Duck My Ride - Pasadena 2012, Enter now!

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Beavers learn the hard way why Washington is class of the Pac-12

Beavers learn the hard way why Washington is class of the Pac-12

SEATTLE - The Beavers came to Seattle as huge underdogs against No.5 Washington and after a beat down at the hands of the Huskies, learned the hard way why UW is not only the best team in the Pacific Northwest, but the class of the Pac-12.

The Huskies, led by sophomore quarterback Jake Browning, tore through the Oregon State defense with ease. To Oregon State’s credit, they did have plenty of good plays, and good defensive drives in fact, but it was the mistakes that hurt them.

As Bright Ugwoegbu said post game, "When facing a team like this you have to be more diciplined. We can't makes any mistakes." Good teams like Washington will take advantage when their opponents trip up, and that's just what the Huskies did.

Of Browning’s three touchdown passes on the night, two of them came on busted coverage. Browning once finding Aaron Fuller wide open in the corner of the end zone, and once finding Dante Pettis free up the middle for a long touchdown pass. The busted plays resulted in both receivers catching the ball with no defenders within 10-yards of them. 

When OSU made a mistake, Washington would land a haymaker. However, on the plays they didn’t have a mental lapse, OSU showed they have the talent to stand strong.

This is the same Washington team that just hung 70 on the Oregon Ducks, mind you, but managed to score jsut 10 second half points. Sure, the backups played a most of the fourth quarter, but still OSU showed they have fight.

They may have fought hard, but in the end the talent gap was just too much for the Beavers to overcome. The fact that a large chunk of their depth, including star running back Ryan Nall, missed the game with injuries didn’t help the matter. Despite the loss, there is plenty the Beavers can take away from this game. The defense showed at times that it can stop a talented offense, while the offense, especially in the second half, showed it can put a drive together and score points.

But at the end of the day, it was just another classic Beavers performance. I feel like a broken record, because I have written this before, but the Beavers team we saw in the second half would have blown out the Beavers team we saw in the first. Win of lose, the only thing Oregon State needs to focus on these final five games is how to play a football game for a full 60 minutes. They did once this season, and looked what happened. They beat Cal in overtime.

Let’s hope they can find whatever worked that weekend and apply it the rest of the way. Otherwise, these results will continue to feel like Déjà vu all over again.

Final score: Oregon State 17 – Washington 41

Next Up: The Beavers return home next weekend for a matchup with the Washington State Cougars. Kickoff is set for 7:45 PM on Saturday, October 29.




Marcus McMaryion – 12 for 26, 148 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. 


Tim Cook: 18 attempts, 108 yards and a touchdown

Victor Bolden: two attempts, 75 yards and a touchdown


Victor Bolden: five catches, 58 yards

Timmy Hernandez: two catches, 33 yards

Jordan Villamin: two catches, 41 yards



Jake Browning – 14 for 28, 219 yards and three touchdowns


Myles Gaskin - 18 carries, 128 yards and a touchdown

Jake Browning – five carries, 22 yards and a touchdown


John Ross – four catches, 115 yards

Dante Pettis – four catches, 112 yards and two touchdowns


Beavers fail to put points on scoreboard in first half against UW

USA Today

Beavers fail to put points on scoreboard in first half against UW

 The Beavers came into Seattle as huge underdogs against No.5 Washington. They may need a miracle in the second half if they have any hope of pulling an upset.

The Huskies, led by Jake Browning, have torn through the OSU defense.

The UW offense failed to score on just one of its first five possessions, finding the end zone four times; twice through the air and twice on the ground.

For the injury riddled OSU offense, it has been tough to move the ball at all.  Without star running back Ryan Nall (ankle), and starting third string quarterback Marcus McMaryion, the offense has been none existent.

The Washington defense has been all over the field, and has made it hard for Oregon State to get past the line of scrimmage, let alone score.  The Beavers had just five first downs, to Washington’s 16, while being outgained 89-318.

The Beavers need a lot to change in the second have, but that will be easier said than done. This Huskies team is every bit as good as it has been hyped up to be.

