Ducks Seek Redemption at Cal

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Ducks Seek Redemption at Cal

“Overrated! Overrated!” chanted the Cardinal students to the Ducks in the final moments of their  stunning 76-52 loss Wednesday.

Cutting words.



Words that undermine? Or motivate?

"We just got it handed to us," coach Dana Altman said to ESPN after the game.


Struggling in the wake of Dominic Artis' interminable absence, both EJ Singler and Johnny Loyd were held scoreless in that first half against the Cardinal.  


This afternoon, the Ducks have a chance to play in a manner worthy of their top ten ranking as they take on the Cal Bears, who are in a three-way tie for sixth in the conference.

Cal, riding high off a massive 71-68 comeback win over Oregon State, brings with them the Pac-12's top scoring duo of Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs, who had a combined 29 points and 15 rebounds in last Thursday's game.

A hard-fought win like that can make a team feel like they can beat anyone, even the Ducks.

After defeating OSU, Cobbs told the press, "Obviously, it was a big win. You saw how excited we were about it. At the same time, we have to win at home, and we did a good job of protecting the home court even though we got down early we fought back and got the win. I am proud of the men, just one game by one game that is all that matters right now.”


GAME NOTES:
University of Oregon Athletics-
On Saturday, Oregon faces California (11-8, 3-4 Pac-12) for the first time this season. The Golden Bears lead the all-time series over the Ducks, 80-55, and have won their last nine games against Oregon. The Ducks haven’t beaten California since Feb. 9, 2008 (92-70).

Oregon’s 22 first-half points were the fewest by the Ducks in any half this season. UO’s previous low was 25 against Nevada on New Year’s Eve where the Ducks led 25-14. Oregon won the game 56-43.
    
Oregon’s biggest deficit at halftime before trailing by 13 was 10 points (39-29) in a 68-61 win over Washington State. The Ducks have trailed in four of their eight Pac-12 games at halftime.  The Ducks came back to beat Oregon State, UCLA and Washington State the in the first three games.


Cal Athletics-
The Bears won for the first time this year when trailing at the half. Cal was down, 41-33, to Oregon State at the break. The Bears are a perfect 11-0 when leading at halftime and now 1-8 when behind.
    
With 15 points against Oregon State, Allen Crabbe moved into 16th place on Cal's all-time scoring list, passing graduate manager Theo Robertson. Crabbe now has 1,325, while Robertson totaled 1,315 from 2006-10. 


Cal sank a season-high 9 three-pointers Thursday night, including a team-high 4 from Justin Cobbs.
    
 David Kravish recorded another block to move up Cal's career ladder, now standing tied for eighth place with Sean Lampley with 69.

Tip Off: 1:30 PM FSN

Oregon WR Devon Allen swaps hurdles for helmet

Oregon WR Devon Allen swaps hurdles for helmet

EUGENE - Oregon wide receiver Devon Allen returned to football practice Wednesday a week after placing fifth in the 110-meter hurdles during the Rio Summer Olympics.

The redshirt junior is scheduled to meet with the media Thursday afternoon. 

Allen's world-class speed makes him and instant vertical threat no matter what type of football shape he is in. However, he will need time to get his timing down with expected starting quarterback, senior Dakota Prukop, and recapture his ability to run precise routes. 

That shouldn't be difficult for Allen to regain given that this will be his fourth season in the program. 

"The thing about Devon, like a lot of our guys, is he's very versatile," Oregon offensive coordinator Matt Lubick said. "We can do a lot of different things with him right now. Right now we just want to kind of get him back into the football mode. Get the rust off, which for him is not going to take too long."

Allen's return, which some believed could be in doubt should he have chosen to accept endorsements for his track & field prowess, solidified an already stacked receiving corps. 

Right now the projected starters are Dwayne Stanford, Darren Carrington II and Charles Nelson, with Jalen Brown, Dillon Mitchell and Alex Ofodile as the primary backups. 

Toss Allen into the mix and Oregon will have some serious decisions to make regarding playing time. 

"We will kind of see how it goes, but we definitely plan for him to be a focal point," Lubick said. 

As a starter in 2014, Allen caught 41 passes for 684 yards and seven touchdowns before suffering a knee injury returning the opening kickoff against Florida State in the Rose Bowl. 

Allen returned last season but never quite got back to 100 percent in terms of fully recapturing his route running ability as he battled regaining his lateral movement. 

He was limited to six games, catching nine passes for 94 yards. 

Allen must practice without pads for three days, which means he will miss Thursday's scrimmage. 

Oregon begins the season Sept. 3 at home against UC Davis. 

Freshman Herbert could very well be named Oregon's No. 2 QB

Freshman Herbert could very well be named Oregon's No. 2 QB

EUGENE - Yesterday I reported that Oregon freshman quarterback Justin Herbert had been turning heads this fall camp but more than likely would redshirt behind senior starter Dakota Prukop and redshirt freshman Travis Jonsen. 

Errr! Not so fast.

Oregon offensive coordinator Matt Lubick when asked today if Herbert had done enough during camp to contend for the backup job didn't hesitate to answer in the affirmative. 

