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 email@example.com.
@goducks58 The former Oregon assistant is in the first rank of coaches with 100 wins and everything he accomplished at Boise, but most Oregon fans will say their two favorite teams are the Ducks and whoever is playing the Dawgs.
1 day, 10 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/dawgs-seek-culture-change-but-the-petri-dish-is-sucked-dry-by-graduation.html
Ducks will get a new Mariota to join the team this summer--Marcus Mariota's brother Matt has been offered as a preferred walk-on. He's a 6-3, 220-pound defensive end/linebacker with a 3.0 G.PA. Shows a good motor and football instincts in these highlights:
1 day, 21 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/can-stanford-solve-their-oregon-problem.html
@SonomaDuck @duckified @Dale Newton @goducks58 He can spin the rock. Based on his highlight tape I'd make him the favorite. What remains to be seen is his ability to take command and be the guy under pressure. Outstanding young man, a good athlete and smart.
Really looking forward to seeing how the four perform in the spring game.
@duckified @SonomaDuck @Dale Newton @goducks58 Mahalak has already had that year.
1 day, 22 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/can-stanford-solve-their-oregon-problem.html
@SonomaDuck @duckified @Dale Newton @goducks58 They're exploring all options, but I think the next quarterback will be one of the four in uniform at Spring practice.
@atvinton @SonomaDuck The value of a Stanford degree is a great selling point for that program, and it's a beautiful campus. But the band stinks.
@SonomaDuck The Cardinal have found a unique niche in recruiting--I wish the Ducks could recruits the linebackers and linemen they get.
T@Ducko30 hey lose 8 from a very good defense and return 9 from a very mediocre offense.
@NormVanbrocklin @duckusuckers Now that sanctions are over we'll truly see what he can do. Trojans are optimistic with Kessler back, but Leonard Williams is a big loss. That early USC-Stanford game should be a big indicator. Ducks get them late in the year, which gives the new quarterback time to develop.
@duckusuckers Like always USC is accumulating an impressive haul of talent., but so far in Sarkisian's career he's hasn't been a coach that's shown an ability to maximize talent.
@atvinton Interesting tha beginning with 2010 season, Stanford and Oregon are 39-1 against the rest of the North. That has to end sometime but doesn't appear to be ending soon.
@goducks58 Every year every team has to be reborn, but Oregon's nucleus is as strong as anyone's in the conference. They've proven they can reload at quarterback, having done so with Clemens, Dixon, Masoli, Thomas and Mariota, maintaining a high level of offensive productivity throughout, and this year that new quarterback has an incredible array of weapons around him. Imagine Alex Ofodile, Malik Lovette, Tony James and Jalen Brown joining last year's cast. The Ducks will need to fully inflate a dozen footballs to keep them all busy.
2 days, 10 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/can-stanford-solve-their-oregon-problem.html
@rgyle A very well though out response, Arg. Linebacker is something to watch closely.
You are right too that it would be a drastic adjustment if the Ducks ever became an overdog in college football--I don't know if that would be as interesting. Sports at every level are indeed a cycle--the Yankees are in ruin right now (which delights me, but that's a post to a much different blog).
4 days, 9 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/how-the-ducks-break-through-that-last-door-hopefully-with-composure-and-class.html
@duckusuckers @DryDuckin SB It's a spread attack, so you wouldn't have to worry about the 5-step drop. Dust off your transcripts. Your team needs you.
5 days, 7 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/ducks-break-in-new-quarterback-with-no-lack-of-targets.html
@goducks58 Allen, Brown, Carrington, Addison. It was a ghastly toll. The Ducks are due for one of those years where they remain relatively healthy and avoid a rash of bad breaks.
@duckified Carrington would have been a big plus for the Oregon attack and they did have two big errors in the passing game, but I think it goes too far to say he would have made a 22-point difference in the game. Ohio State beat Oregon soundly, and Carrington doesn't play linebacker.
I do agree that those early errors were costly and the passing game suffered without one of the Ducks most dynamic players. Still, excuses don't win ballgames.
@duckusuckers Maybe we should check to see if Big Daddy Don Garlits has any eligibility remaining.
@Ducko30 It amazes me they AGAIN pick Stanford to win the North, despite the loss of nine players on defense. Not sure that Hogan's decision to return is even a plus for them.
