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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Duck Stuff: Tuesday Edition

■ Rob Moseley previews the preseason battle at the quarterback position.

...Jeff Lockie has demonstrated repeatedly over the last 12 months that he can step up his game. He’s carried himself with a different demeanor all offseason; he remains outgoing, with a self-effacing brand of humor, but that’s been on display a little less, as Lockie has projected a more focused, poised demeanor, perhaps in a nod to the opportunity that’s at hand...

■ Jason Selby wonders if a Duck dynasty might be in the making.

Josh & Tre at eDuck talk about the offensive line in the latest segment of "how they see it."

■ Mike Merrell believes the Ducks are poised to fly higher.

FYI - I will be gone camping until next Monday so check back then for more stories.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Duck Stuff: Monday Edition

Andrew Greif says the Oregon defense is fueled and motivated after the loss to Ohio St. in the title game.

Even if [Tyrell] Robinson and [Joe] Walker acknowledge they'd emotionally moved on from that loss by the time spring practices began in April, there is a lesson to be drawn from that game: Some find the best way to move forward is to look back.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Duck Stuff: Sunday Edition

■ Josh and Tre (over at eDuck) talk about the Oregon QB battle in this video.

■ Henry Swift remembers the legend of Kiko Alonso while he was at Oregon.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Duck Stuff: Saturday Edition

■ Tyson Alger continues looking at our opponents in 2015 and today it's the Civil War.

It will be interesting to see how the new-look Beavers beav trash, in a year of transition, fare against a Ducks team that is hoping to return to the College Football Playoffs for a second consecutive year. By all accounts the Ducks are the more talented – and favored team – but Gary Andersen and company would love to start their first Civil War off with a massive upset to keep the Ducks out of the Pac-12 title game.

■ Kevin Gemmell goes on a  Pac-12 road trip in week 9 and has the Oregon vs ASU game on the map.

■ Dale Newton shares some random thoughts on the Ducks and college football.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Duck Stuff: Friday Edition

■ Ted Miller believes the Ducks will have the second best defense in the Pac-12 this year. Here is what he says:

As usual, the Ducks defense was better last year than most folks thought -- see 22.3 points per game, which ranked second in the conference. A big key, also as usual, was turnovers. The Ducks led the conference by forcing 34. That offset a middling 5.4 yards per play. Oregon must replace end Arik Armstead, but a rotation of healthy players might prove more effective than the talented but oft-injured first-round NFL draft pick who seemed to sport a perpetual limp. The secondary also must be rebuilt, but there's plenty of talent, and young players saw action last year because of veterans' injuries. There's so much speed and talent here at all three levels, and you'd expect second-year coordinator Don Pellum will have a better feel for how he wants to run a defense after he replaced Nick Aliotti last year.

■ Kevin Gemmell reviews the Pac-12 North quarterbacks and has Oregon in the "we"ll see" category.

■ Tyson Alger says one position battle to watch is Jalen Brown vs Alex Ofodile for a role as a wide receiver.

■ Andrew Greif talked with Joe Walker recently on the progress the defense has made this summer in this video.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Duck Stuff: Thursday Edition

■ David Lombardi reviews the Pac-12 North runnings backs and has Oregon at the top of the list. Ted Miller and Kyle Bonagura also talk about the Duck offense and running backs for 2015.

The Ducks' backfield stable may be the envy of the country. There's depth and skill versatility here. Royce Freeman brings the bruising presence, and it's frightening to realize that he may inflict even more hurt now that he's no longer a true freshman. Thomas Tyner is an excellent blur-speed No. 2. Though he's shifted to more of a receiving role, Byron Marshall shouldn't be discounted -- he's one of the most versatile weapons in the Pac-12. Don't sleep on incoming speedster Taj Griffin, either: Like Freeman last year, he'll have a chance to grab playing time by the horns this fall.

■ Andrew Greif says Don Pellum is a lot more "settled" now that he will be entering his second year as defensive coordinator.

