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Friday, January 31, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Dale Newton wonders what's a realistic expectations for the 2014 Duck football team.

Mark Helfrich isn't the coach Chip Kelly was, and the job is much harder.  With road games at UCLA, Utah and Oregon State, with pivotal matchups against Michigan State and Stanford, Mike Leach doggedly transforming the Cougars into a bowl team that upset USC in the Coliseum, everything would have to break right for the Ducks to go undefeated or make the coveted top four in the first year of the college football playoffs.

Everything rarely does.

■ Pat Pannu takes a closer look at a few of the wide receivers in the Pac-12 including Bralon Addison.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Andrew Greif starts a new segment at the Oregonian called the "NFL Diary" and has Taylor Hart up first as he prepares for the combine and recovers from an injury.

Every few weeks, Hart -- a Tualatin native -- will discuss what it's like to endure a five-month job interview that begins with early training, continues with the NFL scouting combine and university "pro days" and goes through draft day. Hart finished his Oregon career on Dec. 30 with a 30-7 victory against Texas in the Alamo Bowl that finished a season where he shared team co-MVP honors.

■ Chris Charbonnier says that with national signing day less than a week away expect the unexpected.

■ Here is a closer look at Oregon commit Jalen Jenks.

Why Duck fans should be excited: The possibilities for the next four years are tantalizing considering how far Jalen Jelks came in the previous four.

Amid preparation for the final football game of his prep career, Jelks laughs over the phone at just the thought of his high-school transformation.

“As soon as spring ball came around I noticed a big difference in my game,” he said.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Kevin Gemmell has Bralon Addison in ESPN's top performances in the Pac-12 for 2013.

Driving rain usually doesn't lend itself to outstanding passing and receiving performances, so Addison had just three catches for 13 yards. But his biggest contribution was on special teams, where he returned two punts for touchdowns -- a 75-yard return and a 67-yarder.

■ Arik Armstead left the Oregon basketball program to focus on his football future.

Dale Newton takes a closer look at recent commit Charles Nelson.

Erik McKinney has DT Trey Lealaimatafao out of San Antonio, TX as Oregon's most important target as the recruiting season winds down for 2014.

■ Rob Moseley says Kyle Garlick will look to bring power to the Oregon lineup now that he's healthy.

“I’m seeing the ball well, hitting the ball well, having good at-bats,” said Garlick, a redshirt junior who took a medical hardship in 2013 following a wrist injury that limited him to 10 games and 31 at-bats. “It feels great.”


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Kevin Gemmell has Ifo Ekpre-Olumu in the #15 slot as ESPN looks at the top 25 players in the Pac-12 for 2013.

...A first-team All-American per ESPN, he was also a second-team All-American by several other publications and the Walter Camp Foundation. He already was slated as one of the top defensive back prospects in college football. Now that he’s returning to Oregon for another season, he’s going to get that much better, that much sharper and that much more polished. Expect him to be on pretty much every preseason All-America list and the postseason ones as well. His return gives Oregon’s secondary instant credibility.

■ Dale Newton says we will have a reliable kicker for the 2014 season, unlike the recent past.

■ Noah Dee @ATQ says there is life after one recruit decommits and then Charles Nelson says Oregon is the place for me.

■ Joseph Hoyt has a nice story about a local barber that has become a fixture around Oregon.

■ Chip Kelly hired two former Oregon alumni as assistant coaches, Bill Musgrave and Michael Clay joined the Eagle staff yesterday.

■ Oregon is ranked 11th in the preseason poll released by Baseball America yesterday.

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, 10 of 15 pitchers, and two redshirts who could start while boasting one of the top recruiting classes in the country.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Enjoy De'Anthony's first year as a Duck on this slow Monday football/baseball news day during the off season. There was this article on the basketball team (who I normally don't follow much) who ended their five game skid. More stories tomorrow.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Thomas Tyner 2013 Highlights

Here you go Duck fans, all of Thomas Tyner's best plays from the 2013 season. Enjoy!


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Mike Richman looks at one Las Vegas oddsmaker who has Marcus Mariota with the second best odds for winning the 2014 Heisman.