5 days, 10 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/ducks-break-in-new-quarterback-with-no-lack-of-targets.html
@DryDuckin SB All you need to do is work on your release in the quick screen game and master the pump-fake.
@Ducko30 @Dale Newton @DryDuckin SB Who should do the picking, D30? I am looking forward to the moment when Marcus is announced to the crowd on some future visit to Autzen Stadium--that will be something.
6 days, 6 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/after-years-of-obscurity-talk-rises-of-a-ring-of-honor.html
@DryDuckin SB You make a good argument--I like that phrase "transcendent contribution" and Moore, Fouts, Musgrave and Harrington definitely qualify under that standard.
@duckified I can see that point of view, although with two Rose Bowl Trophies and four conference championships in the last few years the Ducks are getting closer and closer to a level where a ring of honor makes sense.
@zduckfan I don't think he'll fall to 20, but if he falls to say, 7 or 10, Kelly can conceivably trade up to get him.
6 days, 10 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/five-wide-sports-skeptical-about-mariota-nfl-draft-prospects.html
@DryDuckin SB Based on measurable, objective achievements, Brooks doesn't get in, but I see your point of view also. His contribution was monumental.
6 days, 10 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/after-years-of-obscurity-talk-rises-of-a-ring-of-honor.html
@DonSmalley Brooks definitely paved the way, and adding to that is the fact that the core of the coaching staff that's brought Oregon so much success (Bellotti, Aliotti, Greatwood, Pellum, Campbell, Radcliffe) were all hired by him.
@DryDuckin SB Good point.
@MarcTheDuck Gosh sorry. I better fix that.
@DryDuckin SB Also that he's durable, indispensable, compact and great to have on road trips.
6 days, 21 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/byron-marshall-the-swiss-army-knife-of-oregon-football-takes-the-ducks-into-the-wild.html
@DryDuckin SB @Dale Newton @zduckfan @goducks58 It's the Russell Wilson/Braxton Miller rule, DDS. If he earns his degree, he can play anywhere as a graduate student and not sit out a year, go somewhere where he could be the feature running back. San Jose State, Oregon State, Cal, USC. I'm not predicting it, just passing on what I've heard. Hope it doesn't come to that.
@Platypus1 @Dale Newton @atvinton They're down 5 now, with Hill, Ifo and Dargan graduating, Harrison and Amoako transferring. There will be some new faces and John Neal faces another challenge getting some young players ready. Forutnately Reggie Daniels is developing into a star and Chris Seisay held his own when forced into the starting lineup as a true freshman. Admadi, McGraw, Springs and the rest are all very promising, and the Ducks might move Charles Nelson back there.
Fotu Leiato, a strong safety/rover from Steilacoom Washington is an intriguing prospect, 6-0, 200, a lights-out hitter like Matthew Harper and T.J. Ward. He visits 1-30:
6 days, 22 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/defo-returns-and-thats-the-beginning-of-hope.html
@zduckfan @Dale Newton @Ducko30 Darron's a battler. He may achieve his dream yet.
6 days, 22 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/the-most-under-appreciated-quarterback-in-duck-history.html
@rgyle @Dale Newton @goducks58 The offensive system adapts well to different quarterbacks with different strengths, which makes me optimistic for this year. How much do you think Oregon slips back without Mariota?
@MarkGilbert1 @Dale Newton @Ducko30 Luck and Toby Gerhart beat the Ducks in a shootout in 2009, 51-42. Thomas and LaMichael James got him the next two years.
@SonomaDuck Looking back at that highlight tape, you can see the confidence and the leadership. He ran when he had to, distributed the football, and limited his mistakes. Kelly and Helfrich did a great job of bringing him along. Darron was a tough son of a gun.
@rgyle I remember a specific play against Tennessee when he hit Lavasier Tuinei with a 24-yard touchdown pass with a defender right in his face. This was Darron Thomas's second start as a college football player:
@atvinton @goducks58 Glad you brought up the example of Huff. His growth over four years in the program, leaving with his degree, was wonderful to see. Had a great first year with Chip Kelly's Philadelphia Eagles.
Who doesn't like a nice plate of fried chicken once in a while? Although there's a pretty good chicken and waffles place in downtown Eugene. Our friends Steve and Kathy took Vicki and I there last year after a Duck game. I thought it was a weird-sounding combination until I tried it.