■ Tyson Alger continues his series on our opponents this year and USC is next up.

■ Noah Smith wonders if Royce Freeman will be the next Oregon MVP.

If Oregon is going to make another playoff or National Championship run, then Freeman is going to have to set the tone for every game, showing opponents that the reports of Oregon’s softness have been highly exaggerated.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Duck Stuff: Wednesday Edition

■ David Lombardi reviews the Pac-12 North wide receivers and says the Ducks are in "great shape."

...Byron Marshall is one of the most versatile offensive weapons in the conference, while Bralon Addison (he's back), Charles Nelson, Jalen Brown, and Dwayne Stanford all bring value to the passing table. Remember, Royce Freeman's mere presence in the backfield is a big-time supercharger for this group.

■ Charles Fisher previews the looming competition between Jeff Lockie and Vernon Adams to replace Marcus Mariota.

■ Jay Garnett takes a closer look at the Oregon defense which has come under attack by a few individuals.

■ Dale Newton sat down recently with Kevin Causey to preview the Pac-12 competition this year.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Duck Stuff: Tuesday Edition

■ Tyson Alger continues going through our schedule and previews the Stanford game next.

Oregon's whooping of Stanford last season came in midst of a streak that completely took the wind out of the Cardinal's sails. Stanford lost two-of-three coming into Eugene and then followed the loss to Oregon with a 20-17 loss to Utah. Stanford rebounded with convincing wins over Cal, UCLA and Maryland in the Foster Farms Bowl, and will look to avoid such a dip in a 2015 season when the Cardinal are expected to be the Ducks' primary competition for Pac-12 North supremacy.

■ David Lombardi previews the Pac-12 North offensive lines and has Oregon in "great shape."

■ Kevin Gemmell believes Oregon's most important player (other than QB's) is Royce Freeman.

At 5-11, 230 pounds, he's a bulldozer who can wear down defenses. But he's quick enough to make defenders miss. And if the Ducks hope to return to the playoffs, chances are it will be on the strength of Freeman's legs.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Duck Stuff: Monday Edition

■ Caleb Couturie believes the Pac-12 and not the SEC will be the conference to beat this year.

Oregon and USC are my early favorites to win the respective divisions, and considering the two play each other right before the season’s end, the two could basically have a warm up game for the Pac-12 Championship.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Duck Stuff: Saturday Edition

■ Andrew Greif continues looking at our opponents next season and today it's Cal.

Oregon marks the end of a brutal four-game stretch for Cal in which the Bears play Utah (Oct. 10), UCLA (Oct. 22) and USC (Oct. 31) before arriving in Eugene. How Cal fares in that span will go a long way toward figuring out whether it is truly one of 2015's most "surprising teams" — as one publication projects, based off Cal's four-win improvement last season, its biggest since 2002 — or whether the flaws in its rebuild toward Pac-12 North Division contention will be exposed.

■ Royce Freeman was added to the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award watch list yesterday.

■ David Lombardi reviews the Pac-12  North defensive line unit and has Oregon in "good shape."

■ Jason Selby looks at how Oregon stacks up against the Pac-12 North in 2015.

■ Dale Newton believes Oregon is leading a quiet revolution in their recruiting strategy.

Under Helfrich the Ducks make more offers and they make them earlier. They recruit nation-wide, and Oregon’s sustained success, facilities and reputation opens the doors to high school coaching offices in every corner of the country...


Friday, July 17, 2015

Duck Stuff: Friday Edition

■ David Lombardi has Oregon in "great shape" after reviewing the Pac-12 North linebackers.

The Ducks must replace a couple pieces here (Derrick Malone and Tony Washington), but there's an experienced backbone of talent sticking around. Joe Walker, Rodney Hardrick, Tyson Coleman, and Christian French are all fifth-year seniors, so Oregon is dealing with known commodities who will execute assignments. Even if talent is not on a Kiko Alonso or Michael Clay level anymore, this unit will remain effective.