"Yes he has," Lubick said. "That's a guy who wasn't here during spring ball, who came out this fall camp and as far as learning what we ask him to do, and not pare it down, he's been unbelievable. He's done a great job executing things. He's done a great job of keeping poise and calmness. He is picking things up. So yeah, he is definitely in the battle."

Now, one could label Lubick's comments as coach speak. But there's no benefit to hyping up a freshman quarterback at all. In fact, Oregon coaches have recently only done that once and that was with - drum roll - Marcus Mariota. 

In fact, some have compared Herbert to Mariota in terms of his gift for being a quick study, having great poise beyond his years and simply getting it. Plus, the 6-foot-6 former Sheldon High School star can sling it and run with surprising speed, given his height, according to UO quarterbacks coach David Yost. 

Be that as it may, even Mariota redshirted in 2011 behind junior starter Darron Thomas and redshirt freshman backup Bryan Bennett before beating out Bennett for the starting job in 2012. 

As of right now, however, it appears Herbert might be more likely to remain available to play rather than redshirt. 

Oregon redshirt junior running back Kani Benoit, during a one-on-one interview today with CSN, said Prukop and Herbert were battling it out during practice. When asked if that meant Herbert was the No. 2, Benoit said he didn't know the depth chart and that all four quarterbacks, which includes freshman Terry Wilson Jr., had been looking good in practice. 

Entering the season, Jonsen had the clear inside track to at least the No. 2 job and was said by coaches to be in contention for the starting job. Now it appears that it's possible Jonsen could fall to at least No. 3. 

If that happens, how long would Jonsen stick around?

Bennett, after getting beaten out by Mariota in 2012, seriously contemplated transferring at the end of fall camp before Chip Kelly talked him out of it.  

Bennett ultimately transferred following the 2012 season to Southeastern Louisiana where he played well enough to earn a training camp invite with the Indianapolis Colts. Bennett now plays for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. 

Bottom line is that a program can only start one quarterback and when three are within a year of one another someone usually leaves. 

If Herbert is No. 2, expect Jonsen to possibly move on. The former No. 3-rated dual-threat quarterback in the nation coming out of high school is too talented to potentially spend the next four seasons as a backup. 

Wilson, on the other hand, could redshirt this season and then be a year behind Herbert, who as the No. 2 this season could be in line to be the starter next season, unless of course he is beaten out by Wilson. 

Of course, Jonsen could stay, get better and beat out Herbert and Wilson next spring, or even later this fall. 

Finally, Jonsen could be named the No. 2 quarterback this season, Herbert and Wilson could redshirt and then we would all witness a slugfest of a quarterback competition next year. 

Saddle up. 

Freshman QB Justin Herbert impressive thus far

Freshman QB Justin Herbert impressive thus far

Rolling along beneath the surface of Oregon's quarterback competition is freshman Justin Herbert. 

He has virtually no chance of playing this season and will likely redshirt. But that doesn't mean the 6-foot-6, three-star recruit out of Sheldon High School isn't making noise. 

"He really has exceeded all expectations," Oregon quarterback coach David Yost said. 

As with all first-year Oregon players, Herbert is not permitted to speak with the media until after the first game of the season. But Yost had plenty to say about his young pupil starting with pointing out how much Herbert did over the summer to prepare for fall camp in terms of learning the offense. 

That show of commitment has impressed, especially given that Herbert has little chance of playing right away.

Senior transfer Dakota Prukop is beating out redshirt freshman Travis Jonsen for the starting job. A formal announcement on the starter could come as soon as Thursday with the season opener looming Sept. 3 at home against UC Davis. 

Fellow true freshman, Terry Wilson Jr., who arrived on campus in time for spring drills, will likely redshirt along with Herbert unless Prukop and Jonsen were to go down. 

Jonsen, it's assumed, will be the backup while Wilson, who flashed considerable talent during spring, and Herbert compete for third-string. Or, could Herbert be in competition for a larger role?

"He is in the regular rotation right now and he's getting as many reps as all the other guys," Yost said. "I think he's definitely in competition for a spot to where he is traveling and he could be more than just a No. 3 guy."

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said Tuesday that it's possible Oregon could have a true freshman backup at quarterback.

"(Herbert) is a very productive guy and has had a very good camp thus far," Helfrich said.  

Yost added that Herbert is easy going guy who picks up details within the offense well and has a quick release. 

"It's been really fun to work with," Yost said. "And he has a really natural feel for where to go with the ball through the progressions without having to sit there and over analyze it and over think about it."

But that was before the coaching staff began inputting more elements from the playbook. That, Yost said, slowed down Herbert's progression a bit and now he is playing catchup. His lack of experience within the offense, talent or not, will likely keep Herbert from challenging Jonsen for No. 2. 

Athleticism won't. Herbert, despite his height, can scoot. 

"He's got more athleticism more quickness and more foot speed than he'll probably get credit for because of his size," Yost said. 

The downside to Herbert looking so sharp is that the Ducks are almost assured of having at least one of their three freshmen quarterbacks leave the program within the next 18 months. 

