Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Mark HelfrichMarcus Mariota and Derrick Malone talk with the media yesterday at the Pac-12 media day event.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley has your day 1 Pac-12 media day update that saw Oregon picked as the conference champs by the coaches.

The Ducks, coming off an 11-2 season in which they won the Alamo Bowl, were picked to win the North Division on 37 of 39 ballots and got 24 votes to win the Pac-12 title game, according to voting announced Wednesday in conjunction with the kickoff to Pac-12 Media Day in Los Angeles.

Even John Canzano can't pick against the Ducks as conference champs.

Marcus Mariota headlines a new award watch list.

Dale Newton previews the week four game against WSU.

■ David Piper @ATQ previews the second game on the schedule this year against Michigam St.

■ Mark Flores has the latest on the recruiting front.

■ Andrew Nemec has good news for the baseball team.

Catcher Shaun Chase (No. 8) and Scott Heineman (No. 10) both elected to return to Eugene instead of going pro.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Tyson Alger breaks down the QB position heading into fall camp.

Mariota already owns the school record for most rushing yards by a quarterback (1,467), the highest completion percentage (.658) and is tied with Joey Harrington for the most total offense touchdowns with 77. Expect Mariota to own several more records by the time it's all said and done.

■ Kevin Gemmell has the Oregon vs UCLA game on Oct. 11 penciled in for his week 7 ultimate road trip.

■ LB Rahim Cassell has decided to seek greener pastures and won't be returning to the football team.

■ Charles Fisher had a radio interview with a Michigan St. blogger recently.

■ Nick Aliotti will be joining the Pac-12 Network as a studio analyst this fall.

■ ATQ has Jeff Maehl as #12 in their "20 in 20" series.

Maehl’s 178 career catches equaled Sammie Parker’s for most in school history. His 24 career touchdown catches also tied a school record. His 81-yard reception in the BCS Championship Game was the longest in the history of the game. His senior season with 1,076 yards ranks third all-time in school history and was just the eighth time a receiver had gone over the 1,000-yard mark.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ The ESPN Pac-12 bloggers are in agreement in picking Oregon as the conference champs in their media poll ballot results.

Every year, the Pac-12 polls media members on how they predict the season will turn out. Sometimes there is a pretty strong consensus. Sometimes there is not. The Pac-12 blog expects there to be strong unanimity this go-around, as our four ballots suggest.

■ Tyson Alger wonders if South Dakota can give Oregon a run for their money when they come to Autzen Stadium on August 30th.

■ Kevin Gemmell has the Arizona vs Oregon on his week 6 ultimate road trip.

■ ATQ is starting a new podcast series you might be interested in.

■ Dale Newton is cooking up some secret sauce for 2014.

Great athletes, the really great athletes, have a common trait [Marcus] Mariota has: they respect their sport and work harder than anyone.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Dale Newton believes Byron Marshall doesn't get the respect he deserves.

Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner are great talents with a dazzling futures, but their backfield mate Byron Marshall is almost an after thought to some Oregon fans despite rushing for 1038 yards last season and 1484 in his two-year Duck career.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Dale Newton wonders if the "Helfrich Effect" will doom the Ducks this year.

It’s clear that 2014 will be the year Oregon fans make up their minds about the coach who replaced Chip Kelly...

Helfrich is principled, intelligent, dedicated and congenial. He has to improve his organizational and motivational skills to become a great football coach...

■ On the flip side, Will Denner says the timing could not be better for the inaugural college football playoff system.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Kevin Gemmell previews the Oregon non-conference games this season.

With annual sky-high expectations, anything short of a 3-0 start to the year for the Oregon Ducks would be a major disappointment. Second year head coach Mark Helfrich has already been a victim of expectations after the Ducks failed to qualify for a BCS game last season. And with Marcus Mariota returning to lead the offense, the feeling in Eugene is playoff or bust...

■ Marcus Mariota and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu were added to the Walter Camp preseason watch list yesterday.

■ Pat Pannu has Oregon at the top of the Pac-12 North power teams.

Central Catholic safety Brady Breeze verbally committed to the Ducks last Thursday.

■ The Pac-12 conference will be televising the Media Day event this year for football.

■ ATQ gives you their reason for watching Byron Marshall this year.