■ Andrew Greif reviews the Oregon Special Team unit heading into fall camp.

■ Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner were added to the Doak Walker Award watch list yesterday.

■ Langi Tuifua, a four star DL out of Jordan, UT committed to the Ducks yesterday for the class of 2017.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Duck Stuff: Thursday Edition

■ Andrew Greif continues looking at our opponents next season and today it's Arizona St.

Arizona State has become relevant in the Pac-12 standings again under Todd Graham, who led ASU to the conference championship game two seasons ago and the distinction of being just one of 12 schools — including Oregon — that has won more than 10 games in each of the past two seasons. Beating an Oregon team expected to begin the season ranked in the nation's top-10, however, would mark Graham's biggest victory yet and a sign the Sun Devils could make noise in more than just the Pac-12's South Division.

■ Byron Marshall has been added to the Biletnikoff Award watch list.

■ Chantel Jennings reviews the defensive backs in the Pac-12 North and has Oregon in "good shape."

■ Kevin Gemmell has the Oregon vs MSU as the ultimate Pac-12 road trip in week two of the season.

■ Mark Flores has the latest on recruiting news.

■ Football tickets won't come cheap this season.

■ Marcus Mariota won an ESPY Award for the best male collegiate athlete last night.

■ Cole Irvin made it official, he'll return to the mound for the Ducks next season.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Duck Stuff: Wednesday Edition

■ David Lombardi says the Ducks are all set at the Special Teams position and Andrew Greif looks at the linebackers who will be competing for a starting job come fall.

Lombardi: Aiden Schneider (11-for-12 on field goals in 2015) and Matt Wogan (7-for-9). Charles Nelson's explosiveness and versatility has been well-documented, and it's likely he's not the only weapon on the Ducks' roster capable of housing a return.

■ Rob Moseley reports DeForest Buckner and Tyler Johnstone have been added to the Lombardi Trophy watch list.

■ Kevin Gemmell wonders if Vernon Adams is already making an impact for the Ducks.

■ Matt Hayes says the Ducks vs Spartans is the top non-conference game this season.

■ Dale Newton believes the beefed-up Ducks are ready to defend their Pac-12 crown.

 The casual fan clamoring for more size on the field has to be pleased. Time will tell whether these players are the real deal or just bigger than what we’re used to seeing as Ducks fans. While they're shoveling in protein powder and lean meats, perhaps we’ll get to have our cake and eat it, too.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Duck Stuff: Tuesday Edition

■ Andrew Greif continues to look at our opponents in 2015 and next are the Dawgs.

Oregon's uncertainty at quarterback and on defense make this Washington's best chance to break its losing streak to UO in years — if, however, the Huskies can find answers to their own questions first.

■ Athlon Sports has Autzen Stadium at the top of their list for "crowded" venues.

■ Vernon Adams is (not) compared with Russell Wilson in this story as some folks have suggested.

■ Dale Newton says each new season has its share of long odds and adversity.

Never bet on a game that involves a ball with pointy ends and players who eat too much pizza, play video games and break up with their girlfriends, but if you insist on doing so, bet on this addition of the Ducks to exceed expectations. They are selected and trained to do so.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Duck Stuff: Monday Edition

■ Jimmy Friedricks believes Charles Nelson will become the latest two-way Pac-12 football star.

It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff uses his abilities. Whatever the coaches decide, Nelson will be prepared.

“I might be [busy], but I’m ready for it. We’ll see what happens,” he said.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Duck Stuff: Sunday Edition

■ Track & Field News named Oregon star Jenna Prandini women's college athlete of the year yesterday.

Henry Swift calls Don Pellum college football's best dressed genius.

■ Erik C. Anderson looks at how Oregon commit La'Mar Winston did at The Opening last week.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Duck Stuff: Saturday Edition

■ Tyson Alger continues his "get to know an opponent" series with a look at Washington St.