The Oregon Ducks spring practice is a still a couple of months away and the 2014 season is a full seven months out, but it's never too early to start predicting Heisman winners. Well maybe it is too early, but that didn't stop the oddsmakers at Bovada in Las Vegas who released their odds for the 2014 award Friday.

■ Dale Newton @DSH and Steve Summers @eDuck follow the recruiting trail which is getting down to the wire.

I will be back later today with a highlight reel for Thomas Tyner so stay tuned.

■ Don Gilman @FishDuck wonders if there is life after De'Anthony Thomas.

On the surface it seems that Oregon could naturally take a step back in performance without him in the lineup, but that may not be the case...

...[Byron] Marshall and [Thomas] Tyner are the type of players who can play every down, who have a similar ability to get to the end zone and explode for huge yards.  No one can really replace the home run ability of Thomas, but that’s the thing — they don’t need to.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Byron Marshall 2013 Highlights

Here you go Duck fans, all of Byron Marshall's best plays from the 2013 season. Enjoy!


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley has a 2013 season review of the special teams unit and looks ahead to the probable depth chart heading into fall camp.

The best competition could be at punter, where [Ian] Wheeler has enough power to give [Dylan] Ausherman a run for his money. There also figures to be plenty of competition to return kickoffs, with the freshman [Thomas] Tyner given an early edge here. [Matt] Wogan should be a more confident kicker coming off last season’s experience. The graduation of [Drew] Howell along with the injury sidelining Tyler Johnstone should mean a heavy workload for [Connor] Johnson as the long snapper.

■ Kevin Gemmell looks at the Pac-12 north's early entries into the NFL and who will likely replace them.

■ Ted Miller has been looking at the top performances for the 2013 season in the Pac-12 and looks at Josh Huff who will be playing in the Senior Bowl today.

■ I will be back later today with a 2013 highlight reel for Byron Marshall so stay tuned.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley reviews the defensive backs for 2013 and looks at the depth chart heading into fall.

...Let's not ignore the biggest storyline of them all — the fact Ekpre-Olomu will be on hand in April, when he could easily have justified a jump to the NFL a year early. He's a lockdown defender, a fearless hitter, a respected leader and a mature Man of Oregon, another one of those guys any young player would be wise to try to emulate in all facets.

■ Andrew Greif is not alone in saying Josh Huff has turned some heads during Senior Bowl practice. The Sporting News also liked Huff's performance.

■ Josh White examines four key positions that will remain in flux until fall camp.

■ Dale Newton calls Oregon recruit prospect Kahlil Oliver the "real deal."

■ Jake Reed is embracing his new role as the tentative "closer" as spring practice draws closer.

“I think his stuff matches up pretty good,” UO coach George Horton said. “And his competitiveness, Jake has always wanted the ball in the tough situations, and not shied from that. You have to have that mentality if you’re coming in and the game’s on the line every time out.”


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley reviews the 2013 linebacker squad and looks forward to the likely starters in 2014.

With Lokombo the only senior in the group, the linebacking corps figures to be a major strength of the 2014 team. New defensive coordinator Don Pellum — who will remain the position coach for the MIKE and WILL — cited all the depth as a primary reason for sticking with a 3-4 base defense going forward. His task in April is to sort through the mix of returning starters and talented newcomers, as it's not inconceivable to think both Robinson and Mattingly could make the two-deep come fall. On the outside, new position coach Erik Chinander has a bunch of experienced guys back, too. Washington is a mainstay, allowing French more time to develop. And when healthy, Coleman is a good bet to replace Lokombo's production. Prevot might be the best pure pass rusher of the group, and now will look to show he's strong enough in other aspects to push Coleman for time.

Josh Huff continues to impress during day two of Senior Bowl prep.

Huff continued to stand out in his position group and Herron struggled with a few drops and at times looked uncomfortable settling under the ball.

■ Dale Newton talks about recruiting after Budda Baker.

■ Andy McNamara and Rob Moseley talk about the off-season for the football team and what is coming up.

■ George Horton discusses key roles in the 2014 Oregon pitching rotation.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mu
Rob Moseley reviewed the 2013 DL yesterday and looks at how things stack up for 2014.