Defenders are often viewed as nightmares in the backfield or the big-hitters that inflict a certain amount of pain but Byron Marshall doesn't accept that.  Marshall flips the script on the defenders.  He is the defense's worst nightmare and the defenders aren't spared the comfort of having the nightmare fly by because Marshall is coming straight for them.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Ted Miller takes a closer look at the Pac-12 North backup QB's. Here is what he says about Oregon.

The battle behind Marcus Mariota didn't produce decisive results this spring, but Jake Rodrigues' decision to transfer established sophomore Jeff Lockie as the heavy favorite to be the backup. He was ahead of Rodrigues last year, though Rodrigues was a bigger physical talent. Morgan Mahalak is a touted incoming freshman, and the competition figures to be heated to replace Mariota in 2015.

■ Junior Byron Marshall and sophomore Thomas Tyner of Oregon were named Thursday to the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award as the nation's best running back.

■ Tyson Alger sits down with former Oregon WR Jordan Kent and Rob Liggns talks with WR Devon Allen for a short question and answer session.

■ Dale Newton reviews the week three Wyoming game at Autzen Stadium.

■ Laura Brehm takes a closer look at Oregon RB Kani Benoit.

■ Ifo Ekpre-Olomu shows up at the #13 spot in ATQ's "20 in 20" series.

Ekpre-Olomu arrived on campus in 2011, making an immediate impact. In his freshman year, Ekpre-Olomu appeared in all 14 games and recorded 34 tackles, including six against Washington State. His true breakout year was as a sophomore in 2012.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Marcus Mariota, an Oregon junior, was named Wednesday to the preseason watch list for the O’Brien Award.

The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is handed out by a selection committee asked to consider academics, character, leadership and sportsmanship along with quarterback play. Semifinalists will be announced in early November, and three finalists will be determined later that month.

■ Mark Flores has the latest on recruiting.

■ The football team is anxious to get get WR Devon Allen on the field to see what the track star can bring to the gridiron.

■ Joey Holland says Thomas Tyner in on pace for something special.

Look for Tyner to push 1,000 rushing yards along with teammate [Byron] Marshall out of the backfield in 2014, and don’t be surprised if he emerges as one of the biggest breakout stars in college football this year as well.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Ted Miller reviews the punters for the Pac-12 where you'll find Oregon in the "we'll see" category.

Matt Wogan is expected to handle both the punting and kicking duties after just kicking last year. He was solid punting during the spring.

■ Jeff Lockie seems to be the de-facto backup QB after transfers made him the obvious choice.

■ Joe Daniel talks about how the Oregon defense intends to shut down the run.

■ Kevin Gemmell has the MSU vs Oregon game as his obvious road trip choice for week 2 during the regular season.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Ted Miller reviews the Pac-12 kicker position group where you will find Oregon in "good shape."

Matt Wogan, Oregon: For most Ducks fans, being just average at kicker is an improvement, as Oregon doesn't try many field goals and the results the past few seasons with big ones have been pretty, er, horrible. But Wogan was a respectable 7-of-9 last season, though his longest was only 39 yards.

■ Derrick Malone was named to the Lombardi Award and Butkus Award watch lists yesterday.

■ The new College Football Championship Trophy was revealed yesterday along with the schedule for the selection show.

■ Scott Reed says character matters when it comes to recruiting.

■ Oregon catcher Josh Graham has been named to the New England Collegiate Baseball League's all-star team.

■ Tyson Alger has a short Q&A session with baseball recruit Slade Heggen.

Heggen, a 6-foot, 196-pound Missoula, Mont., native, is expected to bring a strong bat, speed and defense to the Oregon club.

This summer, Heggen is playing for the Missoula Mavericks legion baseball team, where he is hitting .375 with three home runs, 11 doubles, 11 triples, 27 steals and 36 RBI's.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

■ Another slow news day for Oregon football, baseball, etc. so enjoy the highlights from the 2013 Fiesta Bowl.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Charles Fisher and keeerrrttt give you the basics to the inside/outside zone read plays.

■ Alex Kirby explains how Oregon makes sure the defense is always wrong.

■ Ashley Young talks about the pressure of incoming freshmen as we inch closer to fall camp.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ ESPN reviews the Pac-12 safety position where they have Oregon in the "we'll see" category.

Brian Jackson and Avery Patterson ran out of eligibility which makes safety one of question marks facing Oregon headed into 2014. Pencil in Erick Dargan, a fifth-year senior that has contributed throughout his career, at one spot, but the other isn't as clear. Issac Dixon is probably the favorite, but Tyree Robinson should push him.

