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Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Don Pellum said he is going to slim down the defensive playbook this year but there will not be any major changes. (courtesy of Andrew Greif)

"I think we can create some better pass-rush situations, to where we can utilize our speed a little better in certain situations," Pellum said. "The difficulty you have these days is the spread offenses and tempo offenses, sometimes it's tough to get (substitute) packages on the field ... but I think we've identified some groups we can put on the field that can hold up normal downs and can really give us an advantage on third downs in some of the more passing-oriented situations."

■ Chantel Jennings has some questions for the Ducks heading into spring practice.

■ Oregon and Hawaii have agreed to play a three game football series starting in 2020.

■ Sports Illustrated lists QB Travis Waller as one of the top ten quarterbacks to watch this year.

■ Oregon beat #22 UCSB 5-1 yesterday behind strong pitching from Cole Irvin and Conor Harber.

Up Next: The Ducks will look to win the series Saturday at 2 p.m., before game three Sunday at noon. Oregon's David Peterson (0-0, 2.38) is scheduled to face UCSB right-hander Shane Bieber (2-0, 1.12).

GO DUCKS!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Andrew Greif has five questions for Pharoah Brown in this video interview.

"People ask me am I going to play, am I going to redshirt. I mean, this is a career decision, so I want to make sure my stuff is fully healed, that I can do everything and not rush back. That's why I don't even look that long out. If I'm able to play, I'll play. If I'm not, I'm not."

■ Chantel Jennings sat down with DC Don Pellum recently for a little Q&A session.

Andre Yruretagoyena will not return to the football team for his senior season due to health reasons.

■ Jason Selby wonders if Fotu Leiato might be Oregon's next shining star for the football team.

■ Mitchell Tolman looks back at what led him to being a switch hitter.

Oregon takes on UC Santa Barbara this afternoon at 2 PM to kick-off a three game road series.

"We're ready," [Austin] Grebeck said. "We want to see some good competition, see some good pitching, see how we stack up against guys. We think we're pretty good, and we want to see how it's going to turn out."

GO DUCKS!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Ted Miller has Oregon at #2 when it comes to ranking the Pac-12 coaching jobs.

The Ducks rank No. 2 based on their steady rise to national prominence, as well as a seven-year run that ranks the program among the super-elite. Oh, and their facilities are sparkly.

■ Gerry Hamilton ($Insider)  looks at five programs in need of a 2016 QB.

■ Mark Flores has the latest on recruiting.

GO DUCKS!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Andrew Greif has five questions for QB Morgan Mahalak and shares his video interview.

■ Chantel Jennings looks at the Pac-12's best non-conference games and in this poll and Oregon vs Michigan St. is currently leading.

■ Austin Wilhoft lists his top three impact players for the Ducks this year.

■ Dale Newton discounts the negative draft analysts take on Marcus Mariota.

■ Mitchell Tolman had six RBI to lead the Ducks to an 8-2 win over Portland on Tuesday at PK Park.

The Ducks head south to kick off a three game series with No. 22 UC Santa Barbara. Game one of the three game series is scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m. with Cole Irvin (0-0, 1.29) set to make his third start of the season.

GO DUCKS!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Andrew Greif has five questions for Jeff Lockie and shares his answers.

■ Ryan Dosen can't wait for the return of Bralon Addison this fall.

■ Dale Newton shares an extended interview with Vernon Adams.

■ Junior pitcher Conor Harber was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the week for his performance last week and the Ducks host Portland tonight at PK Park.

GO DUCKS!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Jason Selby details how Pharaoh Brown is doing in rehab from his broken leg.

Dale Newton lists the reasons the Ducks will be the Pac-12 champions again this year.

■ Oregon completed the four game sweep of New Mexico St, yesterday with a 6-3 win.

New Mexico State (0-7) went up 1-0 in the second inning, but the Ducks (7-1) responded with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame. The Aggies couldn't get much going form that point on, scattering four hits before picking up two runs on two hits in the ninth. The Ducks added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

Oregon will play host to Portland at PK Park on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

GO DUCKS!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Kyle Bonagura takes a look at how the Pac-12 stacked up at the NFL combine and John Canzano has a nice story on Marcus Mariota's mom.

■ Oregon obliterated New Mexico St. yesterday 22-7.

New Mexico State (0-7) took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, but Oregon got on the board in the second and never looked back. The Ducks (6-1) scored in every frame but the first and put together five multi-run innings, highlighted by a seven-run sixth.

