Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chantel Jennings talks with defensive lineman Arik Armstead on the growth of the unit since 2013.

■ GoDucks,com previews the Spring Game and gives you all the information you will need for a fun filled Saturday.

The scrimmage also will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks and broadcast on select Oregon IMG Sports Network radio affiliates, including KUJZ in Eugene (95.3 FM) and KXTG in Portland (750 AM).

Adding to the festivities will be the Ducks’ baseball team, which will entertain Arizona at 3 p.m. in PK Park.

Oregon football coaches received a hefty raise according to Tyson Alger.

Gar Pearson says one particular pitcher has been worth his weight in gold this season.

We weren't surprised that [Jeff] Gold, a red-shirt senior right handed pitcher for the Ducks’ and their Saturday starter, has been brilliant throughout the 2014 baseball season, with a record of 9-0 prior to Saturdays’ start, an earned run average of 2.30 in 74 innings of work, 50 strikeouts against 7 walks and a batting-average-against of a lowly .209!  That is quality pitching!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

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


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley talks about the exceptional spring Torrodney Prevot is having in his Monday practice report.

“My mindset has totally changed,” Prevot said. “I'm more focused on the field, more confident out there.”

A former U.S. Army All-American, Prevot played in 12 games last season, making 14 tackles and getting in on three sacks. He’s a gifted pass-rusher, and he’s working to expand his skill set; improved open-field tackling is a focus for the defense as a whole this spring, and Prevot has bought into that personally.

■ The Spring Game rosters were released yesterday and it seems evenly matched.

■ Chantel Jennings reports Erick Dargan might have the most prominent role this year.

■ Ifo Ekpre-Olomu expanded on his decision to not enter the NFL draft this year yesterday.

■ Casey Fluegge believes the Duck receivers will stand up to the test in 2014.

■ Jake Tabor @ATQ goes back to last season for  "Moments that Mattered" against the Cougs.

■ Andrew Greif has a good story about walk-on punter Ian Wheeler who is making a name for himself.

"I describe Ian as one of those guys who would hit .300 and hit three home runs versus the guy who hits .230 and hits 25 home runs," said [Tom] Osborne, who called Wheeler's strength his steadiness, not the pure strength of his leg. "The biggest thing with any specialist at any position -- place kicker, snapper, punter, whatever -- is consistency, and that’s what he did a great job of last fall. He came in last year and beat out a guy who was on scholarship."


Monday, April 28, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

■ George Horton talks to the media after getting swept, 7-1, at Goss Stadium yesterday.

■ Rob Moseley says the Ducks offense didn't show up in corvallis.

"You've got to clear it (mentally)," [Mitchell] Tolman said. "We've got a lot of stuff to work on, and I think we're going to do a good job this week in practice getting after it. …

"I don't think anyone (in the Pac-12) has it settled right now. I feel like if we bounce back and play our game, we're right there with it."


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Andrew Greif reports the new NCAA rule won't change how Oregon spend its summers.

There is nothing voluntary about new NCAA rules that permit college football coaches more control over the summer workouts of their players, but Oregon coach Mark Helfrich doesn't want the change to make football at UO "a year-round thing."

■ Ashley Young says Johnny Mundt is in a close race to secure the tight end position.

■ Oregon squandered another brilliant start by Jeff Gold as they lost 4-2 at osu.

Gold kept the Beavers beav trash off balance on a rainy and cold night allowing just four hits while striking out five and walking two. The senior allowed just two runners to reach second base before being pulled after seven innings with a 1-0 lead.

The three game series wraps up today at 1:00pm. George Horton talked to the media shortly after the game.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Scott Frost, Keanon Lowe, Ifo Ekpre-Olumu, Rodney Hardrick and Derrick Malone talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Friday practice report.

...Oshay Dunmore is a guy who brings it every day, but he was particularly fired up this morning. He had a great rep during kickoff drills, engaging his man, shedding the block and making a tackle. Later on he came up to stuff a screen pass near the line of scrimmage. … Derrick Malone also jumped out a couple times, sealing off the edge to contain a running back near the line, and later breaking up a pass.

■ The Spring Game "draft" was yesterday and Andrew Greif has details.

Don Pellum details a few new "blitz packages" in this report.

■ Charles Fisher details a few inside facts and observations.

Jeff Gold and freshman shortstop Mark Karaviotis have been named to watch lists at their respective positions.