■ Kyle Bonagura has five Pac-12 players to root for including Marcus Mariota.

■ Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list yesterday.

■ Andrew Greif talks about ticket prices in college football and Oregon makes it to the top ten, pricing a lot of fans out of the game.

■ Dale Newton looks at three key games this season, Michigan State, UCLA and Stanford.

It helps that two of the three are in Autzen Stadium, but to win all three the Ducks will have to contain the run.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Chantel Jennings previews the cornerback position heading into fall camp where you'll find Oregon at the top of the list.

All-American Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is back, and considering how much opponents want to throw (though, who knows how much they will actually throw at him), he’s looking at what could be a really, really impressive final season. Through the spring, fellow senior Dior Mathis emerged as the other starter, though Troy Hill could make this an intriguing position battle to watch. Backing up these guys will be Chris Seisay, junior college transfer Dominique Harrison and Stephen Amoako. Elite talent and excellent depth make this one of the best position groups for the Ducks.

■ Six more Oregon football players were added to "watch lists" yesterday.

■ Brian Fremeau @ESPN ($) looks at future CFB power ranking with Oregon in third.

■ Lawrence Hastings profiles walk-on QB Taylor Alie.

■ Steven Holstad wonders if it's now or never for a few on the roster.

■ Patrick Chung comes in at #15 on ATQ's "20 in 20" list.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Kyle Bonagura has the Pac-12 LB position review heading into fall practice and has Oregon at the top of his list.

The Ducks are in great shape with inside linebackers Derrick Malone and Rodney Hardrick returning next to outside linebacker Tony Washington. The only departure they’ll have to account for is Boseko Lokombo, and that spot appears destined for Tyson Coleman once he’s completely healthy following a knee injury that sidelined him for the Alamo Bowl. Sophomore Torrodney Prevot is one of several talented young players to keep an eye on when the Ducks empty their bench during blowouts.

■ Seems like Marcus Mariota is a hot topic with only 50 days until football season.

■ Alex Towne has a one-on-one with new recruit Brady Aiello.

■ David Piper @ATQ has Chad Cota listed as #17 in their "20 in 20" series.

■ Andrew Greif says De'Anthony Thomas in entering NFL training camp with high hopes. DAT also showed up at Beaverton to mentor young athletes and talked with the media.

■ Former Ducks closer Jake Reed made his single-A debut on Tuesday.

After joining the team earlier this week, Reed made his first appearance in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 15-5 win over Wisconsin, allowing one hit and an unearned run while striking out one in an inning of work. 

It was the first run Reed has given up as a professional, though since it was unearned his ERA is still a sparkling 0.00 in seven innings of work.


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Three more Duck football players were added to preseason watch lists yesterday.

Hroniss Grasu to the Rimington Award watch list, Johnny Mundt and Pharaoh Brown to the John Mackey Award watch list.

■ RB commit Taj Griffin made it to the finals of the SPARQ championship yesterday in Beaverton.

■ John Canzano wonders if Devon Allen should join the pro ranks in track and field.

Personally, I don't see that happening with a full ride for football.


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Chantel Jennings says Oregon is in "great shape" when reviewing the DE position group for the Pac-12.

The Ducks have DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead. Those two are a talented pair that really came out this spring. Buckner has the most experience of the defensive ends and Armstead, who was a dual sport athlete (basketball) until last season, is now focused solely on football -- which showed. Plus, there's good depth behind those two with T.J. Daniel, junior college transfer Tui Talia and Stetzon Bair.

■ Four Ducks were named to preseason watch lists yesterday including Marcus Mariota.

■ Andrew Greif looks at what folks are saying about QB recruit Travis Waller.

■ Oregon wide receiver Zac Schuller says his football career changed with a single phone call.

Charles Fisher wonders if DeForest Buckner might be an All-American in the making and then analyzes his playing style.

■ Former Oregon closer Jake Reed was promoted from rookie ball to single-a by the Minnesota Twins yesterday.

Reed, the 140th pick in the June MLB Draft and announced the move on his Twitter account, was dominant in his limited action in Elizabethton. In four appearances, Reed recorded three saves, allowed one hit and struck out eight in six innings pitched. Opposing batters have hit a minuscule .053 off the La Mesa, Calif., native and he's dramatically clamped down on his walk count.


Monday, July 07, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ The Opening elite football camp opens today at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton and here's all you need to know about the event.

