Duck Stops Here is a fan blog devoted to opinions, commentary and analysis of Duck football. The opinions expressed are entirely mine. We welcome reader feedback, positive or critical. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
@Ducko30 Good point about Stanford. Several of the players have cited Stanford and to a lesser extent Arizona, as the motivating factor behind their desire to get bigger, stronger and more focused.
3 days, 14 hours ago on
@SonomaDuck Thanks SD. Yesterday after practice Mark Helfrich told Steve Mims of the Register-Guard:
“You’re panning for gold,” he said. “There’s a bunch of crap and then one fleck of gold and you grab it and build on that and try to fix the other parts.”
@MicMocTod Dungy has left the Ducks and will play for South Florida this year.
@Ducko30 D30, that's a terrific post, which makes me wish I'd assigned you to write this article. Very thoughtful observations.
6 days, 6 hours ago on
@duckified I too am a left-hander, and it's something to see Bubba bombing away from the correct side of the ball. He's one of those athletes who really connects with the crowd, in a sport that can be a little staid. Very optimistic that this year's team will indeed have the linebacker mentality, displaying the passion and intensity. Good article today from Chantel Jennings at espn.com:
1 week, 1 day ago on
@Ducko30 I'm old enough to remember when college football had only a game or two on every week, and Lindsay Nelson did the Notre Dame rebroadcasts on Sunday morning. "After an exchange of punts, we move to further action in the third quarter."
D30, it is great to have you hear and I appreciate the community that has grown around this blog, some very good football discussion.
@ecdawg Loved that. Bubba is a guy who deserves having the bell rung, definitely.
@DuckStud Thank you Mike.
@SonomaDuck Appreciate it, SD. Here something I found on Twitter today, from Jim Wilmouth:
@duckified Great photo. There's a great chicken and waffle place in downtown Eugene. Thought it was a weird combination until I tried it.
@Ducko30 @Dale Newton @goducks58 D30--indeed. It's a dilemma that will show what this staff and this team is capable of. They have time to adjust, and athletes that were recruited for just this situation.
1 week, 2 days ago on
@Platypus1 Interesting observation about the running game. Keanon Lowe told Andrew Greif of the Oregonian that he's ready to become the #1 receiver, concerned for Bralon but excited for his own senior year.
@SonomaDuck SD health and depth becomes a concern at a position where the Ducks looked all right a week ago. It will be very interesting to see how the group develops and which of these young players accepts the challenge.
I didn't mention Dwayne Stanford in this article, who is one of the Ducks top receiver prospects after coming off a knee injury of his own. He's not a replacement for Addison per se, more of a Z receiver at 6-5--Addison plays the X and Y at 5-10, relying on a different skill set.
1 week, 4 days ago on
@goducks58 Thanks gd. It will be very interesting to see how this team respond to this. Rooting for a great next chapter in Bralon's story.
1 week, 5 days ago on
@Ducko30 It's an awesome array of weapons, and it's up to Scott Frost to get the most out of them. Phil Steele's projected AP poll has the Ducks at #3:
@SonomaDuck SD, Allen is in fact one of the fastest players on the team, the Arizona state record holder in the hurdles. It will be interesting to see if the redshirt freshman can work his way into the mix at receiver.
Fans are watching the backup qb battle closely and hoping one of the candidates achieves some separation.
@duckified Bobby Jones used to say the same thing about golf, but it is no less true. Focus seems excellent this year at spring practice.
@ShastaDuck Always liked Andre's high school tape, and the sense of humor he's displayed in videos with his roommate Johnstone. Ducks have the deepest and most experienced offensive line in memory.
@goducks58 Spring game is just 3 weeks away. Great progress so far. Saw an interview with Tyler Johnstone today and he is visibly bigger and stronger.
@Ducko30 D30, next to last seems like stretching it to get attention. It isn't as though the Oregon program imploded under the new coach, and Lassan seems to give inordinate credit to coaches who do more with less, but "more" is loosely defined in this ranking. And isn't putting together talent a big part of a college football coach's job?
