where Keith Price got sacked.

■ LaMichael James reflected on some of his favorite moments Duck moments recently in this video.

■ Tyson Alger takes a quick look at the Oregon softball team's next opponent in the Super Regionals.

■ Shaun Chase's third two-homer game of the year, and second in eight days, powered Oregon to a 6-2 win over osu at PK Park on Tuesday. (George Horton talked to the media after the game.)

The Ducks (41-10) extended their winning streak to five games, on the heels of a weekend sweep at defending national champion UCLA. Oregon remains at home to close out the regular season later this week against California, a three-game series starting Thursday with all three games televised by Pac-12 Networks at 7 p.m.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Andrew Greif reviews how the DB's did during spring practices.

Senior corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is the pulse of the entire defense, not just the secondary, and the presence of the All-American makes the rebuild of UO's defensive backfield less daunting even if still challenging.

■ Dale Newton takes a closer look at the QB depth chart after recent transfers.

■ Hroniss Grasu has been named to the Rimington Trophy watch list as one of the nation's top centers.

■ Chantel Jennings looks at the the top Pac-12 returning statistical leaders where you'll see many familiar names.

Ashley Young also talks about the last line of defense.

■ ESPN gives you a beginners guide to the new college playoff system.

Looks like Colt Lyerla will get his chance with the Green Bay Packers.

■ Oregon will wrap up the regular season with a four-game homestand with the Ducks getting another shot at Oregon State corvallis city in a non-conference game on Tuesday night at PK Park.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Oregon WR Devon Allen placed second in the 110 meter hurdles yesterday at the Pac-12 Track & Field Championship. Both the men and women won the meet for the Ducks.

■ The softball team continued their dominant play with a 6-0 win over Wisconsin to advance to the Super Regionals next weekend.

The Ducks will host Minnesota in the Super Regionals, on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and — if necessary — 5 p.m.

Oregon used sterling relief pitching and a gritty effort in the batter's box to come from behind and beat the Bruins on Sunday, 5-4.

The UO baseball team (40-16, 17-10 Pac-12) rallied back from a 4-1 deficit to remain in a third-place tie with Arizona State in the conference. Oregon hosts Oregon State in a nonconference game Tuesday and California for a three-game series at PK Park beginning Thursday, with all four games starting at 7 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Oregon backup quarterback Damion Hobbs will reportedly seek a transfer according to multiple sources.

Hobbs, a redshirt freshman, was a three-star recruit out of Cedar Hill High School (Texas) where he threw for 2,769 yards and 29 touchdowns his senior season.

■ Alex Kirby analyzes the Oregon second level read that's utilized when you need a plan B.

■ Oregon softball advanced to the regional finals (today at 11am) with a 6-1 win over Wisconsin yesterday at Howe Field. Head coach Mike White talked to the media after the victory.

■ Jeff Gold got back on track to lead Oregon to a 4-1 over UCLA yesterday.

Gold got all the help he would need early in the game as the Ducks scored one run in the first and two more runs in the third. Tyler Baumgartner tripled to right center with one out in the first and came in to score on an infield RBI hit by Kyle Garlick to give UO a 1-0 lead.

Oregon, who won its first Pac-12 road series of the season with the victory, wraps up the three-game series with UCLA on Sunday. First pitch is at 12:05 p.m. and the game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Chantel Jennings believes Devon Allen is the breakout player for Oregon this spring.

Allen provides top-end burner speed and, having redshirted last season, he has spent a lot of time in the playbook while learning from more experienced players. Those attributes could be enough to propel him to a very big season for the Ducks. Between Huff, Hawkins, Thomas and Addison, the Ducks will be looking to replace more than 2,500 receiving yards. Look for Allen to be a guy who could have a 600- or 700-yard season.

■ Rob Moseley reviews the receivers and tight ends now that spring practice is completed.

■ Andrew Greif rates the linebacker group post spring.

■ Is Mark Helfrich leaving his own imprint on Oregon football?