Halftime score: Oregon State 0 – Washington 31




Marcus McMaryion – 8 for 14, 56 yards and an interception


Tim Cook: 7 attempts, 33 yards


Timmy Hernandez: 2 catches, 33 yards

Paul Lucas: 2 catches, 15 yards



Jake Browning – 10 for 21, 216 yards and two touchdowns


Myles Gaskin - 10 carries, 73 yards and a touchdown

Jake Browning – 5 carries for 21 yards and a touchdown


John Ross – 4 catches, 115 yards

Dante Pettis – 2 catches, 54 yards and a touchdown

Ducks fall short on scoreboard but not in heart at Cal

Ducks fall short on scoreboard but not in heart at Cal

BERKELEY, Calif. - Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, eyes glassy and voice appearing to waiver, appeared to be emotionally drained and a bit choked up Friday night following his team's 52-49 double-overtime loss at California. 

Following two weeks of intense team introspection, talk of his job being in jeopardy, many questioning the Ducks' desire and character, and whether Helfrich had lost their respect, the Ducks put forth a gutsy effort at Memorial Stadium.  

The team showed heart, no quit, and flashed a glimpse of what could be a bright future. Ultimately, however, the Ducks fell short once again, losing their fifth consecutive game and third by three points to fall to 2-5 on the season. 

This defeat, players and Helfrich say, hurt the most because of all the team had gone through in the two weeks after losing 70-21 at home to No. 5 Washington before the bye week. Oregon desperately needed a win Friday. Not just to help its chances of becoming bowl eligible, a seemingly impossible task at this point, but to validate all they had strived to achieve as a team from the neck up since the debacle against the Huskies. But it wasn't meant to be. 

That fact sunk in for Helfrich, who only expressed admiration and pride in how his team played and has grown.  

“Love ‘em," he said. "They competed their butts off. But, at the same time, that makes it that much harder. That result and that near miss. But they competed their butts off. Bunch of times over the last couple of weeks they could have splintered. Could have fallen apart. But they didn’t.”

Oregon trailed Cal 21-0 early in the first quarter and 34-14 early in the third quarter. Given the team's four-game losing streak and apparent team strife, the Ducks could have easily gone into the tank and lost 55-21 to the Golden Bears (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12). 

But they didn't. Instead, UO adjusted at halftime and found a groove in the second half. The defense began making stops and the offense, led by freshman quarterback Justin Herbert, started routinely finding the end zone. Oregon led 35-34 early in the fourth quarter, lost the lead 42-35 then tied the game to force overtime at 42-42. 

The Ducks had a chance to win trailing 52-49 in the second overtime when Herbert, who threw six touchdown passes during his first road start, misread a coverage on a pass over the middle that was intercepted, ending the game.

The loss left the team mentally exhausted but not totally defeated. They found the good in what ended up being a tough night to swallow. 

"I think the biggest thing was that we were down in the beginning, and to come back and fight and brawl to the end no matter what showed that we've got some grittiness to us," wide receiver Jalen Brown said. 

The Ducks need every bit of that trait in order to win four out of their final five games to become bowl eligible. Oregon (2-5, 0-4 Pac-12) has yet to win a conference game and still faces tough outings against Arizona State, USC, Stanford and Utah before ending the season at Oregon State, which defeated Cal two weeks ago. 

"We can get it," Brown said positively of the team's chances of finishing 6-6 to become bowl eligible. 

It certainty appears to be that the team hasn't quit despite some outside perceptions to the contrary. 

“One of the things about this football team, and whatever you want to believe, those son of a guns have stayed together," Oregon defensive coordinator Brady Hoke said. "They’ve fought. They’ve fought with each other. They fought hard. That’s what tears your heart out.”

Said running back Tony Brooks-James: “Everyone gave it everything they had. So, from everyone saying we quit, it’s just lies.”

At the heart of the team not quitting is the very man some have claimed the team quit on. Hoke said that the much-maligned Helfrich has done a great job of keeping the team together during trying times. 

“I think it tells you a lot about this football team and also what Mark has done to keep them all going in the same direction," Hoke said.

That effort includes daily communication and encouragement to the team, Hoke said, efforts that Brooks-James said has kept the squad from falling to pieces. 

“I would honestly say that without coach Helf, a lot of players would have just lost it,” Brooks-James said. “He’s one of those coaches that can bring you back into the program and not have you just on the outside because he cares about the little things. Any time something goes wrong, he blames it on himself when in actuality there are little things that we could have done better. He just takes all of the pressure off the players and puts it on himself."

Brown agrees. 

"I think every single day he goes out of his way to show that he cares and that he is going to have our back no matter what," Brown said. "It's not all on us, it's also on the coaches and we're all one unit."

Oregon's season, baring a miracle 4-1 run the rest of the way, will likely end at Oregon State in the 120th Civil War. 

The good news is that the team's fight appears to have returned, a star quarterback has been discovered and most of the key players are young and will return next season. 