■ Oregon baseball travelled 40 miles north to take on their arch rival but fell short in a 3-1 loss yesterday. We need to take the next two guys. Game two at 7:30pm local time today.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Chantel Jennings says the Oregon secondary is confident this spring.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is the most experienced of that group (84 tackles and three interceptions in 2013), but [John] Neal said that Dargan has also had a very good spring, saying that the redshirt senior “could play any position -- he could play defensive tackle. He knows the defense that well.”

■ Oregon's backup kickers find ways to improve the team.

■ Taj Griffin, five-star running back out of the Powder Springs, GA,  verbally committed to the Ducks according to multiple sources.

■ Arik Armstead has taken out an insurance policy to protect his potential future earnings in the NFL just in case injury prevents him from having that opportunity.

■ Tyson Alger gives you  five things to watch for in the Civil War baseball series which starts later today.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Don Pellum and Matt Lubick talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Tuesday practice report.

Highlights: Practice ended with a clutch scenario in which the offense needed a field goal to win, and Matt Wogan drilled a 39-yard attempt to give the No. 2 offense a conversion. Jeff Lockie suffered some bad luck when an apparent completion to Johnathan Loyd in the red zone was broken up by Chris Seisay, but karma evened out a couple plays later when Kenny Bassett hauled in a tipped ball for a fourth-down conversion to keep the drive alive. … The defense otherwise had a very strong day, including forcing the No. 1 offense to settle for a 42-yard field-goal attempt that was pushed just to the right. In both cases, timeouts were called to “ice” Wogan. …

The spring game might be a different format than the last couple of years going back to being more of a "real" game type experience.

■ Mark Helfrich compares Thomas Tyner's running style to Eric Dickerson in this report.

■ Andrew Greif reports Oregon is looking for more from their inside linebackers.

■ Joey Holland believes big problems can be overcome due to the depth of the football team.

■ Oregon closer Jake Reed named to midseason Stopper of the Year watch list.

■ Tyson Alger says the Ducks are ready for the hostile environment of corvallis city.

"It's the most hostile place I've ever played at in any sport," Oregon junior Jake Reed said. "When you go to Corvallis beav trash territory, the fans are just brutal…I feel like that's more of the rivalry than the two teams playing each other is just how much the fan bases hate each other."


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Levi Steier believes the receivers are the key to the Ducks' explosive running game.

Oregon has been able to establish this culture and has developed receivers who are not only great playmakers when catching the ball, but great playmakers regardless of their assignment.  The result is the high number of explosion plays enjoyed by Duck fans on Saturdays.

■ Dale Newton thinks the Ducks are laying the groundwork for a dream season.

■ Oregon's walk-ons remain upbeat despite their unknown football fate.

■ Andrew Greif says the defense plans on being more disruptive this season.

■ Oregon baseball has some new shoes from Nike that Ken Griffey Jr. had a hand in.

Ken Griffey Jr. doesn't have many ties to Oregon, but apparently he's quite prominent on the feet of its baseball players.

The official Twitter account of the Oregon equipment staff posted a picture of the Ducks' Apple Green Nike Swingman 360 Pregame Turfs, a post that garnered more than 100 retweets within 30 minutes of posting.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Steve Greatwood, Marcus Mariota and Doug Brenner talk to the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your Monday practice report where the defense had the better of the scrimmage.

Dior Mathis broke up a potential TD pass from Lockie to Chance Allen early in the scrimmage. … Bobby Dunn blocked a punt, and Johnny Ragin III made the scoop-and-score play. … LaCoste’s TD was set up by a long Alie run up the middle and a J.J. Jones run aided greatly by a nice kick-out block from Cameron Hunt, who took some reps at tackle. …

Rodrigues improvised a shovel pass under pressure at one point, and Dwayne Stanford made a great one-handed catch in traffic to get positive yards. … Tyree Robinson had an interception in the red zone, and Chris Seisay picked off a ball that went through a receiver’s hands.

■ Chantel Jennings says the backup QB job is still too close to call at this point.

Ted Miller says it will be a pass-happy Pac-12 in 2014 and supplies numbers to back up the theory.

■ Hamani Stevens is having a good spring thanks in large part to his improved work ethic.

■ Joseph Hoyt talks with Doug Brenner about the special prize he won at line coach Steve Greatwood's house on Sunday.