■ The Saturday Edge wonders if Oregon football will be better, worse or about the same compared to 2013. (our old buddy Charles Fisher contributes to this)

Apparently even the celebs like wearing their Duck gear.

■ The softball team took care of business in dominating fashion as they rolled over Utah Valley 12-1 in five innings yesterday at Howe Field in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

■ Oregon used big defensive plays yesterday at UCLA to win the opening game of the series 2-1.

Mitchell Tolman went 3-for-4 and scored a run to lead Ducks.

Oregon and UCLA will play game two of their series Saturday night with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley reviews the running backs post spring practices and heading into fall.

It’s inevitable that one preseason storyline will be whether Marshall or Tyner wins the “starting” job, but the fact of the matter is, both figure to play extensively in 2014, perhaps even in tandem. More interesting will be the development of the newcomers, at a position where the Ducks have an extensive track record of playing true freshmen. Royce Freeman was one of the top running back recruits in the country, having piled up 2,824 yards as a senior, and Tony James could be a fit in the hybrid role Thomas played. Can Benoit keep developing and win some carries in the fall, or will the freshmen make an immediate splash?

■ Dale Newton takes a closer look at the Spring Game and events since then.

■ Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was named to the 2014 Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list yesterday.

■ Andrew Greif looks at the recruiting trail where Oregon is drawing interest from elite prospects.

■ It's official, Levi Stadium (49er's new digs) will be the official site for the Pac-12 Championship game through 2016.

■ Shaun Chase's power surge has him ranked as one of the country's best.

Oregon baseball is on the bubble to host a NCAA baseball regional. They'll need to finish strong and no better place to start than UCLA this weekend as the Ducks look to fix road woes and UCLA has been less than stellar at home.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley reviews the QB's for the spring practices and looks at the depth chart heading into fall camp.

The depth chart actually received its most significant shakeup after the conclusion of spring ball, when [Jake] Rodrigues informed UO coach Mark Helfrich this week of his intent to transfer. That makes Lockie the man in the spotlight when preseason practices begin. He had an encouraging spring game, and now will look to parlay that into a strong month of August, to demonstrate he can capably replace Mariota whenever the time comes. There will also be much interest in the arrival of recruit Morgan Mahalak, who threw for 2,795 and 38 touchdowns as a high school senior, and rushed for 575 yards and seven scores.

■ Andrew Greif notes Marcus Mariota is already showing up in many 2015 NFL mock drafts as the clear choice.

■ Looks like the Pac-12 championship game is heading to the Bay area according to multiple sources. Official announcement expected today.

■ Jon Wilner believes there is a glimmer of hope that DirecTV will finally pick up the Pac-12 Network broadcasts.

■ Mark Flores has the latest on Oregon recruiting.

George Horton talks with the media after practice yesterday as Oregon heads into a three game series at UCLA.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chantel Jennings talks with Mark Helfrich after spring practices, up-and-coming players and QB Marcus Mariota.

■ Charles Fisher analyzes a few plays from the 2014 Spring Game.

■ Jon Wilner looks at the projected 2015 Pac-12 draft class where you'll find several Oregon players, including #1 Marcus Mariota.

■ Shaun Chase hit two home runs, including a grand slam, to lead Oregon to a 14-8 win over Pacific in a non-conference game Tuesday night at PK Park.

Oregon opens a three-game series at defending national champion UCLA on Saturday at 7 p.m.  All three weekend games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks with Saturday’s game starting at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s beginning at noon.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Chantel Jennings breaks down the 2013 Pac-12 passing game.

Now that Jake Rodrigues is seeking a transfer where do the Ducks go from here with the backup to Mariota?

■ Kyle Bonagura breaks down the Pac-12 NFL draft class by the numbers.

■ Former Oregon safety Avery Patterson joined the Ravens as an undrafted free agent yesterday.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Tyler Johnstone talked with Ryan Kostecka recently about one of his favorite pastimes, watching Game of Thrones.

Former Oregon defensive tackles Ricky Havili-Heimuli and Wade Keliikipi landed as a rookie free agent on Saturday.