That list, and maybe a couple of more victories, might be all Oregon has to cling to the rest of this season. 

So is it time for the Ducks to officially start playing for next season?

So is it time for the Ducks to officially start playing for next season?

The Ducks and Bears turned a football game into a marathon Friday night, a seemingly endless mix of thrilling plays, touchdowns and bewildering penalties that was befitting two of the Pac-12's lesser teams. This one wasn't pretty, especially from the Ducks' side of the field, at least until a late comeback gave them new life and some degree of hope for the remainder of what appears to be a very disappointing season. Some thoughts about this game:

  • California opened the game with little regard for Oregon's weak defense, twice going for it in their own territory on fourth down and picking up first downs. But maybe the Ducks were unwittingly setting a Bear trap. In the second half California failed on a fourth-down conversion and also made an ill-advised pooch punt that went just 10 yards while trying to make the Ducks think they were again going to go for it on fourth down. It's interesting when you allow teams to think they can gain yards against you anytime and in any field position -- it tends to make them careless and arrogant. And it allowed the Ducks a chance to make a comeback -- which they jumped on.
  • Justin Herbert is showing all the signs of eventually becoming a big-time quarterback and it's going to be interesting to see how the coaches develop him. It appeared that they were being very careful with him against Washington and in the first half of this one, not asking too much. But behind by three touchdowns in the second half he was almost in full gunslinger mode and I liked that a lot. If you're just going to mail this season in and build for the future, you might as well take the wraps off him and let him fire away.
  • That begs the question -- is it time to to commit fully to next season? A bowl game at this point seems impossible, so why not? Well, part of that "why not" is a fan base that expects -- and is paying for -- something better. This is a question that faces pro teams and college teams in every sport -- when do you resign yourself to a lost season and use the remaining games to build for the following season? When do you surrender a battle to win a war?
  • I've been saying all season that defense wasn't this team's only problem and I think it showed in this game. Oregon's offense sputtered in the first half and it cost the Ducks the game. Yes, the defense is monumentally bad ... but if the offense can at least keep things from getting out of hand, the Duck defense is usually going to get a few second-half stops, perhaps just because the opponent's offense is exhausted from all the running. It's not the way you want to win games, but it's the only way to win right now. And there is still enough offensive talent at receiver and running back to rack up some high scores.
  • And speaking of the defense, if you're going to commit to a 4-3 alignment, that's fine. Obviously, the Ducks don't have the kind of talent necessary to make it effective. So why not commit to more pressure on quarterbacks? Why not a few more line stunts? Why not bring the house once in a while? You're giving up points at an alarming rate anyway, why not roll the dice once in a while just to give the other team something to think about?
  • Yes, the offensive line is young. Yes, the quarterback is a freshman. But really, a young team should be improving as the season goes along and we're not really seeing much of that so far -- particularly on the defensive side.
  • Let me say this one more time because I keep seeing my critical remarks about the Ducks being misinterpreted: I am not campaigning for Mark Helfrich to be fired. I don't believe that is going to happen nor do I think it should happen. What I'm doing is pointing out things I see that need to be corrected. I'm second-guessing, quite frankly. That's often considered unfair but really -- it's what we do. I mean, until they give me the chance to first-guess, I'm stuck with it. And, of course, there's a lot to second-guess.
  • Let me tell you what seems to come through whenever I speak with former Duck players who are disappointed in what they're seeing on the field this season. They talk about the culture of Duck football and how it's changed. About how, under Chip Kelly, it was a VERY disciplined program -- and that meant every player from top to bottom was held accountable. What I hear from multiple players is how feared Kelly was by the players. They knew he insisted on certain things and if you didn't do them, you'd sit -- no matter who you were. And from that came a toughness and discipline that they aren't seeing in the program now.
  • A team's culture is a fragile thing that can take a wrong turn at any moment. And it's changeable -- for better or worse. My hope would be that if there's something amiss in Oregon's culture right now, it can be corrected. And forget about all the stuff you see on the field from the Ducks, it's the issue of the team's culture that eventually could lead to a coaching change. If the culture goes south, you've got a serious problem no matter how talented or well-coached you are.
  • I don't doubt for a moment Oregon could be tougher. More disciplined. Those traits must be rediscovered.

Trail Blazers put preseason to bed, proclaim they are ready for games to count

Trail Blazers put preseason to bed, proclaim they are ready for games to count

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The good news Friday was the Trail Blazers looked good in their final preseason game.