The Ducks will look to complete the four-game sweep of the Aggies Sunday at 12 p.m., with senior Jack Karraker (0-0, 3.60) slated to take the mound.

GO DUCKS!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Morgan Mahalak is out to prove to the coaches he should be starting at QB this fall.

"It seems like forever but it really hasn't been that long," Mahalak said. "That's kind of the exciting part to see I've come quite a little ways in just a short amount of time. I'll be here for four or five years, whatever it is, and get to develop a lot. ... The first term was trying to find your feet a little bit and I've kind of found that."

■ Andrew Greif sits down with Bralon Addison for a little Q&A.

■ Jason Selby says even the O-line is fast.

■ Steven Jackson wonders if there will be a post-Heisman slump for the Ducks.

■ Late inning dominance continued last night as Oregon broke it open in the eighth inning and went on to win 11-3 against New Mexico St. at PK Park.

Up Next: The Ducks turn to right-hander Trent Paddon (0-1, 63.00) against New Mexico State left-hander Trey Higginbotham (0-1, 3.00) for Saturday's third game of the series, at 2 p.m.

GO DUCKS!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Andrew Greif looks at the QB race as we inch closer to spring practice.

For Jeff Lockie and the rest of Oregon's QBs, who were prepping for a drawn-out race anyway, the challenge of increased competition is nothing new, adding they've taken no offense to Vernon Adams' recruitment.

Reserve DB Isaac Dixon has decided to transfer to greener pastures.

■ Dale Newton takes a closer look at QB Travis Waller.

■ Tyson Alger talks about the new power in the Oregon lineup while Nik Brownlee wonders if the baseball team is World Series bound.

■ Oregon beat New Mexico St. 3-1 yesterday in another come from behind victory.

The Ducks (4-1) entered the seventh inning looking for a comeback for the fourth time this season, and pulled it off for the third time. Austin Grebeck scored from second on a single by Matt Eureste, and Shaun Chase added some insurance with his first home run of the spring in the eighth.

The Ducks will host the Aggies (0-5) in the second game of the series tonight at 6 p.m.

GO DUCKS!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
2016 Oregon commit Dillon Mitchell says he's still 100% despite all the attention from other big name schools.

Dale Newton takes a closer look at QB Ty Griffin and wonders if he might play at a different spot.

Marcus Mariota will throw this weekend at the NFL combine this weekend.

■ GoDucks.com provies all the game notes for the New Mexico St. series which starts later today.

After winning three of four games to start the season in Hawaii, Oregon returns home for the next five games with UO facing New Mexico State in the first four at PK Park. Thursday’s game will be the first all-time between the Ducks and Aggies...

GO DUCKS!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Ted Miller has the Pac-12 North spring storylines and talks about Marcus Mariota's successor.

The Ducks are not only replacing their quarterback, they are replacing the best player in program history. Heck, Marcus Mariota, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, is one of the greatest players in Pac-12 history. Oregon was good before Mariota and will be good after him. Still, he's been behind center for three years, so this is a significant transition. Further, with many suspecting the starting job is Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams' to lose, and he won't arrive until the summer, that means the establishment of a post-spring pecking order won't even approach an endgame. The guy with the most at stake is junior Jeff Lockie, Mariota's backup the past two years. He needs to make a strong statement with his play and leadership. If he does, it could give him a meaningful advantage when Adams arrives.

■ Nik Brownlee takes a sneak peek at the Oregon non-conference schedule this fall.

■ Coach Morris talks about the misconceptions regarding the 4-3 versus the 3-4 defensive fronts.

Dale Newton says Jeff Lockie embodies the best of the Oregon tradition.

He understands better than anyone he can’t be Marcus Mariota, but he knows where the ball should go, and he’s a much better athlete and passer than many have given him credit for. Especially me.

GO DUCKS!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Dale Newton takes a closer loot at QB Morgan Mahalak as we inch closer to spring practice.

Beating out a senior transfer and a junior with two years’ experience is a tough challenge for a young quarterback. Mariota, Thomas and Jeremiah Masoli thrived in similar circumstances, but it took poise, confidence and the “IT” factor to do so.

One thing is certain, the Ducks will have another competition and another vacancy in 2016. At that point, Mahalak could be the frontrunner if he stays patient and keeps working.

Oregon rallied for three runs in the ninth inning to beat Hawaii on Monday, 3-2, giving the 20th-ranked Ducks three out of four in the series at Les Murakami Stadium. (GoDucks.com)

Up Next: The Ducks kick off a four-game series with their 2015 home opener Thursday, against New Mexico State at 6 p.m. The second game, Friday at 6 p.m., will be a "White Out" in PK Park, with the first 1,500 fans receiving a Nike T-shirt.