The Philadelphia Eagles announced that former UO defensive lineman Wade Keliikipi was one of 15 undrafted free agents it signed Saturday night. He becomes the eighth former Duck on the roster of former UO head coach Chip Kelly and reunites with former defensive line mate Taylor Hart, who was the Eagles' fifth-round selection Saturday.

Oregon rallied in the ninth inning but fell just short as they lost to ASU 8-6.

Oregon returns to action Tuesday at PK Park when the Ducks host Pacific in a non-conference game, before traveling to play defending national champion UCLA next weekend in a three-game series.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Andrew Greif details the 2014 NFL draft where several former Oregon players were selected.

Taylor Hart was one of four Ducks selected in the three-day, seven-round draft, making it the 10th time in program history that UO's draft class had four or more members. He joins receiver Josh Huff (third round to the Eagles), running back De'Anthony Thomas (fourth round to the Kansas City Chiefs) and corner Terrance Mitchell (seventh round to the Dallas Cowboys).

■ Oregon dropped game two of the series against ASU yesterday 9-4.

Kyle Garlick finished 2-for-4, including his fourth home run and a double, with three RBI and a run scored.

Oregon and Arizona State meet in the rubber match of the series on Sunday at 12 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Former WR Josh Huff is the first Oregon player to be selected in the NFL draft this year and was selected in the third round yesterday by the Eagles reuniting him with Chip Kelly.

"Obviously I know him extremely well," Kelly said at a press conference for local media simulcast on the Eagles' web site. "Outstanding young man ... great position versatility for us."

■ Tyson Alger has a good story on Shaun Chase and his close relationship with his dad.

■ Mitchell Tolman's two RBI triple sparked Oregon to a Pac-12 Conference 5-4 win against ASU yesterday in Tempe.

Tommy Thorpe (8-4) picked up the win battling his way through five innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out five while walking two. Jake Reed retired the Sun Devils in order in the ninth to pick up his 11th save.

UO and ASU will play game two of their three-game series on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.


Friday, May 09, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Chantel Jennings breaks down the defensive stats from the Pac-12 North for 2013. Here are the stats for Oregon.

Tackles: 1082
Freshmen: 45 (4.2 percent)
Sophomores: 195 (18 percent)
Juniors: 416 (38.4 percent)
Seniors: 426 (39.4 percent)

TFL: 70
Freshmen: 2.5 (3.5 percent)
Sophomores: 13 (18.6 percent)
Juniors: 24.5 (35.0 percent)
Seniors: 30 (42.9 percent)

Sacks: 28
Freshmen: 2.5 (9.0 percent)
Sophomores: 6.5 (23.2 percent)
Juniors: 9.5 (33.9 percent)
Seniors: 9.5 (33.9 percent)

INT: 17
Freshmen: 0
Sophomores: 0
Juniors: 8 (47.1 percent)
Seniors: 9 (52.9 percent)

■ Kyle Bonagura provides a Pac-12 NFL draft primer and Andrew Greif breaks down the Oregon NFL hopefuls.

The softball team claimed their second straight Pac-12 title with a win over Arizona yesterday 7-3.


Thursday, May 08, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Marcus Mariota and Thomas Tyner are among the Oregon players who are already receiving early Heisman hype.

We doubt Oregon fans will mind to see junior quarterback Marcus Mariota and sophomore running back Thomas Tyner listed among Huston's top-25 contenders after spring football for the most coveted award in college football.

■ Kyle Bonagura looks at the Pac-12 North's offensive stats from last season.

■ Mark Flores has the latest on the recruiting trail.

■ Former WR Josh Huff talks about the upcoming NFL draft in this interview.

■ The Oregon softball team came wrap up the Pac-12 title against Arizona and a couple of the players are in the mix for National Player of the Year honors.

■ Porter Clayton and reliever Trent Paddon teamed up to beat Portland yesterday at PK Park 3-2.