■ Taylor Hart continues his NFL journey with a visit to the Eagles recently.

Matt Krook will undergo Tommy John surgery later today after injuring his elbow earlier this month. Bad news for the stretch run coming up.

■ Oregon baseball rose 4 spots to #19 in the latest Baseball America Top 25 Rankings.


Monday, April 21, 2014

2013 Oregon Spring Game Highlights

■ With the annual Spring Game less than two weeks away here are the highlights from last years game. Enjoy the rerun on this slow news day.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Andrew Greif talks about Oshay Dunmore and his reunion with LB coach Erik Chinander.

As he glided from drill to drill during his grandfather's annual football camp on those hot, June days, Oshay Dunmore couldn't have known that his future coach, at a position he'd never even played, was making a mental scouting report.

"He was a man amongst boys at that camp," said the coach, Erik Chinander, who was hired in January to guide Oregon's outside linebackers. "We were looking at him like, whoa, we better keep an eye on that guy."

George Horton talks to the media after the WSU game yesterday.

■ Austin Grebeck's big defensive play in the eighth inning secured the win (2-1) and sweep against Washington St.

The Oregon (31-10, 10-5 Pac 12) center fielder took an eighth inning single and fired a strike to second, picking off an over-rounding Nick Tanielu to end the inning before Monda could score from second. The play secured No. 23 Oregon's 2-1 win Saturday at PK Park in front of 1,564 fans. 


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Scott Frost, Jeff Lockie and Oshay Dunmore talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley talks about Devon Allen's challenge of managing two spring sports and going to school. Rob also had this say to about practice yesterday.

Highlights: Mark Helfrich continues to harp on the offense’s tempo, though both units put points on the board to start the day. A nice pass breakup in the end zone by Mathis forced the No. 1 offense to settle for a Matt Wogan field goal, and Jake Rodrigues ran for a touchdown with the twos after a couple Thomas Tyner runs got the drive going. … Overall, I was most impressed with the defensive line today. Arik Armstead flushed Marcus Mariota from the pocket on that first drive of the day resulting in Wogan’s field goal, and Armstead later knocked down a pass at the line. …

■ Chantel Jennings provides a halfway spring practice checkup.

■ Victor Flores has a short Q&A session with Arik Armstead.

■ Andrew Greif takes a closer look at several position battles brewing this spring.

■ Dale Newton wonders how real the improvement is this spring and says we'll get to see in two weeks.

■ Oregon took the second game of the Cal series 6-3 yesterday at PK Park giving George Horton his 700th career win.

Jeff Gold went seven innings and allowed six hits and three runs (two earned). He improved to 9-0, the best record in the NCAA and tied for the national lead in victories.

The series finale against WSU is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ The quarterbacks get added protection under a new rule approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Wednesday.

“The rule specifically covers a scenario in which a quarterback is in a passing posture with one or both feet on the ground. In that situation, no defensive player rushing unabated can hit him forcibly at or below the knee. The defensive player also may not initiate a roll or lunge and forcibly hit the quarterback in the knee area or below,” according to the new rule.

A violation of this rule results in a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty.

■ Steven Holstad comments on the "next man up" mantra that Oregon adopted several seasons ago.

■ Freshman A.J. Balta led Oregon's offensive attack Thursday, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs, including a two-run homer in the fourth inning as Oregon beat WSU 11-1 yesterday.

The No. 23 Ducks (29-10, 8-5 Pac-12) now find themselves tied with UCLA in third place in the conference, entering two more against Washington State on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. at PK Park.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Doug Brenner, Taylor Alie and Ivan Faulhaber talk with reporters about the new NCAA rules regarding unlimited eating by walk-ons. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley says the bar is raised now that the Ducks have crossed the halfway point of spring practice.

Mark Helfrich told the team after practice that it was, start to finish, the best of the spring so far. "If that's the standard, we're going places," he said, and therein lies the challenge, of course. "Every period, we competed — which they have been," Helfrich said later. "But the give and take of spring ball took effect. The defense would win a situation, and then the offense would come back. Collectively, everybody kind of surged." … The former starting linebacker tandem of Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay was on hand and watched practice. "I know there's days when you guys don't want to practice," Alonso told the team in the post-practice huddle, "but honestly there's nothing like it. Cherish it." ...

■ John Canzano seems to take issue with the latest Sporting News ranking of Pac-12 coaches.