Luke Falk and Washington State's passing attack will be the best early-season test for the Ducks and a revamped secondary from a year ago. Oregon graduated Erick Dargan, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Troy Hill from last year's secondary, meaning that the Chris Seisay-led Oregon defensive backs will have a chance to prove their mark against the most action they'll likely see all season.

■ Tyler Johnstone was added to the Outland Trophy watch list while DeForest Buckner was named to the Bronco Nagurski Trophy watch list.

■ Tyler Timm talks about three players that are flying under the radar heading into fall camp.

■ Max Thornberry believes summer ball could be the savior for the Ducks baseball team this year.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Duck Stuff: Friday Edition

■ Brian Perry says Jalen Brown is a name to know among the wide receivers this year.

If Brown can earn playing time in the preseason and in the first few games of the year, assert himself as a sure-handed pass catcher and help keep the chains moving, expect to see a solid debut season for this redshirt freshman — and plenty of great days to come for the Oregon Ducks football program.

■ Aidan Schneider has been name to the Lou Groza Award watch list for his place kicking ability.

■ The Ducks have a quote from Urban Meyer hanging on wall inside the football facility.

■ Oregon got commitments from Jared Mayden and La'Mar Winston yesterday at The Opening. They are both 4* recruits and this puts the 2016 class in the top ten.


Thursday, July 09, 2015

Duck Stuff: Thursday Edition

■ Tyson Alger previews the Colorado game on October 3.

Early storyline: If Oregon beats Michigan State and Utah, the Ducks should enter the Colorado game undefeated baring a major upset from Eastern Washington or Georgia State. If they can get to Boulder unscathed, their next three games – Colorado, Washington State, Washington – will come against teams expected to finish toward the bottom of the conference, giving the Ducks the opportunity to pad their resume early in a bid to return to the College Football Playoffs.

■ Two more players were added to the award watch lists yesterday. Johnny Mundt to the John Mackey and Mat Hegarty to the Rimington.

■ Athlon Sports predicts Oregon will play against Boise St. in the next Fiesta Bowl.

■ Dale Newton believes Charles Nelson should be used on both sides of the field.


Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Duck Stuff: Wednesday Edition

■ Tyson Alger focuses on the looming running back battle between Kani Benoit and Tony Brooks- James to back up Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner.

Both must separate from each other with their strengths. Benoit has to be efficient with his carriers and show that he has a greater strength advantage than Brooks-James given his size. On the other hand, Brooks-James must show that he can use his various physical talents and learn Oregon's running style after spending much of his time this spring as a receiver.

■ Royce Freeman and DeForest Buckner have been added to the Maxwell Award  and Bednarik Award watch lists.

■ Jay Garnett believes the Ducks are reloading and not rebuilding as some have suggested.

■ Jeremy McGuire breaks down the run-pass combo the Ducks utilize with great effectiveness.

■ Dale Newton wonders if Vernon Adams can overcome a late start to join the team and catch up to the head start Jeff Lockie this year with the current players.


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Duck Stuff: Tuesday Edition

■ Tyson Alger previews the game against Utah on Sept. 26.

Early storyline: The Pac-12 opener against the Utes should be Oregon's only tough conference game for a month. After Utah, Oregon gets Colorado, Washington State and Washington before finally traveling to Tempe for a matchup against Arizona State. If Oregon doesn't take down the Utes, it will be a long four weeks before the Ducks can rebound for a win against a quality opponent.

Vernon Adams has been admitted to the U of O and is one step closer to joining the team.

■ Byron Marshall and Charles Nelson were named to the Hornung Award watch list yesterday.

Royce Freeman was named on the Lindy's preseason All-America team and Dale Newton believes Freeman needs to have a big year.


Monday, July 06, 2015

Duck Stuff: Monday Edition

■ Aaron Lewis examines the realistic expectations for the 2015 Ducks.