Clayton (1-1) allowed just two unearned runs on three hits in six innings, while striking out two and walking four to pick up the win. Paddon allowed no runs on just three hits with three strikeouts over the last three innings to pick up his first career save.


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ According to ESPN the Pac-12 conference will be in discussions to hold the title game at a neutral site. Jon Wilner doesn't believe it's such a grand idea.

ESPN: Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the future home of the San Francisco 49ers, is the favorite for the 2014 title game, reported.

Jon Wilner: The team with the best record would almost certainly be the team with the best chance of getting into the College Football Playoff.

Moving the game to a neutral site would, in theory, reduce the chances of that team winning the league title and remaining in the hunt for a berth in the CFP.

■ The Oregon-Washington rivalry extends even to recruiting in this report.

■ Former cornerback Terrance Mitchell has outperformed expectations as he prepares for the NFL draft which happens this weekend.

George Horton talks with the media after yesterdays civil war non-conference loss.

■ Oregon pulled out all the stops Tuesday night in a nonconference game with osu before falling 4-3 in 12 innings at PK Park.

"We feel like we played better" on Tuesday, UO third baseman Mitchell Tolman said. "Late in the game we kind of got away from having good approaches at the plate. Our pitchers picked us up a lot tonight. Frustrating loss."


Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Kyle Bonagura comments on ESPN's ($) post spring top 25 projections where you will find Oregon at #2.

ESPN Insider Brian Fremeau’s post-spring Top 25 projections Insider showcase high expectations for the Pac-12 in 2014. Six teams from the conference appear, including No. 2 Oregon and No. 4 Stanford. 

The Ducks' offense projects to be the most efficient in the country, and quarterback [Mariota] may be the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy as a result.

■ Andrew Greif revisits the top spring storylines.

■ Chantel Jennings breaks down the passing stats from the Spring Game.

■ Rahim Cassell got himself in a bit of trouble early Sunday morning after being arrested for DUI.

■ Shaun Chase was named the Pac-12 player of the week after his performance against Arizona.

Chase is hitting .301 for the season, and slugging .651. In Pac-12 games, he’s hitting .408 with six homers, 12 RBIs, a .482 on-base average and an .857 slugging average. Were he not five at-bats shy of qualifying, Chase would lead the Pac-12 in slugging and would be second in hitting.


Monday, May 05, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Arik Armstead says his focus on football is paying dividends.

"Just being around my team more in the weight room a lot more and trying to focus on getting stronger and, you know, just being in a football mind set for longer," he said. "That helps when you’re in a football mind set, just constantly thinking about getting better at football."

■ Dale Newton sees the potential in the receiving corps after watching the Spring Game.

Chantel Jennings wraps up spring practice for the Pac-12 North.

■ Nice piece on KEZI about the O Heroes latest community effort, a football camp for kids.

George Horton talks with the media after the Ducks too care of business at PK Park yesterday.

■ Shaun Chase's grand slam capped Oregon's 5-1 win for a weekend sweep of Arizona yesterday.

"It's always a shot in the stomach when someone gets intentionally walked in front of you," said Chase, who was 7-for-11 with three homers on the weekend. "It means they want to pitch to you instead of him. I was like, 'All right, I'm down with that."


Sunday, May 04, 2014

2014 Oregon Spring Game Highlights

Here you go Duck fans, all the best plays from the Spring Game yesterday. Nice to see all the young guys do so well. Can't wait for fall!


Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Marcus Mariota, Darren Carrington, Devon Allen and Tyree Robinson talk with the media after the game yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley says the young playmakers shined during the Spring Game as team Mariasu beat team Twifo 27-7.

On the scoreboard, the squad captained by Marcus Mariota and Hroniss Grasu — dubbed "Mariasu" — topped the "Twifo" team led by Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Tony Washington, 27-7. Mariota, who spurned the NFL to return to school this year, was the star of the day despite just one quarter of work, but he also had a strong supporting cast, including at those positions where Oregon is looking for answers entering the summer.