GO DUCKS!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Hawaii scored eight runs in the first two innings en route to a 10-1 win over No. 20 Oregon in game three of a four-game series at Les Murakami Stadium on Sunday. (GoDucks.com)

Next up: The Ducks and Rainbow Warriors meet in the series finale of the four-game series at Les Murakami Stadium at 3:05 p.m. PST on Monday. Senior Jack Karraker will make his first start of the season on the mound for Oregon.

GO DUCKS!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■  Nick Catalano hit a two-run home run to give No. 20 Oregon a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Hawaii on Saturday in game two of the season-opening four-game series at Les Murakami Stadium. (Rob Moseley)

Next up: The Ducks and Rainbow Warriors meet in game three of the four-game series at Les Murakami Stadium at 3:05 p.m. PST on Sunday. Sophomore Trent Paddon will make his first start of the season on the mound for Oregon.

GO DUCKS!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Chantel Jennings says we already know who will be the hardest to replace this year but who else has the biggest shoes to fill?

The second-biggest shoes to fill were cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu's. With him being out during the postseason, those shoes were already starting to be filled by Chris Seiasy, which brings us to ... 

Third-biggest shoes: S Erick Dargan 

Dargan was one of the best surprises on this year's Oregon roster. Though he had no serious starting experience coming into the 2014-15 season, he commanded the Ducks secondary like a seasoned veteran. He led the Pac-12 in interceptions with seven (for comparison, the next-best in the conference was three) and led the Ducks in tackles with 95.

■ Dale Newton says there are 50 shades of green to torture opponents and please fans this year.

■ Max Thornberry talks about the pitchers for the baseball team this year. Oregon shutout Hawaii yesterday in the season opener 12-0.

Pitchers: With plenty of excitement surrounding George Horton’s team this year everyone is ready to make the jump from regional tournaments to the College World Series. With the talent on the mound and at the plate, this very well could be the year we see that happen.

Game: Oregon’s starting lineup featured four players who are in their first season with the Ducks. Junior college transfers Phil Craig-St. Louis, Brandon Cuddy and Eureste, and freshman Jakob Goldfarb combined to go 8-for-17 (.471) with two home runs, eight RBI and seven runs scored. The quartet finished with a combined five extra-base hits.

GO DUCKS!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Andrew Greif reviews how the O-line did in 2014.

Oregon led the Pac-12 Conference in rushing yards in 2014, a fairly ho-hum accomplishment on its surface. Oregon won that crown each of the previous eight seasons, too.

None of those, however, came with the kind of attrition that Oregon's offensive line dealt with in 2014, when it used eight different starting line combinations to first patch a crumbling line, then power through the Pac-12. During a seven-game stretch that began Oct. 24 and ended Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl, the Ducks averaged 266 yards per game, a figure that would have ranked eighth-best nationally over the course of a season.

■ Oregon came in third according to ESPN ($Insider) when they graded this year's recruiting class.

The Ducks quietly put together another solid class that features playmakers on offense. Leading the way is ESPN 300 quarterback Travis Waller (No. 264), wide receiver Alex Ofodile (No. 68) and electric playmaker Taj Griffin (No. 53), who is a real system fit. No. 207 Zach Okun is one of five offensive linemen in the fold, which includes a pair of tackles from the state of Washington. On defense, No. 15 Canton Kaumatule is a huge get as a 3-4 end. Athlete pledge Malik Lovette (No. 187) could end up on either side of the ball.

■ Dale Newton believes there are two sure signs the Vernon Adams experiment will work.

■ Andrew Bantly shares his preview for the opening baseball game against Hawaii later today. Tyson Alger has three questions as he previews the season and breaks down each position group.

GO DUCKS!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ FCS coaches say Vernon Adams has the talent to succeed at Oregon this season.

Ted Miller and Chantel Jennings get in a "discussion" regarding Vernon Adams and the QB competition this fall.

■ Dale Newton is a Vernon Adams fan.

He’s a playmaker, and exactly the kind of savvy point guard this loaded offense needs. He knows if he gets in trouble in the pocket, all he needs to do is complete a little flip to Thomas Tyner, Royce Freeman or Tony James, watch them zoom up the sideline. He finds open guys. He finds a way to get it done.