The bad news is it wasn't even close to beating the Golden State Warriors.

Stephen Curry scored 35 points and Kevin Durant 28 as the Warriors overcame a 16-point first quarter deficit to beat the Trail Blazers 107-96 at Oracle Arena in the preseason finale for both teams. 

Portland finished 4-3 in the preseason and will play host to Utah on Tuesday in its regular season opener. Golden State went 6-1 in the preseason and will play San Antonio in Oakland on Tuesday.

Both teams played their regular-season rotations into the fourth quarter before Stotts emptied his bench with about 7:30 left and the Blazers trailing by 14.

The Blazers for the past week have said they were ready for the regular season, and they backed that up with solid performances Wednesday in Utah and Friday against the defending Western Conference champions. 

With crisp ball movement and aggressive drives to the basket, the Blazers raced to a 26-11 lead as Damian Lillard hit his first four shots and the Warriors started 2-for-8. Lillard was particulary effective driving past Curry for layins and scored 10 of his 20 points in the first quarter. 

By halftime, Golden State had come back to lead 57-56 as Curry had 28, then Durant in the third quarter spurred a 17-2 run by hitting back-to-back-to-back three pointers. 

Stotts used the same starting lineup for the fourth consecutive game -- Lillard, CJ McCollum, Maurice Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu and Mason Plumlee -- with his top four players off the bench being Evan Turner, Allen Crabbe, Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh. 

Lillard led the Blazers with 20 points in 27 minutes on 7-of-15 shooting and McCollum added 16 points in 32 minutes on 7-of-18 shooting. Vonleh had nine points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes.

Notes: Meyers Leonard entered the game with 3:22 left in the third quarter after missing the past two games with a sore back. He made his first two three-pointers and finished with 12 points and one rebound in 16 minutes ... Shabazz Napier did not play because of a sprained left ankle. 

Next up: Regular season opener -- Utah at Portland, 7 p.m. Tuesday (KGW).

Blazers and Warriors putting on a show in the bay: GS up one at the break

Blazers and Warriors putting on a show in the bay: GS up one at the break

It’s the final preseason game for both the Trail Blazers and the Warriors as the two tipped off at 7:30pm on Friday night. The Blazers got off to a 5-for-7 start from the floor as a team and Portland hasn’t looked back.  Midway through the first quarter, the Blazers led 24-9.  The Warriors seemed to take more time to get its offense going.  Golden State went on a 16-3 run late in the second.

To end the first quarter, Portland shot 50% as a team to take a 37-32 lead.  Damian Lillard led the way for Portland going 4-for-7 from the floor, to score 10 points in the first. 

At the break, the Warriors are up 57-56.  Portland ended the first half shooting 45.5%, while the Warriors shot 42.9% as a team.   


Top performers of the first half:

Trail Blazers

Points: Damian Lillard, 17

Rebounds: Four players tied with 4 rebounds 

Assist: Mason Plumlee and Evan Turner, 3


Points: Steph Curry, 28

Rebounds: Draymond Green, 6

Assist: Draymond Green, 4

Following tonight’s game, you can check an all-new Talkin’ Ball live on CSN and if you can’t get to a television you can find The Scoop Postgame show on your phone and your computer streaming live at

Ducks' rally falls short in 52-49 OT loss at Cal

USA Today

Ducks' rally falls short in 52-49 OT loss at Cal

California 52, Oregon 49 

How Oregon lost: The Ducks (2-5, 0-4 Pac-12) fell behind 21-0 in the second quarter and trailed 31-14 in the third quarter before catching fire on offense in the second half and showing some grit on defense to take a brief lead. 

However, in the end, Cal pulled it out with an interception in double-overtime to seal the deal.

What it all means: Oregon now must win four out of final five games in order to become bowl eligible with three road games remaining. One could consider that task to be a virtual impossibility. 

Key sequence: Oregon trailed 34-14 early in the third quarter and appeared to be all but done when Herbert caught fire and UO's running game began rolling. More importantly, the Ducks' defense finally started getting stops. 

Oregon forced two consecutive Cal punts and scored on short touchdown passes from Herbert to tight ends, Evan Baylis and then Johnny Mundt, to make the score 34-28 late in the third quarter. 

A third Oregon stop came when Cal attempted to go for it on a fourth down with one yard to go near mid-field. Oregon answered by driving for a touchdown pass from Herbert to wide receiver Charles Nelson from six yards out.  That gave the Ducks a 35-34 lead early in the fourth quarter. 