Last week the Big 5 schools approved 79-1 a proposal to increase scholarships to true cost of attendance, a move that will help ease some of the difficulties student-athletes have in leaving home and adjusting to college. The kids have earned it: their talent has made college football a hugely successful business.
6 days, 22 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/chance-allen-bralon-addison-and-the-texas-two-step.html
@atvinton Thanks ATV. We enjoy telling stories and talking football. I'm not sure if I'd want to be part of the daily media scrum even if I had the option.
@goducks58 @zduckfan @Honored Guest I gave HG a couple of days to figure out what we're doing here to see if he'd take off the tinfoil hat. Today I decided it was time to hit the eject button. He won't be visiting anymore.
@duckusuckers @SonomaDuck The 85-man scholarship limit was a great equalizer. In the bad old days Nebraska and USC used to have 6 tailbacks and 7 middle linebackers--now squads like MIchigan State and TCU can compete nationally with anyone.
@SonomaDuck @duckusuckers Plus a much stronger in-state recruiting base. Ducks are wrapping up what looks to be a terrific recruiting class, with 5 big offensive linemen and four for the defensive line so far. Still working on linebackers.
@duckusuckers It really is amazing what the Ducks have achieved with classes that typically rank from 15-25. They evaluate extremely well and teach with terrific continuity. They have a system and a culture that promotes success. Emperor Urban has built his empire working in recruiting hotbeds, while the Ducks have succeeded in finding great prizes in unlikely places.
@zduckfan @Dale Newton @goducks58 At 5-10 205 he's bigger than LaMichael James or Barner. I understand what you're saying though. The numbers show he is indeed very special.
I've heard some faint talk he wants to move back to running back and may be considering a transfer. If he elects to do that it would be a big loss, and the versatile role he plays in the Oregon offense is the perfect showcase for his skills at the next level. Third down backs with good hands and playmaking ability can have long careers, comparatively, in the NFL.
6 days, 23 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/byron-marshall-the-swiss-army-knife-of-oregon-football-takes-the-ducks-into-the-wild.html
@Ducko30 @SonomaDuck Maybe it's because he's smaller than the other two, but people tend to overlook Marshall for some reason. This guy achieved 1000/1000 and still averaged 7.5 yards a carry running the football. Amazing talent, and tough.
@Platypus1 Interesting to see how the coaches sort out a wealth of options on offense. Malik Lovette, Alex Ofodile and Tony James join the rotation. Lovette's an incredible talent. Freeman, Tyner and Marshall all have feature back talent. Stanford, Carrington, Marshall, Brown, Devon Allen and Pharaoh Brown (if healthy) all have the potential to be 50-60 catch guys. Bralon Addison returns.
I've heard some talk of Charles Nelson moving to cornerback while still taking some reps on offense. The way he plays on special teams, that's an intriguing idea.
@goducks58 Very surprised to see him make that bonehead mistake after making the same one in the opener against South Dakota, but man, you have to love the heart and effort he makes play after play.
1 week ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/byron-marshall-the-swiss-army-knife-of-oregon-football-takes-the-ducks-into-the-wild.html
@duckified Ha! Credit also to offensive coordinator Scott Frost, who used Marshall beautifully throughout the season.
@NormVanbrocklin @Dale Newton @Platypus1 @goducks58 We'll get a good look at them this spring. Ugo Amadi is not a big corner but he is very talented, a guy who could play right away, especially with him enrolling early.
1 week, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/defo-returns-and-thats-the-beginning-of-hope.html
@atvinton Thanks, ATV. Disappointed today to read that Chance Allen, Dominique Harrison and Stephen Amoako have decided to leave the program. I understand in Allen's case with his mothering recovering from surgery, but the Ducks graduated three cornerbacks and a safety this year, and Harrison and Amoako had a chance right in front of them to compete for those spots.
@Ducko30 The wins over Michigan State, Stanford and Florida State should put to rest any lingering doubts about the Ducks being "soft" or "gimmicky" and even if they don't, four PAC-12 Championships in six seasons, coupled with the 2nd Rose Bowl win in four seasons, are all the vindication most Duck fans need. The national reputation stuff is just something for ESPN to talk about. Don't really care.
1 week, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/voice-of-the-fan-ducks-buck-the-trend-as-college-footballs-class-act.html
@SonomaDuck Focusing forward to next year is the healthiest thing to do now, and you get the feeling from Coach Helfrich's remarks that the coaching staff and players are doing so also.