DE: Arik Armstead, Jr.; T.J. Daniel, RSo.; Jason Sloan, RFr.
NG: Alex Balducci, Jr.; Stetzon Bair, Jr.; Jonathan Kenion, RFr.
DT: DeForest Buckner, Jr.; Sam Kamp, Jr.; David Kafovalu, Sr.

Entering 2013 this looked like the deepest, most talented position group on the team. But the losses to graduation are massive, and suddenly depth is a real question mark. Buckner is a budding star, and Balducci can take the next step from plugger to playmaker. Armstead has more than enough talent to be an impact starter, though he's spending this winter playing basketball rather than "pushing more weight," as Pellum wants to see his defense do in their offseason lifting program. Can Bair make the huge jump from scout-team yeoman to contributor in the two-deep? Will Daniel parlay his work with the scout team into a regular role on defense? The Ducks do have some help on the way, having signed JC defensive lineman Tui Talia, and there's a chance he could get here in April. This may be a position where some February signees get a chance to contribute early, too, come August.

■ Kevin Gemmell has Hroniss Grasu in the #23 spot in the Pac-12 top 25 players for 2013.

He anchored the line for the No. 1 scoring offense in the Pac-12 (45.5 points per game), the top rushing offense in the league (273.5 yards per game) and the No. 1 total offense in the league (565 yards per game). The Ducks line also allowed just 18 sacks in 13 games, the third-lowest total in the league.

■ Josh Huff represents Oregon as the Senior Bowl prep gets underway.

■ Mike Merrell believes when it comes to the Heisman, Marcus Mariota should just say no to all the hype.

A short teaser video from GoDucksdotcom reminds you it's almost baseball season and you belong at PK Park.

■ Matt Takimoto @ATQ  (@takimoto23x) lists his top 20 (20ish) touchdowns from the 2013 season. Always fun to go through his list and commentary.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley reviews the 2013 Oregon offensive line.

With [Tyler] Johnstone out for the spring after knee surgery, his buddy [Andre] Yruretagoyena figures to get first crack at replacing him with the first-team offense. That's a huge opportunity for the former top recruit to show he belongs in the Ducks' plans for 2014. With the other four starters back, you figure the Ducks are set up front. And the presence of three seniors means this projects as a very solid group come fall. Then, the intrigue is lower on the two-deep, where the redshirt freshmen battles with walk-ons for spots. One thing to keep an eye on will be how [Doug] Brenner and [Jake] Pisarcik are used; one school of thought holds that Pisarcik's future may actually be at center, while the burly Brenner could be a long-term fit at guard. We'll see if there are any indications of that in April. Also, the Ducks have signed a JC offensive guard, Haniteli Lousi, who is said to be a big, physical, nasty blocker, all attributes the line could use. If he's able to enroll for spring, Lousi can get a head start on bolstering those qualities in his new team.

■ Kyle Bonagura @ESPN has WR Josh Huff at #24 in the top 25 countdown for the Pac-12 in 2013.

Where Huff measures up against others in school history tells a lot. The senior tied the school record for touchdown receptions and broke Bob Newland's school-record for receiving yards that had stood for 43 years. In doing so, the 5-foot-11, 202-pound Texas-native cemented his legacy as one of the school's all-time greats. He went over 100 yards receiving six times, but no performance was greater than what he did in the Civil War against Oregon State. In that game, Huff caught nine passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner with 29 seconds left.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bralon Addison 2013 Highlights

■ Here you go Duck fans, all of Bralon Addison's best plays from the 2013 season including the Alamo Bowl. Enjoy!


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Dale Newton wonders what's on the radar now that recruiting is in the eleventh hour for the 2014 class.

Oregon's coaches now have the twin challenge of not only replacing De'Anthony Thomas, but replacing his replacement. The decision reduces the list of verbal commits in the 2014 class to 16, and knocks the Ducks down several spots in the PAC-12 recruiting rankings with less than three weeks to go until Signing Day.

 To win football games, a coach has to land his share of Budda Bakers, and close strong every season.

■ Slow weekend for Duck football news but we will have another individual highlight video for 2013 posted later today so stay tuned.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

All 81 Oregon Duck TD's 2013 season through the 2013 Alamo Bowl

Here you go Duck fans, all 81 Oregon touchdowns during the 2013 season including the 2013 Alamo Bowl. Enjoy...