Mark Flores has the latest on recruiting.

Ted Miller looks at Pac-12 scoring per quarter for last year and Oregon ranked close to the top.

Oregon was dominant in all four quarters and, despite that, posted the best fourth-quarter margin of 78 points (137-59), suggesting the Ducks enjoyed producing a large margin of victory.

George Horton talks with reporters before the Washington St. series gets under way later today.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Oregon football is intentionally getting stronger by eating more at the dinner table.

When Marcus Mariota and his offensive linemen speak of their winter weight gains, they mention their increased time and commitment in the weight room. That side of the story is both accurate and understandable: Setting personal bests in the squat and bench is flashier and more palatable than discussing setting an alarm for 3 a.m. to wake up and drink a protein shake, as some Ducks are doing.

■ Michael Kim profiles Keanon Lowe now that he is the top returning wide receiver.

■ Andrew Greif says the Ducks aren't quite at full throttle yet now that the halfway point of spring practice has been reached.

■ Mitchell Tolman was named the national hitter of the week on Tuesday by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, a day after he earned Pac-12 player of the week honors.

Tolman hit .600 (9-for-15) with six RBIs in No. 23 Oregon’s five wins over Portland and UC Riverside last week. The sophomore cleanup hitter leads all Ducks this season with a .351 batting average (ninth among Pac-12 hitters) and is second in on-base percentage (.466) and slugging percentage (.504).


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Marcus Mariota, Darren Carrington, Sam Kamp and Tony Washington talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley reports Mark Helfrich is keeping the intensity at a high level as the third week of spring practice begins.

Highlights: Tony Washington broke up a pass and Dargan had an interception in 7-on-7. Jake Rodrigues and Devon Allen hooked up for a touchdown. … Washington undressed a couple offensive linemen during pass rush. … In a later 7-on period, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu intercepted Marcus Mariota, who rebounded with a touchdown pass to Chance Allen. …

During an 11-on-11 session, Robinson broke up a Mariota pass and came up for the tackle on a screen pass on consecutive plays. … In the clutch drill to end the day, Mariota drove the offense down the field and Matt Wogan made a short "game-winning" field goal. The No. 2 defense responded to win its possession.

■ Andre Yruretagoyena talks about his progression and Oregon’s offensive line with Victor Flores.

■ Andrew Greif wonders what kind of expectations receiver Jalen Brown should have this year.

■ Casey Fluegge takes a closer look at the returning linebackers and Chantel Jennings believes Oregon is establishing a linebacker culture.

■ Jake Tabor @ATQ looks back at the 2013 season and a "moment that mattered" as Marcus Mariota led the Ducks to a TD against the dawgs.

■ The Oregon baseball team moved up to #23 in the latest Baseball America Top 25 Rankings.

■ Mitchell Tolman was named Pac-12 player of the week Monday, after hitting .600 as the Oregon baseball team won five times last week.

■ The bullpen saved the day as Oregon topped USD 4-3 yesterday at PK Park.

The UO baseball team (28-10) takes a six-win streak of non league victories into a Pac-12 series against visiting Washington State, a series that begins Thursday on account of the Easter holiday.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Dale Newton compares a Masters moment with being a fan of Oregon football. (good read)

This is the most interesting part of sports: overcoming obstacles and achieving dreams. It’s why I watch, to see the stories unfold.

Oregon completed the sweep against UC Riverside yesterday at PK Park 6-5.

Garlick went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Baumgartner was 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored. Tolman finished 2-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored.

Oregon returns to action Monday afternoon at 1 p.m. when the Ducks host San Diego in a non-league game.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Don Gilman says with Bralon Addison likely out for the season, Oregon's margin of error shrinks.

What they can’t do, now that Addison is gone, is make a lot of mistakes. Addison was athletic, had great hands and a nose for the ball, and while those attributes will be missed, it is his skills as a blocker that will be felt the most.

■ Tyson Alger takes a closer look at the players vying for the starting tight end position this year.

■ Andrew Greif talks about Dior Mathis and the competition to become a starting cornerback.

■ Mitchell Tolman went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored to lead UO to a 7-4 win yesterday at PK Park.

Jeff Gold got the win moving to 8-0 while allowing four runs on nine hits in 6.1 innings with five strikeouts.  Jake Reed pitched the ninth picking up his eighth save.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Scott Frost, Matt Lubick and Keanon Lowe talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley says the offense found their rhythm in yesterday's practice.