■ Spring Game stories also come from Justin Wise who likes talks about Marcus Mariota, and says Devon Allen shined; Tyson Alger also talks about Devon Allen and gives you three defensive standouts; Andrew Greif gives you three offensive standouts and Chantel Jennings gives her opinion on what we learned during the game. Taylor Wilder, Dominic Allen, and Ryan Kang share their photos from the game.

■ Offensive lineman Shane Lemieux of Yakima, WA committed after the game yesterday giving Oregon its fourth commitment for 2015.

I will have a Spring Game highlight video posted on YouTube later today so stay tuned.

Austin Grebeck's walk-off single in the 10th gave Oregon a 7-6 win over Arizona after the top of the UO lineup keyed a four-run seventh inning.

"It was a great one — probably on the short list of as good a comeback as we've had late in the ballgame," Horton said.

The series finale is Sunday at PK Park (4 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks).


Saturday, May 03, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
The Oregonian gives you multiple Spring Game primers for the game itself, offensive players to watch, defensive players and storylines.

■ Andy McNamara and Rob Moseley preview the Spring Game from their new set in the Oregon Quack Cave.

■ Kevin Gemmell also gives you all the details on how to access the Spring Game be it in person or broadcast. ESPN's Chantel Jennings wraps up Oregon's spring practice.

■ Tyson Alger has a nice story on Taylor Alie who will be realizing a dream today.

■ Go behind the scenes with Oregon IMG Sports Marketing as they prepared for a football game last year and their role in providing a great fan/sponsor experience.

■ Shaun Chase provided the firepower as Oregon took game one of the series with Arizona, 6-1.

Chase, whose nickname is "Whammer" because of his reputation as a pure power hitter, is now up to .381 in Pac-12 games this spring, among the best averages in the conference. His seven home runs lead the league, and his two-homer game Friday was Oregon's first since Ryon Healy launched a pair against Stanford last season.

"Right in front of our eyes he's kind of emerging as more of a complete hitter," UO coach George Horton said.


Friday, May 02, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Tyson Alger says Scott Frost and John Neal (coaches for each team) will keep things pretty basic to allow the younger players to make an impact during the Spring Game.

“I’m going to be more busy keeping John Neal away from the offense,” Frost said. I’ll have my hands full with the offense. He always comes up to me and says, ‘This guy is in. Attack him.’ So if he gives me the green light, I’ll go after his guys.”

■ We also have Spring Game stories from Chantel JenningsMike Hayden Andrew Greif and a sneak peek at the uniforms with another look at previous "military themed" uniforms.

Oregon vs dawgs a friendly rivalry, not thinking that's even close.

■ Nice story on Dior Mathis who is finally finding the fun again.

■ Rob Moseley reports the baseball team is looking to regroup at PK Park against Arizona.

Oregon’s hitters will face an Arizona staff that brings a 4.61 ERA into the weekend. That sets up as a welcome respite after the Ducks were stifled by Beaver beav trash pitching last weekend.


Thursday, May 01, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Scott Frost, Don Pellum and Tyler Johnstone take with the media yesterday after practice. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Wednesday practice report as the Ducks make final preparations for the Spring Game on Saturday.

Highlights: Mariota made a couple nice connections with Darren Carrington during situational work, and had a touchdown to Byron Marshall during 7-on-7 in the red zone. … Ifo Ekpre-Olomu broke up a Mariota pass in the end zone early in the day, and Reggie Daniels broke up a pass from Alie to Brown late in the morning. … Alie’s deep ball to Loyd was a heck of a play. The protection broke down, so Alie looked to run, but then he thought again, dropped back and unleashed the long ball that Loyd hauled in after shaking loose from the coverage.

■ Andrew Greif says spring practice has been the opportunity for some players to try out different positions.

■ Seth Prince reveals the footwear the team will debut at the Spring Game.

■ Ted Miller takes a closer look at the new CFB playoff system and how it affects the Pac-12 as it begins the new playoff system.

■ George Horton talks about the miserable results from last weekend and then looks ahead to the Arizona series which begins Friday at PK Park.