■ ESPN looks at the top returning players in the Pac-12 including Marcus Mariota.
■ Kyle Bonagura gives us a spring preview capsule in the Pac-12 north including Oregon.
Don Pellum replaces longtime defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, who held the job for the previous 17 seasons. It'll take some adjusting without Aliotti around, but Pellum, who has spent 23 years coaching at Oregon, figures to make it close to a seamless transition.
■ Ted Miller wonders if the Pac-12 has a Stanford problem as looks for the breakthrough team heading into the spring.
■ Gerry Hamilton @ESPN ($) looks at the top position classes in the Pac-12.
■ Rob Moseley believes the series with Cal State Fullerton should have major postseason implications.
■ Tyson Alger wonders if the recent surge in power for the baseball team will continue as the schedule ramps up.
Players on the Oregon baseball team know how the song goes. They play in a pitcher's park that is more welcoming to slap singles and speed than power. They're a team that is missing a bat, doesn't have that pop and better run if they want to score.
But before going ahead and finishing the rest of the verses to this season, catcher Shaun Chase has some advice: Don't write the chorus yet.
"We're the 2014 Ducks," Chase said after Tuesday's 8-2 win over Portland. "We're going to be able to hit this year. PK Park better watch out for us."
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Marshall, 5-foot-10, 201 pounds, has been focused on getting stronger this offseason so he can be a more physical runner, as well as working on his lateral quickness. He knows there are no gimmes on the depth chart. Speedy Thomas Tyner, a touted 2013 recruit, rushed for 711 yards -- a school record for a true freshman -- and nine touchdowns last year, matching Marshall's 6.2 yards per carry. While they look like a dynamic backfield duo, Marshall wants to maintain his status as option 1A.
■ Kyle Bonagura has a RB position breakdown for each team in the Pac-12.
■ Ted Miller takes a closer look at the Pac-12 WR's heading into spring practice.
Bralon Addison, who caught 61 passes for 890 yards with seven TDs last season, will step into the void left by Josh Huff. Keanon Lowe is a solid No. 2. Things are wide-open thereafter which makes it a good opportunity for young players to step up.
■ Andrew Greif believes how Oregon practices might hold more answers than the "baloney" NCAA 10 second proposal.
■ Oregon left-handed pitcher Porter Clayton will get the start on Sunday when Oregon baseball takes on Cal State Fullerton and George Horton talks about his former team.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:42 AM
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
A team takes on the personality of its leaders. There will be a new energy at Oregon practice this spring, a palpable change in the air. It will permeate workouts and statements to the media. It will define everything they do. This is a team with a great love for each other and for the game. "Expect another great season," [Tony] James told me. Outsized expectations have never been more reasonable.
■ Former Oregon TE Colt Lyerla won $10k for his performance at the NFL combine.
■ GoDucks.com takes an indepth look at the Oregon baseball 15 game homestand which got underway yesterday.
■ Victor Flores takes a look ahead to the weekend when the baseball team will be tested with a series against Cal State Fullerton.
■ Oregon's big first inning led to a 8-2 win over Portland last night.
[Jeff] Gold allowed two runs on three hits in the fourth but otherwise shut the Pilots down, matching his career high with seven strikeouts. Five of those were looking, thanks in no small part to the job Chase did framing Gold's curveball.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
■ George Horton talks with reporters about his team's 7-0 start on the season, the Sunday starter spot and what he's learned about his group so far. Video courtesy of KEZI.
■ Rob Moseley has 3 keys to Oregon's hot start for the baseball team.
■ Oregon jumped 2 spots to #9 in the latest Baseball America Top 25 rankings.
■ Jake Tabor @ATQ continues the series, "Moments that Matter", with a look at one such moment for Thomas Tyner last year.
■ Ted Miller has a position breakdown on the QB's for the Pac-12 including Oregon.
■ Ted Miller puts the off-season spotlight on the returning TE group for 2014.
Oregon, which has long had good tight ends -- future NFL players, in fact -- laboring mostly in obscurity, has a dynamic threesome that coach Mark Helfrich and offensive coordinator Scott Frost need to more fully integrate into their offense this spring and fall. All three of these guys are big and athletic.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:00 AM
Monday, February 24, 2014
One of the guys needs to be the guy by the fall, because Oregon may need him next year. True freshman Morgan Mahalak is a strong candidate for the future, with great passing mechanics and a superb ability to process information but it's hard to think he can get ready for the PAC-12 in just one fall camp, and it would be risky to squander a year of eligibility on a handful of plays, should Mariota go down at any point in the 15-game campaign the Ducks hope to complete this season.