Thomas Tyner scored the first of nine touchdowns for the offense (by my count) a few minutes later, and placekicker Matt Wogan had a good day as well.

■ Keanon Lowe is ready to be "that guy" now that Addison has sustained his injury.

Andrew Greif looks at five likely contenders beside Keanon Lowe to replace his production.

■ Chantel Jennings talked with OLB Tony Washington recently.

■ Nick Aliotti stopped by practice yesterday and was warmly received by Keanon Lowe.

Oregon used a big third inning as the Ducks beat UC Riverside 7-2 yesterday at PK Park.

Kyle Garlick led the Ducks going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI, while Tyler Baumgartner was 2-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored. Austin Grebeck added two hits in four at bats and drove in a run.

Oregon and UC Riverside will meet in game two of the series on Saturday at 2 p.m.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Gary Campbell tells the running backs the key to beating tackles is the right attitude and their knee drive.

"It's just a matter of piston-driving legs when you're in traffic. When they're out in the open field, I don't care what they do. They can run as whatever's comfortable for them, but when they're in traffic, they've got to drive the knees. My thing to them is most people aren't great tacklers."

■ Oregon ranked third in the country for offensive "explosion" plays in 2013.

■ Chantel Jennings recently talked with OL Tyler Johnstone on his rehab and spring practice.

Andrew Greif reports Bralon Addison most likely will miss the 2014 season because of a torn ACL.

The Pac-12 is working towards to fewer night football games according to this report.

■ George Horton talks with reporters after practice yesterday on Scott Heineman's surgery and the recent road games.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Tom Osborne and Andre Yruretagoyena talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley reports the young centers are getting valuable reps this spring.

“Every day I’m learning,” [Jake] Pisarcik said after practice. “Every rep I listen to the coaches, see what I did wrong and fix it, try to get better.”

■ Chantel Jennings says Hronnis Grasu is becoming more vocal this spring.

■ Jonathan Loyd is finding the learning curve to be steep as he joins the football team.

■ Mark Flores has the latest on football recruiting.

■ Tyson Alger says it is the next man up as Matt Krook waits to see how his pitching prognosis turns out.

Free bases are something the baseball team needs to work on.

■ Brando Tessar matched a career high with eight strikeouts to lead No. 25 Oregon to a 3-0 win over Portland at Joe Etzel Field on Wednesday.

Oregon returns to action with a four home games in four days starting Friday. UO hosts UC Riverside in a three game series Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Ducks then host San Diego in a single game on Monday at 1 p.m.


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Andrew Greif wonders who will replace De'Anthony Thomas' numbers in 2014.

"I think we've got a really good kid in Tony James coming out of Florida, I think he’s going to be that kind of guy," running backs coach Gary Campbell said. "That’s the guy we’re looking forward to replace De’Anthony. Otherwise, we’re going to have to have those receivers step up and do the job."

■ Dale Newton likes the proven skills of returning players along with the enthusiasm of the new players looking to make an impact.

■ Matt Takimoto @ATQ what we will learn this spring, more of the same old song and dance?

■ Joseph Young will not only be practicing with the football team this year he will also play his senior year for the basketball team.

■ I don't normally post about the softball team but they are currently ranked #1 in the country after taking the series against former #1 UCLA, that's the first time in school history.

■ Oregon bats came alive during the first inning last night at PK Park as they beat Portland 15-10.

Oregon (23-10) sent 14 batters to the plate in the first finishing with eight hits and two walks in the nine-run inning. Mitchell Tolman had a pair of RBI singles in the inning while Kyle Garlick drove in two runs with a double and Mark Karaviotis (single) and Aaron Payne (triple) each picked up RBI with hits.

The Pilots and Ducks will complete a two-game home-and-home series this week on Wednesday at Joe Etzel Field in Portland at 3 p.m.


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, John Neal, Marcus Mariota and Erick Dargan talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley noted Jonathan Lloyd. a senior point guard for the basketball team, joined the football team yesterday as a receiver and will be practicing this spring.

“It’s his first day in four years of playing football, and he’s out here with the Oregon Ducks and holding his own,” [Keanon] Lowe said in admiration. “You can tell he’s a natural football player. And I don’t think I saw him drop one pass all day. I’m excited to help him, and I’m excited that it looks like we added another dynamic player in our (meeting) room.”