2 weeks, 1 day ago on
@duckified Df, I don't think Helfrich measures himself by outside expectations or subjective rankings, but I do think he wants to win and improve as a head coach, win his own battle of "you versus yesterday."
@SonomaDuck Michigan State is way more important, certainly. This was just something to talk about until then. I agree with you that year two is the litmus test. Expectations are justifiably high.
@Raygun383 Appreciate your thoughts, RG. I brought up the article because it's a topic for discussion. I agree that MH has to at least win a conference title to get out from under the shadow of Chip.
@rgyle Arg, thanks for the update on Mafileo. The Ducks have three scholarships available due to attrition with Dungy, Bafaro and Auscherman leaving the team, and it looks like Ratu still wants to be a Duck. Adding him rounds out the 2014 class beautifully with two big bodies for the middle in 325-lb. Mafileo and 290-lb. Austin Maloata. Add that to the strength gains Balducci, Kamp and Daniel made this off season and the picture has cleared up a lot on the defensive line.
Mora has rebuilt the UCLA program will challnege in the PAC-12 South this year. Sarkisian went 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 7-5 and 9-4 at Washington, and it's a head scratcher how that earns him a slot above Helfrich.
@CLDuck CLD--it was a courageous, no-nonsense decision, purposeful, no pussy-footing around. Vintage Chip. The Washington versus Philly showdowns next season are going to be interesting. It wouldn't surprise me a bit to see the Eagles win a Super Bowl in the next three years.
2 weeks, 6 days ago on
@hoboduck Mike did a great job on this article, and you are right, CK is genuinely the quickest, smartest guy in most rooms, smart enough to surround himself with other smart people and get everyone around him working to the same standard and the same goal.
@Ducko30 Kelly does things his way, and he's decisive. From what I've read this decision was about Jackson's locker room antics and the distraction he created popping off in practice and missing meetings. Kelly always used to say "we'll miss you, but we'll get along without you." I wouldn't be surprised to see the Eagles draft Marqise Lee and make him an NFL star.
@hoboduck @Dale Newton @SonomaDuck The hamstring pulls are the most concerning because that's a type of injury that can tend to recur.
@atvinton @Dale Newton @Ducko30 @duckified True enough, but Tyner ran for 711 yards as a freshman, and Freeman brings an entirely new dimension to the offense. I fully expect Marshall or TT to be the starter, but I'd be shocked if Freeman doesn't play and make a difference in the overall productivity of the offense.
@goducks58 Interesting observation about Benoit, who reportedly worked very hard in his scout team year. From his goducks.com bio: "Powered the football 285 times for 2,260 yards (7.9 avg.) and 36 touchdowns his senior year, averaging 188.3 yards per game"
I agree with you that this is the deepest backfield they've ever had, and coach Campbell has always done a terrific job of bringing his group along and distributing the touches. Marcus too is adept at using all his weapons and choosing the right options.
@Ducko30 D30, spring is all about improvement and setting the tone, and I like everything we're hearing after two days.
@duckified Thanks df. Fortunately the care the Ducks take in recruiting for attitude, leadership and character creates a team chemistry and mindset that fosters the kind of consistency and accountability you are talking about.
@atvinton @Ducko30@Dale Newton@duckifiedFreeman's not redshirting, and he's no ordinary freshman. As a high schooler he broke the San Diego area rushing record in a section that's produced Reggie Bush, Ricky Williams, Ricky Seale and Rashaan Salaam, a once-in-a-generation back, a combination of speed and power and elusiveness that rarely comes along. He'll play as a freshman, and may even challenge the other two.
He's a special talent, and generalities about most freshman don't apply.
3 weeks, 1 day ago on
@SonomaDuck Completely agree that Campbell does a masterful job of bringing his pupils along and managing the rotation.. He'll keep them fresh, motivated and effective, and tutor Freeman at just the right pace.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on
@hoboduck @SonomaDuckThe "dinged up" label doesn't seem fair. Each had one ankle injury last year and missed one game.