Oregon has proven over the last five years that it doesn’t need to rebuild, that contending for national championships and playing in major bowl games is the norm. However, in the hyper-competitive college football environment, expecting a national title is foolhardy, especially given the Ducks’ questions at quarterback and on defense.


Sunday, July 05, 2015

Duck Stuff: Sunday Edition

■ Jason Selby gives tribute to Phil Knight after he announced he is stepping down as chairman of Nike.

Uncle Phil, I will never be able to thank you enough. Not only did you have the willingness to create the Nike shirt, shorts and shoes that I am wearing right now, but you provided me, and so many others, with countless memories that will flash in front of my eyes until I die. Many athletes have chosen Oregon because of the opportunity that you have given them. To that point, many students have chosen Oregon because of what you have done for athletics. I wish you the best in your future endeavors, and I certainly hope to see you around campus again some time soon.

■ Joey Holland believes our current wide receiver corps might be one of the best in Oregon history. Time will tell.


Saturday, July 04, 2015

Duck Stuff: Saturday Edition

■ Andrew Greif says we should know how opponent as the football season inches closer and takes a look at Georgia St.

Quotable: "We've just got to win football games. There's a plan, a good plan. We are sticking with the plan. Our young men are ready to start winning football games. We have the size and talent to start winning." -- Trent Miles, in June, to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

■ Jason Fowler believes the 2016 recruiting class might break into the top ten.


Friday, July 03, 2015

Duck Stuff: Friday Edition

■ Jamie Newberg lists Devon Allen as one of the best Pac-12 receivers going into fall camp.

This red-shirt sophomore had a really good season in 2014, catching 41 passes for 684 yards. He also led the Ducks with seven touchdown receptions. If healthy, Allen should be one of Oregon’s most explosive players once again this season.

■ Andrew Greif says the position battle at the defensive line will be one to watch.

■ Andrew Nemec wonders if "The Opening" event in Beaverton next week will see any Duck commits.


Thursday, July 02, 2015

Duck Stuff: Thursday Edition

■ Chantel Jennings and Ted Miller talk about how the Ducks should utilize the talents of Charles Nelson this year.

Miller: To me, it starts in two places: 1. What Nelson wants; 2. Need...

Jennings: I think he starts on offense and offense alone, because that’s where this team needs to make its footprint...

■ Andrew Greif would like you to get acquainted with an Oregon opponent, Michigan St.

Noah Smith wonders if Oregon could have another Heisman winner this year but my guess is that would be a longshot at best.

■ Mark Flores has the latest on the recruiting trail.

Andy Staples takes look at how branding in college football has been a huge success for Oregon.

■ Pretty sweet "thank you" video that OregonGridiron posted yesterday for Marcus Mariota.

■ Rob Moseley says several Duck athlete were enriched by their service trip to the Dominican Republic including a couple of football players.

This was the fourth year in a row a UO contingent travelled to Latin American for a project through the Courts for Kids program, and the second trip to Dominican Republic. The Ducks levelled a dirt surface and laid the foundation for a basketball court, but their interactions with the locals – and each other – seem to have been the most memorable aspects.


Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Duck Stuff: Wednesday Edition

■ Andrew Greif breaks down the 2015 defensive back position battle.

Oregon and Auburn will meet August 31 2019 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. to open the season that year and Ted Miller believes anticipation for the game will be as much fun as the game itself.

■ Chantel Jennings says there is an embarrassment of riches at running back in the Pac-12., including Royce Freeman.

■ Charles Fischer examines the "Jake Fisher" effect.

■ 2016 OT Logan Bathke from Orange, CA. committed to the Ducks yesterday.

■ Marcus Mariota and Janie Takeda were honored yesterday and will receive the Pac-12’s Tom Hansen Conference Medals for 2014-15.

■ Oregon pitcher Stephen Nogosek has been named to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in advance of the team’s five-game series with the Cuban National Team that starts today.