Four days of competition (July 7-10) including SPARQ Testing, 7-on-7 tournament and lineman challenge. Players will receiving coaching and instruction from current and former NFL players and coaches.


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

■ You know the old saying, no news is good news, and that can be a very good thing so enjoy all the touchdowns from last year.


Saturday, July 05, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Dale Newton reports Oregon is the hands down favorite to win the Pac-12 this year according to oddsmakers. One of the biggest reasons being not only Marcus Mariota returning for his junior year but a stellar group of running backs including Thomas Tyner.

Tyner is faster than De’Anthony Thomas, with the power of J-Stew or LeGarrette Blount. He worked hard in the off season, visibly stronger in the arms and legs. He’s running with more authority, accelerating the moment he gets the ball.


Friday, July 04, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Ted Miller reviews the DT position for the Pac-12 heading into fall camp and has Oregon in "good" shape.

The loss of the underrated Wade Keliikipi and his solid backup, Ricky Heimuli, is significant, though NG Alex Balducci has significant experience. Depth is a question. Junior Sam Kamp, who has added 30 pounds to his frame in order to hold his ground at NT, and some youngsters need to step up. JC transfer Tui Talia played well enough in the spring to be in the mix, though he's more of an end.

■ Jason Fowler does a little spring cleaning as he reviews how the Ducks have done so far recruiting.

■ Laura Brehm calls Juwaan Williams an all-around athlete and says he should see more playing time in 2014.

■ Sean Larson @ATQ has DeAnthony Thomas at #16 in their "20 in 20" series.

When De’Anthony Thomas would step onto the field for Oregon, he accomplished one of the most important goals of a special teams player. He struck fear into the opponents, simply by going back to return a kick. Every time he touched the ball, no matter how far away the end zone was, you knew there was a chance he could take it all the way.


Thursday, July 03, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
The ESPN Pac-12 bloggers give their personal opinions on which position group deserves another look.

Kyle Bonagura says: "Taking everything into account -- especially the element [Marcus] Mariota adds -- finding a better offensive backfield in the country would be a tough task. There are schools that have more impressive workhorse-type backs, but Oregon's unique combination between its style of play and talent, for my money, is unmatched.

P.J. Locke was impressed with his recruiting trip to Oregon and that was the main reason he chose to commit to the Ducks.

■ Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is drawing high praise from at least one NFL analyst who compares him to Darrelle Revis.

Dual-sport WR Devon Allen was named USATF athlete of the week after his performance at Sacramento last weekend.


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Ted Miller reviews the preseason offensive line group for the Pac-12 and has Oregon at the top of the list.

The Ducks welcome back four and a half starters (the departed Mana Greig and returning true sophomore Cameron Hunt split a guard spot), and that crew is led by All-American Hroniss Grasu, who tops the Pac-12 with 40 career starts. In fact, Oregon welcomes back 107 career starts, second most in the conference. One qualifier: Left tackle Tyler Johnstone is trying to come back from a knee injury he suffered in the bowl game. He probably won't be available early in the season, so junior Andre Yruretagoyena is the frontrunner to step in.

■ Four star QB Travis Waller out of Anaheim, CA verbally committed to the Ducks yesterday and already announced he will be heading to Beaverton to compete in Nike's "The Opening."

■ Three star safety P.J. Locke out of Beaumont, TX became the 11th verbal commitment for the 2015 class yesterday.

■ Joe Daniel analyzes what Oregon's defense does to stuff the outside run game.

■ Scott Reed wonders if Mark Helfrich is a better recruited than Chip Kelly.

■ Oregon's baseball team finished ranked in 2 of 5 national baseball polls.


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ ESPN takes a closer look at Oregon's national title chances in 2014/15.

Oregon is 57-9 over the past five years, a span during which their being in the national title hunt has been the standard not the exception.

■ Ted Miller has  a preseason position review for the tight end group and has Oregon in the "great shape" category.

■ Lawrence Hastings says Tyree Robinson is ready to romp in 2014.

■ Andrew Greif takes a closer look at one of the biggest non-conference matchups of 2014, Michigan St. vs Oregon.

■ Former Oregon QB Darron Thomas is still trying to regain some of the magic from his Oregon days.

■ Tyson Alger says Scott Heineman could be Oregon's next closer.

Heineman missed the majority of the 2014 season with a torn labrum and was taken in 19th round by the Kansas City Royals earlier this month, but Oregon coach George Horton said there's a good chance Heineman elects to come back to Eugene for his senior season.