■ Freshmen are making key contributions for the Oregon baseball team this year.
■ Oregon remains undefeated after winning 4-3 against Loyola Marymount behind clutch hitting.
Oregon’s clutch play off the bench and another spectacular catch by right fielder Tyler Baumgartner pushed Oregon to another win at Loyola Marymount. The Ducks scored a run in the top of the ninth to pick up a 4-3 win and a sweep of the three-game series.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:49 AM
Sunday, February 23, 2014
The clutch pinch hitting continued what has been a positive for the Ducks all season. Oregon has reached base 12 times in 18 pinch hit plate appearances in the first six games.
■ Colt Lyerla had a good day at the NFL combine yesterday after starting slow on Friday.
■ Alex Kirby gives you three reasons why Chip Kelly's offense isn't a fad.
Chip Kelly is not introducing a trendy, statue-of-liberty-type offense to the NFL, he’s simply maximizing the opportunities for his guys to make plays. Whether the talking heads and “experts” will ever figure it out remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, this style of play is here to stay.
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:34 AM
Saturday, February 22, 2014
■ Just a reminder that you belong at PK Park when the Ducks open their first homestand of the year next week.
■ Oregon cruised to a 12-2 win over Loyola Marymount yesterday after a big 8th inning outburst scored 8 runs.
[Tyler] Baumgartner went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Kyle Garlick was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored. His double missed being a grand slam by less than two feet.
■ Andrew Greif and Tyson Alger preview the Oregon players taking part in the NFL combine including: Boseko Lokombo, Taylor Hart, De'Anthony Thomas, Terrance Mitchell, Colt Lyerla, and Josh Huff.
■ Former Oregon favorite Freddie Jones has been selected to the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Hall of Honor.
Jones and 11 other conference greats will be inducted during a ceremony on March 14 prior to the semifinal games at the 2014 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:29 AM
Friday, February 21, 2014
If Mariota doesn't tweak his knee, he wins the Heisman Trophy and Oregon is likely playing for it all. When healthy, he’s crazy dangerous as a thrower and runner.
■ Spring football practice begins in a little over a month and Kyle Bonagura has all the important dates for the Pac-12.
■ Josh White tries to sort out the cluttered Oregon backfield.
■ Andrew Greif takes a closer look at linebackers coach Erik Chandler.
■ Six former Oregon players are ready to hit the field as the NFL combine gets underway.
■ NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock believes Taylor Hart will be a mid-round pick in the draft.
■ KEZI has a few interviews with members of the baseball team for your perusal.
■ Tyson Alger says Matt Krook's "wild thing" outing against Hawaii has left the freshman unfazed and not worried about his next appearance.
The only thing more impressive than the seven balls that got away was the rest of his stat line. The 35th-pick in the 2013 MLB draft stymied the Hawaii lineup for seven innings, allowing five hits and two unearned runs while striking out eight and walking two.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Tyree Robinson (entering redshirt freshman season at defensive back): "Coming off his redshirt he can help us a lot not just on defense but special teams as well. I think he has his mind right, he’s been working hard all year and we can see."
■ Dale Newton has some thoughts on the Andrew Greif story we linked to yesterday on Don Pellum.
■ Rusty Ryan @ATQ has a few more thoughts on the "slow-down" proposed rule by the NCAA.
■ Oregon will look to improve on their 4-0 start this season when they travel to Loyola Marymount tomorrow for a three game series.
■ Tyson Alger says speed evens out a lack of power for the baseball team.
“For us, the answer is going to be clearly about being more athletic,” assistant coach Mark Wasikowski said. “We can run the bases pretty well. We did that very well in Hawaii. We look to continue to do that as a staple of (coach George Horton’s) program.”
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
This ranks No. 1 only because of the matchup with Michigan State, the Big Ten and Rose Bowl champions. The Spartans are the toughest of any Pac-12 non-conference foe. And because the other non-conference schedules in the North are so weak. Good news for Ducks: All games are in Autzen Stadium.
■ Here's more evidence that the proposed "slow-down" rule is likely going nowhere.
■ Andrew Greif says Don Pellum is a standard bearer for a new level of accountability.
■ Andy McNamara and Rob Moseley discuss the incoming recruits.
■ Mark Flores wonders if the midwest will be Oregon's newest recruiting hot bed.
■ One NFL analyst believes De'Anthony Thomas and Colt Lyerla will be mid-round picks.
■ David Piper @ATQ likes the state of Oregon ruling the Pac-12 baseball standings.
■ Tyson Alger examines the positive reaction on George Horton's amazing career and reactions from around the country.