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ has a 2013 season review for the wide reivers and tight ends posted.

Josh Huff blossomed into a star, Bralon Addison and Keanon Lowe were steady contributors, and a number of guys played at an unsettled tight end spot in 2013. (read more here)

■ Andrew Greif talks about a verbal commit who changed his mind and wonders if the Pac-12 north is weakened by the departure of Stanford defensive players and defensive coordinator.

■ Marcus Mariota tops the Pac-12 for Heisman consideration in 2014.

Mariota shouldn't just be considered the front-runner from the Pac-12, he should be considered the favorite to win the award, period...


Friday, January 17, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Marcus Mariota has been selected as recipient of the 2013 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Quarterback Trophy.

Mariota becomes the fourth Oregon player in five seasons to win a CFPA crystal trophy, joining LaMichael James (freshman award winner) in 2009, Cliff Harris (punt returner) in 2010, and De'Anthony Thomas (kickoff returner) in 2011.

■ Chris Charbonnier liks the coaching continuity and its positive impact on recruiting.

Chip being Chip, always entertaining and to the point.

Coach Nick Aliotti just being final time. I'll always be a Duck... Going to miss him.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud has a review of the 2013 season for the running backs.

SPRING PROJECTION - RB: Byron Marshall, Jr.; Thomas Tyner, So.; Ayele Forde, Sr.; Kenny Bassett, Sr.; Lane Roseberry, So.; Kani Benoit, RFr.; J.J. Jones, So.

With [De'Anthony] Thomas off to the NFL a year early, the Ducks enter the 2014 spring with a very solid, experienced one-two punch in Marshall and Tyner. Both figure to get even better given their youth, Tyner in particular now that he’s got a season of collegiate experience under his belt. April will be an important month for the rest of the group to lay groundwork for next fall, because the Ducks have traditionally recruited very well at running back, and the competition only gets tougher each year in preseason camp.

■ Erik Chinander was named the outside linebackers coach yesterday by the Ducks.

Ted Miller wraps up the season for the Ducks and has them positioned in second place in the final power rankings for 2013.

■ Erik McKinney believes Oregon will land a surprise recruit before the recruiting deadline. talks about not only John Neal's to stay with the Ducks but also an added role.

■ Andrew Greif brings a sigh of relief as John Neal decided it was in his best interest to stay at Oregon.

“I never had a fear that I couldn't be a great head coach; I know I can be,” Neal said. “I'm the head coach of my position, I get it, but I'm also in the best football program in the United States. I'm humbled and thankful that the people out there thought of me for the interview. But the not knowing out there wasn't as strong as knowing what I had here. I want to retire at Oregon.”


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud confirmed what we already knew, long time position coach Don Pellum has officially been announced as the new defensive coordinator for the Ducks.

Ted Miller likes the continuity of the Pellum hire and here is a short video with the announcement from Pellum himself.

Rob Moseley says Don Pellum will use what has worked in the past along with some fresh ideas of his own.

■ Mark Flores has the latest on Duck football recruiting.

Former Oregon LB Kiko Alonso (Buffalo Bills) was named the defensive rookie of the year by the Pro Football Writers of America yesterday.

The second-round pick out of Oregon led the Bills in interceptions with four and finished third in the NFL in tackles with 159 stops. His strong play as a rookie earned him near mythical status on social media, with fans using the popular #LegendOfKikoAlonso hashtag on Twitter. Alonso also finished with two sacks, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries...


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Ted Miller has his Pac-12 all BCS-era team posted where you'll find a couple of familiar faces.

RB LaMichael James, Oregon: Two-time first-team All-Pac-12, 2010 Doak Walker Award winner and unanimous All-American finished his career ranked second in Pac-12 history in rushing yards (5,082) and TDs (53).

DL Haloti Ngata, Oregon: A consensus All-American and Morris Trophy winner in 2005. announced it's appreciation for Phil Knight with a special bobblehead for those in attendance at the basketball game against USC on Feb. 1.

■ Andrew Grief sat down with KEZI's Jake Zivin to talk about Don Pellum and his pending promotion.

■ Rusty Ryan @ATQ looks back at the 2013 season and ahead to 2014 and shares his thoughts with more questions than answers. reviews the 2013 season positions by looking first at the quarterbacks.