■ Another dual sport athlete, Devon Allen, sat down with Justin Wise recently to answer a few questions.

■ Andrew Greif says the challenge during spring football is not just playing fast but smart.

■ Marcus Mariota has his own ideas regarding the unionization of college athletes.

■ Ashley Young believes Tyler Johnstone is the right guy for the job on the o-line.

■ Jake Tabor @ATQ relives moments that mattered for Josh Huff against Colorado.

■ The latest Baseball America Top 25 rankings place Oregon at #25 after a disappointing series against the dawgs.


Monday, April 07, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Andrew Greif says another big body could be joining the football team soon.

Defensive tackle Ratu Mafileo told a recruiting website that he has been cleared academically by the NCAA, a step that could set in motion him eventually joining Oregon, his preferred school all along.

■ Oregon dropped the last game of the series against UW 5-4 yesterday in Seattle.

Oregon starter Jeff Gold was masterful for most of the game. He retired Washington in order in six of the eight innings he pitched, while taking a no-hitter into the sixth. After Gold retired the first two batters of the inning, Washington strung together four straight hits off Gold to tie the game 2-2. He settled down and got the final seven batters he faced out, while matching a career-long outing throwing eight innings.


Sunday, April 06, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Andrew Greif believes it might be tough for the punters to get a leg up on the competition this spring.

Judging punters is complicated by a lack of what Helfrich called "high-intensity situations." Without the benefit of punting in a full-on formation, it's hard to gauge a player's comfort kicking under pressure. And that is, by definition, a punter's job.

"That's a tough position to assess," Helfrich said. "Live punting is a scary thing to a certain extent and you just don’t get enough reps seeing a guy in a high-intensity situation. We’ll try to create that as much as possible but there’s not enough time of it."

■ Oregon lost to UW yesterday 1-0 in a pitchers duel.

The Ducks (22-9, 7-4 Pac-12) mounted a ninth-inning rally loading the bases with two outs, but Washington (21-6-1, 9-3 Pac-12) closer Troy Rallings escaped with his fourth save when Shaun Chase lined out to left field.

Oregon and Washington will wrap up the three-game series today at 3 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks. The Ducks will send Jeff Gold (7-0) to the mound looking to win the series.


Saturday, April 05, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Scott Frost and Bralon Addison talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley recaps practice yesterday after the team was in full pads for the first time.

Highlights: The day ended with a red-zone drill, and on the first two plays, Byron Marshall and Marcus Mariota ran for touchdowns. Among the defensive highlights was end T.J. Daniel swatting down a pass at the line of scrimmage. … B.J. Kelley was the standout of an early 7-on-7 period. He got behind the defense for a long completion from Mariota. But speed has never been a question with Kelley. Perhaps more encouraging were a couple of tough catches he made on shorter routes near the sidelines. …

Marshall juked a linebacker pretty hard for a long run during an early team period. That period also included an Arik Armstead tackle behind the line of scrimmage, an Erick Dargan interception and two Tony Washington stops on run plays.

■ Scott Frost says he is getting comfortable as offensive coordinator.

■ Andrew Greif has a short Q&A session with Arik Armstead.

■ Justin Wise talks with Troy Hill who has gained perspective after a hard lesson last year.

■ Josh White looks back at five of Nick Aliotti's greatest games as defensive coordinator.

■ Oregon tooks game one of the series against UW yesterday 10-3.

Mitchell Tolman and Kyle Garlick combined for five hits, five RBI and four runs scored to lead No. 19 Oregon to a 10-3 win over No. 14 Washington on Friday night in the opening game of a Pac-12 Conference series at Husky Ballpark.

Game two of their series is today at 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.


Friday, April 04, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Dale Newton takes a closer look at the hard work the football team put in during the off-season.

Oregon’s coaches and players are speaking with a new determination this spring, and it seems to be more than brave spring practice talk, because it’s backed up by some sustained hard work and tangible results.

■ Andrew Greif says the added size helps but expectations will increase as well.

■ Safety Erick Dargan returned to the team after a minor setback and is ready to become a leader.

■ Chantel Jennings says the O-line is hoping to be anonymous just like last year.

■ Tyson Alger says chemistry is just as important for the coaches as the players.

■ Rob Moseley looks ahead to the weekend series with the dawgs when the baseball team travels to Seattle.