@atvinton People forget Marshall was a four-star recruit and the number one running back on the West Coast in his recruiting class. With the other two being so gifted he somehow gets diminished as a journeyman, but that's just not accurate.
@duckified Before Oregon had a "Stanford problem" LaMichael James ran for 125, 257, and 146 yards in 3 career games against The Cardinal. Barner went for 321 and 5 tds versus USC. Great players make big plays in big games, and Oregon needs one of these three backs to seize the job in the same way.
@Ducko30 Marshall's adjectives sound like a pickup truck, don't they?
@hoboduck It won't go away, not with this decision and the O'Bannon case, the John Rock Case and others. The NCAA has to meaningfully address these issues, because the game doesn't exist without the players.
3 weeks, 4 days ago on
@sozeduck @Dale Newton @duckster71 That sounds like a slippery slope argument. The players say they sought representation because they want a voice at the table in terms of true cost of attendance, player safety and medical issues. It's entirely possible that in this case, the players and the universities can find a way to fund the game, provide the players a value for their talents, and work together to improve medical care and safety.
Their concerns are legitimate. They can be addressed without destroying the game, although the risk is certainly there.
@sozeduck The PAC-12 television deal signed last year will pay the conference a reported 3 billion dollars over the next 12 years. As supporters of college football, we have two choices. We can have an intelligent discussion about the new realities of the game, or we can cloak ourselves in statements like "anyone who thinks differently is simply ignorant." While that kind of rhetoric builds ratings for MSN and Fox News, it won't help here.
@duckster71 While universities have an obligation to fund other programs, the players, who are the source of all that revenue, don't. The 60-hour figure came from Ohr's findings based on the Northwestern players. Factor in game days, with travel, meetings, weight training, film study, practice and games, and it doesn't seem as implausible.
The NCAA has enjoyed a tax exemption for years, so it doesn't seem impossible that players might receive one as well.
It will indeed be interesting to see how it plays out, whether college sports can successfully adapt to this new reality, adopt an Ivy League model or give way to the NFL Developmental League, the NIke Ducks or what have you.
3 weeks, 5 days ago on
@Ducko30 When schools top 90 million in revenues and play in 100,000 seat stadiums, it's hard to deny, but this just rubs our face in it. If there is ever a work stoppage, that would kill the bargain and the naivete forever.
@JonSousa Morgan and his family have completely embraced the Oregon culture and he's established himself as a leader in his class, forming quality relationships with his teammates. Every one of the freshman I've interviewed cites him first as a guy they've made friends with.
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Post card from Hawaii--how one new Duck spent his spring vacation
@TweedleZee Hobbs is still in the program, and we'll get our first look at him in this year's spring game. All we know now is that he's a good athlete still learning how to be a passer.
@sozeduck I think they have three quality backups, as yet untested. Morgan Mahalak may turn to be the most qualified of the three. Looking forward to spring practice and another look at them.
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Marcus Mariota makes the Ducks a preseason contender, thus far a familiar but cursed role
@JonSousa @Dale Newton@SonomaDuckI'll go with that, Jon, although the 50-30 is more effective for style points. Have to impress that committee.
@MitchHanan Agree that using the depth, speed and athleticism of this receiver group, the veteran offensive line and the three-headed monster at running back will be the key to keeping Marcus Mariota healthy and the offense running at peak efficiency. Bralon Addison is certain to be the go-to receiver, but the rest of the rotation has to be developed and nurtured among several promising candidates.
@sozeduck @Dale Newton During the 2014 recruiting cycle the Ducks evaluated or offered at least two dozen defensive tackles, including Sam Schwab, Alfonso Hamilton, and Rika Levi. It was a down year at the position in the West, and several top targets committed early.
I cover recruiting for Duck Sports Authority, the Rivals affiliate for Oregon. Here's an analysis on defensive tackles I wrote a couple of weeks ago:
1 month ago on The challenge facing Don Pellum and the Oregon defense