SPRING PROJECTION: QB: Marcus Mariota, Jr.; Jeff Lockie, So.; Jake Rodrigues, So.; Damion Hobbs, RFr.; Taylor Alie, RFr.

The Ducks welcome Mariota back with open arms, after he passed up the chance to enter the NFL draft. He’ll look to improve his consistency as a passer in 2014, and can also clean up his ball security in the run game. Lockie and Rodrigues thus face the prospect of another year battling to be the backup; the possibility of guys in that position seeking a transfer can’t be discounted, though neither has publicly expressed interest in doing so. Hobbs and Alie also will continue their development in April practices.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Robby Boydstun takes a look what Don Pellum's eventual hiring will mean for recruiting.

The impending hire continues the Ducks practice of promoting from within. Not only does this keep stability amongst the current roster that has played for Pellum, but it keeps one of the Ducks key recruiters on staff. He is well respected amongst his peers and by the Oregon family, making this an easy hire for the fan base to digest once everything is made official.

ESPN also likes the Pellum hire but not everyone is smelling roses.

■ Nathan Roholt likes the 2014 football home schedule that was recently announced and calls it one of best home schedules in a while.

The marquee match-up with Michigan State on September 6th, makes the non-conference schedule a winner.

The Spartans should begin 2014 ranked in the top ten and, barring a monumental upset to Jacksonville State the week before, should come to Autzen Stadium as the highest-ranked non-conference opponent since Oregon’s last opponent from the state of Michigan came to town.  That’s when the Ducks played the third-ranked Wolverines in 2003.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Numerous sources including the Oregonian, eDuck and Dale Newton indicate Don Pellum will be the next defensive coordinator for Oregon football. Mixed feelings and surprise seem to be the message of the day.

■ Quiet day in Duck football news today, more following tomorrow.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Marcus Mariota 2013 Highlights


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Ted Miller has Oregon's defense on his "best of the Pac-12 bowl season" list.

In Nick Aliotti's last game as Oregon's defensive coordinator, the Ducks held Texas to seven points, 13 first downs and 236 total yards. The Ducks defense even outscored the Longhorns in the 30-7 victory with a pair of pick-6s.

Andrew Greif has a must read story on Nick Aliotti and his retirement that started out with a long standing family tradition.

A.J. Jacobson reminds us there are still a few remaining spots open for this years recruiting class with less than a month no national signing day.

■ Duck fans can prove that they are the greatest fans in the United States by helping Oregon win the NCAA’s 6th Fan contest. Many ways to vote including directly from the website, Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites.

Dale Newton talks about what Oregon overcame in 2013.

Despite all this Helfrich became the first Oregon first-year coach to win a bowl game and achieve 11 wins. Admittedly he had more to work with than any previous head coach, but he also had a busload of adversity and jet-fueled expectations.

2014 will bring its own challenges, but the entire group, Helfrich included, will be strengthened by the experience of getting along without Chip Kelly.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Kevin Gemmell has a season review for the Ducks posted.

...They did win their bowl game and finished ranked in the top 10. There’s something to be said for that. And we’re in no way calling Mark Helfrich’s first year as coach a bust. He won a bowl game in his first year – which Chip Kelly never did -- and probably learned a few lessons along the way. When you have a title-game-or-bust mentality, every loss is heart-wrenching. But we also understand that injuries can impact a team -- especially injuries to a Heisman-contending quarterback. Grade: B.

■ Ted Miller lists Oregon players on both sides of the ball for the Pac-12 all-bowl team.

■ Rob Moseley notes three newcomers to the football program have registered for the winter quarter, two JC transfers and a true freshman.

■ Dale Newton wonders if 2014 will be a year to reload or rebuild for the football team.

■ Josh White says there are four ways the Ducks have changed after Chip Kelly.

■ Mel Kiper Jr. @ESPN ($Insider) has Kiko Alonso as defensive player of the year on his all-rookie team for the NFL.

Alonso was third in the NFL in tackles and, perhaps just as impressive, was one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL, a significant bonus. Because of his ability to cover, Alonso never came off the field; he played nearly 1,200 snaps.


Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Adam Rittenberg @ESPN has Marcus Mariota in his stars to keep an eye out for in 2014.