The wins may be a byproduct of age, as Horton said, but they've certainly come due to a long history of success.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:44 AM
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Many folks outside the Pac-12 probably immediately thought the Ducks would rule here, and Autzen is the toughest venue in terms of crowd noise in the Pac-12 at present without question. But Oregon students know exactly the problem here: The student section is capped at less than 5,500 for home games. Why? Students don't pay as much for tickets, and Oregon tickets have become hot commodities as the program has surged in the national rankings. Yet while smaller in numbers, the Ducks do get after you.
■ Jake Tabor @ATQ introduces a new segment, "Moments that Matter," and first up is Bralon Addison.
■ Kyle Bonagura @ESPN looks at how the Pac-12 is helping to boost football attendance.
■ Andrew Greif shares part two of the NFL Draft Diary and Taylor Hart's journey to the NFL combine.
■ George Horton picked up his 900th career victory as the Ducks swept the four game series at Hawaii 10-2. Here's a short segment from KEZI.
Scott Heineman and Tyler Baumgartner both had three hits to lead Oregon’s 10-hit attack. Heineman, who entered the game without a hit in the series, went 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Baumgartner was 3-for-4 with a RBI and three runs scored. Mitchell Tolman drove in a pair of runs while going 1-for-4.
Monday, February 17, 2014
■ KEZI's Jake Zivin talks with Don Pellum about his strategy for the upcoming season among other topics.
■ Casey Fluegge looks at the remaining players for the defensive line after graduating some familiar names after last season.
■ Charles Fisher looks deeper into Mark Helfrich's recruiting style.
■ Dale Newton takes an early looks at 2015 recruit Christian Kirk.
■ Oregon picked up their third straight win, 6-5, over Hawaii but it took extra innings. We'll take it.
Oregon rallied from a two-run ninth inning deficit with a pair of runs and then took advantage of a Hawaii error to claim a 6-5, 10-inning, win over the Rainbow Warriors at Les Murakami Stadium on Sunday.
Oregon faces Hawaii in the final game of the four-game series at 3:05 p.m. (PT). Senior Jeff Gold will take the mound for the Ducks, while Hawaii (0-3) counters with Scott Kuzminsky.
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:16 AM
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Oregon and Hawaii will meet in game three of the four-game series Sunday at 3:05 p.m. (PT). Oregon will send freshman Matt Krook to the mound, while Hawaii counters with Scott Squire.
■ Chris Mosch takes a look at what Cole Irvin can expect as he rehabs from surgery.
■ Don Gilman wonders if the proposed "slow-down" rule will damper the popularity of college football.
This has nothing to do with player safety. This is meant to appease a small group of powerful coaches who simply cannot, or will not, adjust to a new style of offense that threatens the way they run their football programs.
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:03 AM
Saturday, February 15, 2014
For the Ducks, the September 6th matchup at Autzen is a big, big game, particularly because it comes against the kind of opponent critics say they can't match up with, a big, physical team with an elite defense and a power running game. (ed: guess we'll have to wait and see)
■ Oregon squeaked by Hawaii 3-2 for their first win of the season.
Sophomore Nick Catalano scored from second on a wild pitch on a strikeout with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to give No. 7 Oregon a 3-2 win over Hawaii in both teams’ season opener on Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium.
■ The writers at the Daily Emerald talk about the baseball team this year and what to expect.
■ Tommy Thorpe has been named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list USA Baseball announced on Friday.
Thorpe served as the team’s Friday starter the last eight weeks of the season finishing the stretch with a 1.13 ERA.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Dale Newton: It doesn't seem right to try and legislate a strategy out of the game merely because you can't beat it...A slowdown rule seems like a step backward in the evolution of the game.
■ High expectations are nothing new for George Horton and his baseball team.
■ Tyson Alger breaks down each position for the baseball team.
■ Gar Pearson would like you to meet a couple of the Oregon baseball recruits he is excited to see in action.
■ Get your single game baseball tickets starting at 9 am on Saturday (local time) at GoDuck.com.
■ Oregon third baseman Scott Heineman reacted to the announcement that this will be Derek Jeter's last year of playing major league baseball.
"He's always been somebody I watched and kind of resembled my game after," he said. "The guy plays with class, plays hard everyday and brings it everyday. He's just someone that I kind of wanted to be growing up."
Thursday, February 13, 2014
■ George Horton talks about the pitching rotation and losing Cole Irvin. Video courtesy of the Daily Emerald.
■ Sophomore Garrett Cleavinger has been named to the watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award the NCBWA announced.
■ Erik Skopil examines the start of the as Oregon gets ready to take on Hawaii this weekend.