High flying Ducks: Herbert blossomed in the second half to finish the night with 258 yards and six touchdowns. 

Running back Tony Brooks-James led Oregon in rushing with 109 yards on 15 carries and scored on a one-yard run. 

Freshman linebacker Troy Dye had 14 tackles. 

Next up: Oregon returns home to host Arizona State (5-2, 2-2) at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The Sun Devils host Washington State (4-2, 3-0) on Saturday. 

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Playing for fallen cousin and his hometown, Tim Quarterman wins Blazers' final roster spot

Playing for fallen cousin and his hometown, Tim Quarterman wins Blazers' final roster spot

He says he plays for his fallen cousin, and also, Tim Quarterman says he plays for the kids growing up in his hometown of Savannah, Georgia.

And today, Tim Quarterman can add another to the list he plays for: The Portland Trail Blazers.

Quarterman on Friday won the 15th and final roster spot on the Blazers, when the team announced the 6-foot-6 undrafted rookie point guard out of LSU beat out veteran center Greg Stiemsma, power forward Grant Jerrett and wing Luis Montero.

“I know I’m fortunate to get this opportunity,’’ Quarterman said. “I look forward to getting better throughout the year. I think I’m going to have an impact on this league in a couple of years.’’

He is pushed by competing against Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in practices, but he is motivated by two things that run much deeper than basketball.

In February of 2014, his cousin and close friend Rashaad Spann was shot in the back and killed in his hometown of Savannah, Georgia.

Quarterman was a freshman at LSU when he received the call. It both devastated and changed him.

“It has driven me ever since that day,’’ Quarterman said. “It’s my purpose.’’

In the two years since, his purpose has expanded. Spann’s memory still motivates him to get in the gym and as Quarterman says, “have an edge on the court,” but he also plays for so many more: the kids of Savannah.

“I want to give the city something to be motivated about, give the kids something to look up to,’’ Quarterman said.

He smiles when he talks of Savannah, a port town on Georgia’s eastern shore. He brags how the city attracts tourists to its cobblestone streets and how the River Street district entertains both locals and visitors.

“I love my city,’’ he says.

But he worries that the youth have little to dream about, little to guide them. An NBA player hasn’t come out of Savannah since Pervis Ellison (1989-2000).

“There were a lot of people who were good that I looked up to who gave up on their dream,’’ Quarterman said. “I don’t want to be that dude to give up, and the next kid look at me and say, ‘Well, he had it, but he didn’t make it, so I don’t think I can make it.’’’

He pauses and thinks of his path. His cousin murdered. Going undrafted. Trying to make a team that already has three point guards.

“I want the next kid to say, ‘He went through this, that and the third and he still made it,’’’ Quarterman said. “Maybe that kid says, ‘Maybe I can do it the right way and make it too.’’’

Quarterman, who turns 22 on Thursday, made it with the Blazers thanks to what Lillard and McCollum said is a driven work ethic and a never-back-down attitude on defense.

Little did they know, but when training camp started for Quarterman, it was with a heavy heart. He felt pangs of loneliness when he arrived in Portland because he knew Spann would normally be the first to check in with a text or a phone call.

But those pangs only reminded him of his “purpose” – to play with an edge to honor Spann.

The Blazers’ stars didn’t know his back story, only that this undrafted kid was coming right at them.

“He reminds me of somebody who comes from my neighborhood,’’ Lillard said. “From Day One, he wasn’t scared. He was himself: Competing, not shy … comfortable, confident.’’

Quarterman is 6-foot-6, which makes him tall and long for a point guard, and he is so gangly that teammates chide him about his weight. But that’s where it ends. On the court, they say he can play.

“Defensively, he is pretty good,’’ McCollum said. “He’s active, long and he works hard. Extremely hard. He is going to be a good player.’’

Added Lillard: “He’s like a pest.’’

Coach Terry Stotts called Quarterman a "young player with upside" after Quarterman learned of making the team Friday.

Quarterman left LSU after his junior season, when he averaged 11.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He was stung when he went undrafted, and experienced another bump in the road when he seldom played for Charlotte’s Summer League team in Orlando.

To Quarterman, they are not setbacks, but rather the fabric that weaves his story. A story, he says, that those in Savannah will one day read with a happy ending.

“Eventually, when I go back one day, I will be looked at differently,’’ Quarterman said of his hometown. “I will be looked at as somebody who made it, came back and gave back, somebody who tried to help other kids make it. That’s big for me.’’