There wasn't a more underappreciated player in college football than Mariota in 2013. He quickly fell out of the Heisman race after Oregon's loss to Stanford, in which he played with a sprained knee. Mariota still put up staggering numbers for the season: 3,665 pass yards and 31 touchdowns against just four interceptions while completing 63.5 percent of his attempts, as well as 7.4 yards per rush with nine touchdowns. He led the nation in adjusted QBR (89.5) and surprised some by electing to return for his junior season.

■ Erik McKinney says DB Mattrell McGraw is the most important target for Oregon in recruiting that hasn't already committed.

Oregon continues to climb in the recruiting rankings for 2014.

Oregon released the official 2014 schedule yesterday.

■ Dale Newton says John Neal would be an obvious choice to replace Nick Aliotti but Todd Orlando might be a much better choice.

Orlando coached a group (Utah State) that allowed 17.1 points a game, 7th best in the nation while competing in the offense-happy Mountain West. They held USC to 17, shut out Colorado State, and topped Boise State 34-23.

He's a rising star in coaching who combines the intensity of Nick Aliotti with the vision, and attention to detail of [Chip] Kelly.


Josh Huff Career Highlights

Here you go Duck fans, all of Josh Huff's best play from 2010 through 2013. He will be missed.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Oregon finished the 2013 season #9 in both the AP and coaches poll.

Oregon entered bowl season at No. 10 according to the AP and No. 12 as ranked by the coaches. A 30-7 Alamo Bowl win over Texas vaulted the Ducks past Stanford, Ohio State and Baylor to account for the three-spot jump in the coaches' poll; the Ducks passed those three teams in the AP poll, too, but were jumped themselves by Clemson and Oklahoma and so moved up just one spot.

Oregon finished the regular season with the highest Pac-12 ranking and you can see how the Pac-12 stacks up to other AQ conferences here when it comes to the bowl games.

■ Cal LB Johnny Ragin, 6'3" 225 lbs, is transferring to Oregon according to multiple outlets. He will have to redshirt in 2014 and will have three years eligibility left for Oregon.

■ Andrew Greif looks ahead to the 2014 season to see how Oregon is ranked.

■ Beth Maiman wonders who will fill Nick Aliotti's shoes as Oregon faces another coaching change n 2014.

One thing certain about Aliotti is that he had the players’ respect. Defensive lineman Taylor Hart referred to him as a father figure and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu said his relentless passion is what makes him so effective...

Although replacing Aliotti is not a simple switch. You couldn’t ignore the man’s personality, hunger to compete, and brutal honesty. It’s certain that the program is losing one big personality, along with a talented coach.


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu talks with the media yesterday after announcing his decision to come back for his senior season. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Good news yesterday as Ifo Ekpre-Olumu has decided to return for his senior season as a Duck.

“The two main factors related to my decision to return were my continued progression as a person and a player, and I felt Oregon was my best option to achieve those goals and improve my situation for next year,” Ekpre-Olomu said Monday.

“I should be able to finish my degree by next fall, possibly by the end of the summer. Football is only one phase of who I am; my degree will be forever. Secondly was my ability to make an impact and become a top (draft) pick, and I felt staying one more year would only help me.”

■ Andrew Greif wonders who will fill De'Anthony Thomas' role in 2014.

■ Victor Flores grades Mark Helfrich's first year as Oregon's head coach.

■ Charles Fisher looks at how Taylor Hart came up with so many tackles in the Alamo Bowl.

■ Mark Schlabach has Oregon at #3 in his way too early top 25 for 2014.

■ Dale Newton liked Ifo Ekpre-Olumu's decision (along with Mariota and Grasu) and says Ifo just adds to the leadership going into 2014.

Ifo's big decision gives the Ducks exceptional maturity and leadership next season. With those three setting the tone, it will be a purposeful, committed group that takes the field for spring practice and begins off season workouts next week. The three are not coming back to play in another Alamo Bowl. Each could have made millions in the NFL draft, and elected to stay in school because they love the college experience, their teammates, and playing for Scott Frost, John Neal, Steve Greatwood and Mark Helfrich.


Monday, January 06, 2014

De'Anthony Thomas Career Highlights

All of De'Anthony's best plays during his career at Oregon from 2011 through 2013. Enjoy!