■ Pitcher Matt Krook talks about his decision to play for the Ducks instead of opting for pros.
■ Charles Fisher was pleasantly surprised after being reassured at a recent recruiting luncheon.
■ Dale Newton talks about the biggest challenge facing the Ducks, rebuilding the defense.
Oregon has to get more aggressive. [Don] Pellum says they have to tackle better and improve their fundamentals. The scheme has to be simplified so promising young players can get on the field sooner. They have to execute and avoid costly penalties and lapses in coverage and missed tackles and missed assignments.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:48 AM
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
As a freshman at Oregon, his 845 yards from scrimmage were just a down payment on the player he can become in college football. At 5-11, 211 he has the power to make first downs, and after running a 10.35 100 as a prep, the speed to outrun anyone in the game, angle or not.
■ George Horton will be looking at several career milestones in 2014.
■ Tyson Alger has a nice story about one special moment at PK Park.
■ David Piper @ATQ wonders where the offensive power will come now that Ryon Healy is gone.
[Scott] Heineman and [Kyle] Garlick have provided some in the past, but nobody has provided anywhere near the power that Healy did last season. Making up those 11 home runs and 20 doubles doesn't have to all come from one person, but there needs to be a consistent increase in production across the lineup to maintain last year's offensive level. And if Oregon wants to get that elusive trip to Omaha this season, they don't have to just maintain last year's level--they have to increase it...
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Only time and effort will make Morgan an Oregon starter, if ever. But it's evident from the numbers and the film that he has the potential to be capable and effective in the PAC-12 a couple of seasons from now.
■ Jon Wilner (along with numerous Pac-12 fans) wonders is there will be any relief from the night game nightmares we experienced last year.
■ David Piper says George Horton has plenty of options when it comes to adjusting the rotation because of Cole Irvin's injury, most likely the Sunday starter.
The two likely candidates, who will make starts in the season-opening Hawaii series, are Jeff Gold and Jordan Spencer. Gold was a Sunday starter for Oregon two years ago, and started five weekday games last season. He has 19 career starts for the Ducks and sports a 3.16 ERA for his career.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:26 AM
Monday, February 10, 2014
■ Nathan Roholt says evaluating recruiting classes now is nothing more than determining who did the best job of shopping for groceries. There’s still a meal to be made, and the quality of that meal is the criteria by which fans should use to judge programs.
■ Joel Gunderson says we'll have to wait and see how Oregon did with their latest recruiting class.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:34 AM
Sunday, February 09, 2014
■ OregonGridiron says welcome to the future of football with this sweet compilation of recent highlights.
■ Don Gilman believes Oregon's success isn't tied to recruiting rankings.
■ Dale Newton likes the performance of recent commit, Charles Nelson, as he earned MVP honors last Friday at the Canada vs. USA International Bowl in Arlington, Texas.
The newest speedy Duck zoomed 90 yards with a second quarter punt return for a td, adding five catches for 56 yards in a 43-7 victory by the U.S. 19-and-under All-Stars versus a squad from the Great White North.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:52 AM
Saturday, February 08, 2014
Teaching with a purpose: now that recruiting is completed, Don Pellum takes over as Oregon defensive coordinator, and he stands out as serious, organized and prepared, a people person, but a stickler for fundamentals and discipline.
■ The Oregonian shared a few snow photos from around campus the last couple of days.
■ Kevin Gemmell wonders it the Pac-12 coaching carousel will ever end?
■ Ted Miller has a list of Pac-12 players who have been invited to the NFL combine. Lots of players Duck fans will recognize.
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:55 AM
Friday, February 07, 2014
“He’s a big physical dude, runs heavy but still has that skill-set to run out of the backfield and catch the football, to be a great returner and protect and do some of the things that our guys do,” Helfrich said. “Having a bit more of a thumper absolutely can help you in goal line and short-yardage situations.”
■ Andrew Greif believes the secret behind Oregon's success is changing,
■ Dale Newton says the Oregon recruiting class stars are likely to shine over time.
Oregon has become one of the most successful teams because it evaluates and develops players as well or better than any team in the country. Marcus Mariota, LaMichael James played much better than the stars by their names said they would.
■ Josh White looks back at six outstanding performance from 2013.
■ Bralon Addison was a clutch receiver last season and looks to refine his skills in 2014.
■ The Ducks were picked second (just behind corvallis city) in the Pac-12 baseball preseason coaches poll yesterday.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:43 AM
Thursday, February 06, 2014
■ Quick recap of the signees with comment from Mark Helfrich.
■ Dale Newton shares his thoughts on the recruiting class.