UCLA head coach Jim Mora believes Marcus Mariota is a "sure thing" in the NFL.

■ Rob Moseley says the baseball team has more "pop" entering the opener on Friday.

GO DUCKS!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Chantel Jennings is conducting a poll on her readers opinion of who will be the starting QB this fall. The clear winner is Vernon Adams with 73% of the vote when I took took the poll. I'll defer to the coaches to make the correct decision.

Adams is the reason why this conversation has heated up so much this week. The reigning FCS National Performer of the Year (named by College Football Performance Awards) has elected to transfer to Oregon, where he’ll be eligible immediately. However, because of conflicting schedules for the schools, Adams won’t be able to get to campus until June, meaning he’ll miss spring football. Will that be too much of a deterrent in his run for the starting spot? He clearly has the most experience of any name on this list. In his three seasons at Eastern Washington he's tallied 10,438 passing yards (110 touchdowns, 31 interceptions) and 1,232 rushing yards.

■ Andrew Greif shares the reactions from the media and insiders regarding Vernon Adams.

■ Omar Garibay wonders what the Ducks have in store for next season.

■ Coach Morris wonders if Oregon should switch to the 4-3 defense.

Dale Newton talks about Mark Helfrich's raise.

■ Shaun Chase was added to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list yesterday.

Chase and the rest of the Ducks open their season Friday at Hawaii. After playing a four-game series on the Islands, UO returns home to start a five-game homestand on Feb. 19 against New Mexico State.

GO DUCKS!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley talks about EWU QB Vernon Adams and confirms he has signed the necessary paperwork to attend the U of O.

■ Chantel Jennings talks about the QB that will ensue this fall, the Oregonian looks at why he should be a great fit and Dale Newton talks about choices with Adams.

Dale Newton: Adams is a one-year bridge between Marcus Mariota and the future at quarterback, which will include incoming freshman Travis Waller, redshirt freshman Morgan Mahalak or 2016 verbal commit Seth Green. Jeff Lockie also has two years of eligibility, and he’ll battle the EWU star for the job, in absentia during spring practice.

Mark Helfrich was awarded a five year contract extension yesterday and Ted Miller has a few thoughts on the fine print and Vernon Adams transferring.

Kevin Gemmell looks at preventing point after turnovers and how the Ducks fared last year.

■ The Oregon Ducks are picked to finish second in the 2015 Pac-12 Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll released today. Cole Irvin gets the starting nod this Friday as the Ducks open the season in Hawaii.

GO DUCKS!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Brian Libby has part two of his top 25 Oregon football teams of all time in this post.

■ Dale Newton says the history of Oregon football revolves around passion, speed, hard work and results. (video by Oregon Football)

GO DUCKS!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Brian Libby has part one of his top 25 Oregon football teams of all time in this post.

■ Dale Newton call Reggie Daniels the "Captain America" of the backfield.

He has the great work ethic that characterizes so many members of his squad. With a full year of playing time and another off-season of development and film study, Daniels could develop into an all-league player.

GO DUCKS!

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Dale Newton says Joe Walker's continued improvement being pivotal for the Duck defense this year.

His continued development is one of the keys for the Ducks in what should be a vastly improved linebacker corps. Danny Mattingly reaches his sophomore year after recording an interception in the championship game. Rodney Hardrick is a fifth-year senior who had 75 tackles last year. Tyson Coleman added 44, also a senior, and newcomers Jonah Moi and Paris Bostick add size and athleticism to the group, particularly Moi, a 6-3, 245 inside linebacker who had 82 tackles last year for Riverside Community College.

■ Andrew Greif has a 2014 season rewind regarding the QB position and what else can you say, Marcus had the best season of any Oregon QB, ever.

■ Chantel Jennings as the complete rundown of the 2015 recruiting class.

■ Max Thornberry talks about incoming recruit Zach Okun.

■ Rob Moseley believes the position players could have a major impact in the Duck bullpen this year.

Orchestrating the roster with three position players in the mix to pitch will be “a juggling act,” [Cooper] Stiles acknowledged. But the players involved are happy to help. “We all like to go out there and compete,” Graham said. “And I think that’s what we like the most about it.”

GO DUCKS!

Friday, February 06, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Chantel Jennings talks about this year's recruiting class and says there were no big surprises.

So what is it about the Ducks and their program that caused them not to have any late additions or subtractions? 