“I like the fact our guys got up off the deck and won Sunday (at Stanford), and then found a way to win two games against Gonzaga on the road,” George Horton said. “And now this weekend will test us even more. We'll see what we’re made of.”


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Don Pellum, Erik Chandler, Tony Washington and Rodney Hardrick talk with reporters after the second day of spring practice. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley comments on the effort of the safeties at the second day of spring practice.

Dior Mathis, one of the standouts Tuesday, was at it again Wednesday, intercepting a pass on the first rep I watched this morning.. … Derrick Malone blanketed Thomas Tyner to break up a pass in the first 7-on-7 period of the day, and the linebacker intercepted a ball in a later 7-on-7 session. …

As is typically the case, the defense seems a little ahead of the offense at this point....

■ Tyson Alger says secondary coach John Neal is optimistic after day two of practice.

■ Marcus Mariota is looking to improve in his junior season according to Andrew Greif.

■ Chantel Jennings has a short Q&A session with Don Pellum.

■ Don Pellum is looking forward to bringing his tweaks to the defensive scheme.

■ Mark Helfrich says there is no user's manual on being head coach according to John Canzano.

Andrew Greif believes fundamentals are the key to Oregon's success in 2014.

■ Oregon exploded for 18 hits to complete the two game sweep at Gonzaga yesterday for the 14-5 victory.

Kyle Garlick homered and doubled twice to lead the Ducks' 18-hit attack. A trio of freshmen — [Jack] Kruger, first baseman A.J. Balta and shortstop Mark Karaviotis — had three hits apiece.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark Helfrich, Marcus Mariota, Hroniss Grasu and Tyler Johnstone talk with the media after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KEZI.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley reports the newcomers are off and running as spring practice started yesterday.

Highlights: For my money, the player of the day was cornerback Dior Mathis. The senior was working with the first team, in the spot vacated by Terrance Mitchell, and he broke up several deep balls when tested down the field. … Ironically, the play of the day might have been one on which Mathis was beaten, through little fault of his own. Mariota zipped a deep ball that Mathis leaped to tip away, only to have it fall into the waiting arms of receiver Bralon Addison. …

Defensive end DeForest Buckner had a possible pick-six late in the day, anticipating a screen pass and stepping in front of it for the interception. He made it a ways downfield before the play was blown dead; had it been a full-pads, live-hitting situation, it would have been interesting to see how many offensive players it would have taken to bring down the massive Ducks defender. … Cameron Hunt scored one for the offensive line, pushing linebacker Derrick Malone well down the field on one rep and pancaking him.

■ Erik Skopil says Oregon shows sizable strides and isn't just talking about on the field.

■ Andrew Greif notes Mark Helfrich says academics shouldn't be an issue as spring football begins.

■ Joseph Hoyt believes two of the keys to success this spring are maturity and learning.

■ ESPN has this video on Marcus Mariota growing as a leader.

■ Seth Prince says the opening game against South Dakota should be over by halftime.

■ Chantel Jennings says the questions are all about the defense as spring practice gets underway.

■ Dale Newton: "You versus yesterday."

The scoreboard and the standings will be the ultimate measure of whether the new slogan and the second-year head coach have improved their effectiveness. For fans, there is a lot to be excited and optimistic about, beginning with a junior quarterback who is now completely comfortable in the leadership role and sure of what he is doing.

Oregon held off Gonzaga 3-2 yesterday behind some clutch pitching in the 8th and 9th innings. Second game of the two game series is today at 3pm local time.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley says T.J. Daniel is going to try and make a name for himself this spring.

 “T.J. Daniel, scout-team phenom” will try to become “T.J. Daniel, 2014 contributor.”

“He’s going to have a ton of chances to develop,” [Mark] Helfrich said. “Put everything he’s laid down work-wise, and try to take that same confidence, that same edge, that same energy and make it show up on Saturdays.”

■ Andrew Greif and Charles Fisher wonder how Mark Helfrich will fare in his second season as head coach.

■ Jake Tabor @ATQ has another "moments that matter" post and reflects on Bralon Addison's big game against Cal last year.

■ The Oregonian looks at four competition battle to watch in spring practice.

■ The Oregon baseball team dropped eight spots to #19 in the latest Baseball America Top 25 Rankings after dripping 3 out of 5 games during their recent road trip. On the bright side, four players earned their degrees entering the spring quarter.