■ Justin Wise reports Mattrell Mcgraw and Royce Freeman highlighted national signing day.
■ Seth Prince compares Chip Kelly's signing classes against Mark Helfrich's first two classes.
■ Morgan Mahalak talks with the Oregonian about his commitment to Oregon.
■ Sean Meagher compares Oregon's signing class to the rest of the Pac-12.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
This might have been the best performance by a quarterback on the road against a good defense all year. Mariota's adjusted QBR was 97.4 for the game (out of a possible 100). He connected on 13 of his first 15 passes in front of a boisterous crowd that was hungry to end a decade of futility in the bitter rivalry.
■ Dale Newton likes the steady season Byron Marshall put together in 2013.
■ Phil Steele sees the AP choosing Oregon for the #3 slot in their preseason poll during August.
■ Follow ESPN's recruiting nation for the latest updates and coverage as national signing day is finally here.
■ Erik McKinney has one bold prediction for Oregon on national signing day.
■ Andrew Greif looks at 2014 recruits most likely to make an immediate impact.
■ Dale Newton has some thoughts on the recruiting process as signing day gets under way.
■ Jalen Brown gets an early jump on the rest of the 2014 class by entering school early.
■ George Horton looks at all of his options in the rotation now that Cole Irvin will be out for the season.
In the wake of Irvin's injury, Horton said, left-hander Jordan Spencer and righty Jeff Gold could join Thorpe and talented freshman Matt Krook in the rotation for the four-game series at Hawaii.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:59 AM
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
■ Ted Miller breaks down ESPN's top 25 list for 2013 in the Pac-12.
■ Tyson Alger has a signing day countdown and profiles commit Tony James.
■ Erik McKinney highlights the past weekend in recruiting for the Pac-12 and mentions Oregon.
■ Tough news from the baseball team yesterday as Cole Irvin will be out for the season with Tommy John surgery. Hard to replace his numbers from last season.
■ Four Ducks have been named to Baseball America top prospects list.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:37 AM
Monday, February 03, 2014
The Ducks also self-impose some limitations. First, the pace at which Oregon runs, just doesn't work for some players who aren't ready for the fast lane, and second, the Ducks look hard at the character behind the stars to find players who will fit in.
■ Dale Newton has a few random thoughts after watching the Super Bowl yesterday.
■ John Canzano says the Super Bowl wasn't about Peyton Manning's "flop" but Seattle's greatness.
This championship was about unselfishness. It was about Seahawks pass rushers Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, in Manning's face all night. It was about free-agent acquisition Percy Harvin, who turned the lights out by picking up the opening kickoff of the second half and racing with fresh legs 86 yards for a touchdown.
Manning a loser? I suppose. But the Broncos had their will broken by the Seahawks. A statement of anything less, or trying to make this about the legacy of a player on the losing team, would be a disingenuous slap on a championship performance that was so good it made you think of the 1985 Bears or the 49ers of the 1989 season.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:54 AM
Sunday, February 02, 2014
Dale: He loved the school, the atmosphere, the players and the facilities, the opportunity to compete to play right away. He felt at home. His dad was sold, a fresh start with a coaching staff that really wanted him in a program that competed with the best nationally.
■ The basketball team gave Uncle Phil a rousing birthday party at Matt Knight Arena and a much needed win yesterday as Oregon forced 22 turnovers as they beat USC 78-66.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:35 AM
Saturday, February 01, 2014
Mariota commanded the No. 1 offense in the Pac-12 as the Ducks averaged 45.5 points per game. He was named first-team All-Conference by the coaches and was a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp player of the year, more than justifying his spot as the preseason No. 1.
■ Troy Hill has been reinstated to the team for his off-field troubles..
■ A.J. Jacobson and Andrew Greif have last minute recruiting updates.
■ Andy McNamara and Rob Moseley talk about the returning defensive players before signing day.
■ Dale Newton wonders if Marcus Mariota and Mark Helfrich are "too nice" to be champions.
It would be foolish to question the dedication, character or commitment of Mariota and Helfrich. Each devotes long hours to getting the most out of their ability and the talents of the Oregon team. But in a sport where the line between achievement and being forgotten is so fine, another element of the equation is "the killer instinct."
■ Baseball Mini-Plans go on sale February 3rd at 9 a.m at GoDucks.com. Get yours on Monday.
Oregon opens at PK Park on Tuesday, Feb. 25, against Portland after wrapping up a four-game series at Hawaii and a three-game series at Loyola Marymount. The Ducks play 15 home games between February 25 and March 23, while playing a total of 32 games at PK Park.