"I think we’re honest -- it’s a very simple way to put it," Helfrich said. "I think there’s a lot of guys that love the sales aspect and the recruiting aspect. ... If we see you at this position, we’re going to be honest with you. It’s not the end all, be all, but we talk about how hard it is to play here and that, in the end, gets the right guys." 

■ USC might be finished with their sanctions but Oregon held their own in this recruiting cycle.

Andrew Greif talks about the returning players from the 2012 class who have become stars.

■ Kevin Gemmell looks at the Pac-12 North leaders from last year for the category, points after turnovers where Oregon is mentioned.

■ The players from the 2014 Rose Bowl will be honored Feb. 22nd during halftime of the basketball game vs. Utah at Matt Knight arena.

■ Dale Newton wonders if the Ducks can break through the glass ceiling.

GO DUCKS!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ ESPN shares the complete 2015 signing class from yesterday and Mark Helfrich had comments regarding each player.

Walk-on OL Matt Pierson was award a scholarship yesterday after helping to fill in the O-line after numerous players were injured last year.

Before head coach Mark Helfrich announced the team's latest recruiting class Wednesday, he paused to call out Pierson's scholarship as "the biggest news of the day as far as our campus is concerned."

Good article by Rob Moseley on this years recruits and turning the page from 2014 to 2015.

■ Dale Newton talks about recruiting and doing things the right way.

■ Oregon starting pitcher Cole Irvin has been named a preseason third-team All-America by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).

Irvin and the rest of the Ducks open their season on Feb. 13 at Hawaii. After playing a four-game series on the Islands, UO returns home to start a five-game homestand on Feb. 19 against New Mexico State.

GO DUCKS!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
National Signing Day is here and Andrew Nemec has all the details plus Oregon gets another linebacker, Jonah Moi. There is a live tracker here.

Oregon has only had a top ten recruiting class once. In 2011, the Ducks put together a collection that featured De'Anthony Thomas, Colt Lyerla, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and little-known three-star prospects Jake Fisher and Marcus Mariota. That nucleus ended up at No. 9.

Top 15 classes have been rare, but that appears to be a real possibility at this point, especially if they can add a four-star recruit late in the process.

■ Chantel Jennings is conducting a Pac-12 recruit impact poll and so far Canton Kaumatule leads the way.

Dale Newton talks about Kirk Merritt and his abilities and shares links to some of his highlight videos from high school.

Andrew Greif has a 2014 season review of the running backs.

Matt Takimoto has an open letter to the Pac-12, yours truly gets a mention on the post and a few of the comments.

■ Oregon catcher Shaun Chase has been named a preseason All-American by D1Baseball.com.

GO DUCKS!

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Duck Stuff Morning Mud

Morning Mud
■ Rob Moseley has a 2014 season review of the special teams while Andrew Greif looks at the receivers.

Moseley on what to expect this springWith so many freshmen contributing in 2014, the Ducks have the option of fielding returners at all the key special teams spots in 2015. The question, of course, will be whether all those guys can hold off challenges from other players. The placekicking job was up for grabs all season, and it’s conceivable that could continue. And Wheeler will have to win his job again, too. While none of those spots figures to be sewn up in April, it will be a valuable month of competition.

■ Ted Miller looks at one top performance from last year, Marcus Mariota when Michigan St. came to town.

■ Spencer Thomas looks ahead to the 2015 season.

■ Dale Newton looks at underrated recruiting prospects and Andrew Nemec talks about four star athlete Kirk Merritt out of Destrehan, Louisiana who committed to the Ducks last night.

GO DUCKS!

Monday, February 02, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud



Slow news day for Duck football obviously with the Super Bowl yesterday so enjoy the flashback video.

GO DUCKS!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Austin Willhoft looks at his top three recruits in the Class of 2015. Willhoft has this to say regarding his #1 pick.

1. Canton Kaumatule (Five-star prospect according to ESPN.com)

Here’s a fun fact: DE Kaumatule went to the same high school as Defensive Lineman Deforest Buckner. Plus, Buckner was the key figure who convinced the five-star standout to spend his collegiate football years at Oregon. This 6-foot-6, 280-pound behemoth has recorded a total of 25 tackles, 18 of which were done by him alone. Kaumatule presents a serious threat to any team as he has the remarkable ability to rush up the gap and force the QB to hurry and make an ill-advised pass. It’s going to be exciting to see the impact Kaumatule will bring to the Ducks on the defensive side of the field since Oregon has lost many defensive veterans to the NFL draft.

Former Ducks playing in the Super Bowl today talked with Mike Ostrom about their playing days with Oregon.

GO DUCKS!