De'Anthony Thomas 2013 Highlights

Here you go Duck fans, all of De'Anthony's best plays from the 2013 season including the Alamo Bowl. Good luck in the NFL DAT.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ I think we all knew it was going to happen but now we have confirmation, De'Anthony Thomas has declared he will pass up his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

"I will certainly hate to see De'Anthony leave, but I understand and agree with his decision to enter the 2014 NFL draft," UO running backs coach Gary Campbell said. "He's had an exciting career at Oregon, and now it's time to move on to the next level. I wish him mega success in his new endeavors."

■ Andrew Greif reports linebacker Jimmie Swain gives his commitment to the Ducks yesterday.

Swain is listed as a 6-foot-3, 219-pound outside linebacker from Olathe, Kan., with a three-star rating by Rivals. He was recruited by UO linebackers coach Don Pellum.

Dale Newton discusses Oregon's recruiting philosophy.

■ Jake Tabor turns the tables in part two of his 2014 forecast for how Oregon does in the Pac-12 for 2014.

■ Victor Flores has a good article about Oregon walk-on Brian Teague who played his last game at the Alamo Bowl.

But as relieving as the end feels, Brian will miss it. He hardly played a meaningful snap. He never earned a scholarship. He never ate for free at a training table. But he enjoyed his career and he thinks he’s a better man because of the struggles he went through. And he certainly doesn’t expect football to be the highlight of his life.

“It’s not the end of it for me,” Brian said. “There’s life after football.”


Sunday, January 05, 2014

Josh Huff 2013 Highlights

Here you go Duck fans, enjoy all of Huff's best plays from the 2013 season including the 2013 Alamo Bowl. Josh also set a new Oregon single season receiving record in 2013. His performance in the Civil War this year will be long remembered. Good luck in the future Josh.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Jake Tabor @ATQ takes a look at why he thinks Oregon will win the Pac-12 in 2014 in the first of a two part article. Number one on his list, the return of Marcus Mariota.

This is something which cannot be understated. The Ducks return the best quarterback in the Pac-12 and with a healthy Mariota, Oregon will likely be favored in every game they play. De'Anthony Thomas still hasn't made his decision but I will make the assumption he is leaving. Having Thomas Tyner and Byron Marshall in the backfield will likely provide one of the more dynamic one-two punches in the backfield.

■ Oregon commit, RB Royce Freeman, had a big day helping the West beat the East in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday.

■ Dale Newton looks at how Oregon commits fared in other high school all-star bowls.

■ If De'Anthony Thomas comes back next year Dale Newton proposes a more defined role, receiver.

He is still the same electric player he was when he came to Oregon, with 45 career touchdowns. The Oregon coaches have to do a better job utilizing him if he returns, and he has to apply himself with the change in position. Receivers coach Matt Lubick has a tremendous track record developing players. Both Josh Huff and Addison made huge strides in their game this season under his direction. Nobody coaches details and technique with more meticulous attention. If Thomas wants to play, win and build a first-round resume, he'll have to pay attention.


Saturday, January 04, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Dale Newton grades Scott Frost in his first year as offensive coordinator.

Fans expect perfection and instant results. Fans want the ego boost of rooting for a winner, and often don't understand how hard the game is or the sacrifices players and coaches make. It's easy to rip someone behind an anonymous internet handle. It's important to remember how Frost has stood up to the criticism and defended his players, and the tremendous way he's represented the university and himself. Imagine an unmarried college football coach who took in a 16-year old foster child and gave him a home. Think about a coach who becomes a second father to players like Mariota and Huff. That's Scott Frost. Whatever he hasn't learned about running the offense, he'll figure out.

■ Andrew Greif tries to figure out what the departure of Terrance Mitchell means for the Ducks and their fans.

■ Steve Summers and the rest of the staff at eDuck reflect on the 2013 season and Steve looks ahead to the 2014 season.

My questions about the Ducks and soon-to-be-second-year-coach Mark Helfrich are much different now after the Alamo Bowl win than had the Oregon lost to Texas. The Ducks appear to be finishing strongly in recruiting and picking a top-notch defensive coordinator would be very positive strokes headed into the spring. I wouldn't mind at all if the selection were say someone like John Neal, but if the Ducks do go another direction, let’s hope that the decision will be based on quality and not because of some sort of financial restraint. Oregon has the talent, the facilities so hopefully a strong pick for defensive coordinator will make it possible for a run at the conference championship and ultimately landing in the four-team playoff for the national championship.


Friday, January 03, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Dale Newton looks inside the highlight tape of the Alamo Bowl.

The Ducks faltered on offense but rode a tenacious defense and a great individual performance by Marcus Mariota to a 30-7 victory, capping off an 11-2 season with a bowl victory over one of the NCAA's richest and most storied programs.

■ Oregon junior cornerback Terrance Mitchell has decided to forgo his senior season in favor of entering the NFL draft it was announced last night.

■ A.J. Jacobson looks at Oregon recruits and prospects that are playing in all star games in the near future.

■ Damyean Dotson stole a pass from Dallin Bachynski and raced untouched for a breakaway dunk with 1 second left in overtime and No. 10 Oregon remained unbeaten with a 70-68 victory over Utah on Thursday night in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.

I'm not the only one who is a Chip Kelly believer. I wish the Ducks still had him.

"Chip has done a tremendous job finding a way to get this team to jell and getting guys to buy into his system and understand hard work will eventually pay off," said cornerback Cary Williams, who arrived fresh off winning a Super Bowl in Baltimore. "Everyone believed and took him at his word.

"No matter how dreary the season was early on, he told us we had to continue to persevere and we'd get to the point we are.

"We just kept the faith. And now here we are."


Thursday, January 02, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Josh White compares Thomas Tyner's true freshman year with some other notable running back that came before him.

I included figures for a few non-Ducks of the historically good running back variety, to add further context to the stats.  As you can conclude, by almost any measure, Thomas Tyner had a pretty darn good true freshman season.  Toward the end of the season, you saw him becoming more decisive in hits cuts and getting up-field with a greater burst.

If, during this off-season, he can build upon his already considerable physical skills and mastery of the Oregon playbook, 2014 should look pretty bright for Tyner and the Ducks’ backfield.

■ Ken Goe believes De'Anthony Thomas should stay at Oregon another year to work on his receiving skills before turning pro.

■ David Piper @ATQ looks at a few names being tossed around as Nick Aliotti's replacement.

■ Alex Legarza takes a closer look at two sport player Arik Armstead as he prepares for basketball now that the football season is over.

The Ducks are eagerly waiting to see what Armstead can contribute on the court as a redshirt freshman.  His size and strength should help the Ducks in areas they've been lacking underneath, with potential for shot blocking and rebounding.


Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

A few highlights and the team celebration after the Alamo Bowl win from GoDucksdotcom and KEZI wraps up their Alamo Bowl coverage.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Matt Takimoto @ATQ has some end of the season thoughts and proclaims Marcus Mariota is a God.

Marcus Mariota is just the greatest. He spent two months lighting the world on fire, gritted his way through November on a bum knee, and then showed the nation what they can look forward to in 2014 by torching the Texas defense in the Alamo Bowl. 253 yards passing, 133 yards rushing, and a reminder to Duck fans that he's still the man. Even with the final four games of bulky knee braces and moxie, he still threw for 3400 yards, and ran for almost 600 more. His career numbers through two seasons: 62 touchdowns, 10 interceptions; over 7 yards per carry and 14 rushing touchdowns; and just a shade over 6000 yards passing. And he's coming back next season...

■ Victor Flores wonders what the future holds for the Duck football team.

■ Dale Newton shares his concerns for the football program going into spring practice and has a lot of valid points.

■ Thomas Boyd captured several comments from pundits around the country regarding the win over Texas.

■ Mark Flores looks ahead to several recruiting targets Oregon might consider.

■ Joey Holland pays tribute to long time defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti.

Aliotti’s final game was one of his best, holding the Texas Longhorns to only seven points, and his defense came up with two defensive touchdowns when the offense had trouble converting long drives into scores.

After 37 years of coaching – and a total of 22 fantastic seasons of great success at Oregon – defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti has truly earned his retirement.  Duck fans thank him for both his incredible coaching feats and long-term commitment to the program.  He will be missed.