Jonsen, Wilson and Herbert will compete for the starting job next year with one year separating Jonsen from the other two, assuming both redshirt. 

If Jonsen is the starter of the future, there is no way both Herbert and Wilson remain with one serving as the No. 3 with Jonsen having three years of eligibility remaining.

Should Wilson or Herbert end up the starter next season, Jonsen would surely move on. 

This situation, of course, is a good problem for Oregon to have moving forward. It's certainly better to have too many potential star quarterbacks than be forced to dip into the Big Sky talent pool in order to makeup for having a lack of elite talent at quarterback. 

 

Seisay's departure could hurt Oregon's secondary depth

Seisay's departure could hurt Oregon's secondary depth

The departure of Oregon cornerback Chris Seisay from the football program came somewhat as a shock to defensive backs coach John Neal. 

He said Monday that he is unsure why Seisay chose to seek a transfer from the program he joined in 2014. 

"You'd have to ask him," Neal said while also adding that people could piece together the various bits of information Seisay has dropped here and there. 

CSN asked Seisay on Sunday night when he left. He said via text message that the depth chart, where he was listed as backup cornerback, did not compel him to leave. He said it goes much deeper than that but did not elaborate. 

Seisay told The Oregonian that he didn't feel happy or on good terms with Ducks program. 

According to a source, Seisay has walked off the practice field in anger during fall camp. 

Last week, Seisay told CSN that he learned a lot from last season, when he missed eight games after entering the year as the team's No. 1 cornerback, that he needed to work harder and not expect things to be given to him.

He also said: “I’m just ready to prove everybody wrong. Everybody that’s doubted me, our whole group as a DB corps, our whole team.”

Neal last week said the following about Seisay: “Right now, when he plays well, he’s one of those guys. He’s going to play. Is he going to start? I don’t know. But he adds depth. He can play nickel. He can play dime."

Maybe Seisay didn't decide to leave because it appeared he would backup junior Arrion Springs and sophomore Ugo Amadi. But it's extremely rare for a starter to transfer out of Oregon, or any other program for that matter.  

Clearly, whatever the reasons, Seisay wasn't happy at Oregon and has moved on. The talented athlete should find success wherever he lands. 

"It's kind of heartbreaking," Neal said. 

So, what does losing Seisay mean for the Ducks? Tough to say at this point. Had Seisay been at his best and still a backup, Oregon would have been set with three starting-caliber cornerbacks. The Ducks right now can't boast to having one true, proven, big time starter at cornerback given last year's mess that saw Oregon allow 35 touchdown passes. 

Seisay's departure places more pressure on Springs and Amadi to improve dramatically. Behind them are promising redshirt freshman cornerback Malik Lovette and maybe redshirt junior cornerback Ty Griffin

We could also see starting redshirt junior safety Tyree Robinson at cornerback, if needed.  Neal likes his depth at safety with former starter Reggie Daniels backing up Juwaan Williams. 

"In some cases, Tyree is going to move out there," Neal said. 

Seisay wasn't going to make or break Oregon's defensive backfield. But his departure certainly doesn't help. 

 

Alabama tops AP’s preseason No. 1, Oregon sneaks in

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USATI

Alabama tops AP’s preseason No. 1, Oregon sneaks in

The first of one of the many polls that doesn’t make a spit bit of difference has been released!  Woohoo?!?

Sunday morning, less than a week before the 2016 season officially kicks off, the Associated Press unveiled a preseason Top 25 poll that has a decidedly 2015 College Football Playoffs feel to it.  Defending national champion Alabama has claimed the AP’s top spot, followed by national runner-up Clemson at No. 2 and semifinalist Oklahoma at No. 3.

The other 2015 playoff participant, Michigan State, will start the season at 12th.

Before we get on to the remainder of the poll, a word of warning to the Tide.

CONTINUE READING

 

The most underrated performances of the Olympics belong to Ducks

The most underrated performances of the Olympics belong to Ducks

Yes, there was Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Simone Biles -- they turned in spectacular performances in Rio. But please let's not forget what a trio of former Oregon Ducks pulled off in the Olympics. We're talking about historically significant stuff from Ashton Eaton, Matthew Centrowitz and Galen Rupp.

Eaton, competing in an event that used to be the centerpiece of the Olympics, won his second gold medal -- only the third man to take gold in the decathlon in back-to-back Olympics. Humble, polite and poised, he doesn't even like that "World's Greatest Athlete" label that usually goes with winning an Olympic decathlon gold medal. I hope he finds a challenging and fulfilling next chapter in his life. Certainly he's got the kind of versatility and poise to succeed in many different pursuits.

Centrowitz won the gold medal in the 1,500 meters, something that hadn't been done by a U.S. runner in more than a century. That's difficult to believe, in that this country has produced some terrific milers. Seriously, Centrowitz did something that Jim Ryun, Wes Santee, Steve Scott, Marty Liquori and so many others couldn't do. The list of great U.S. milers and 1,500-meter runners includes so many Ducks, too. I'll list just some of them, knowing full well I'll think of a few more later: Dyrol Burleson, Jim Grelle, Keith Forman, Roscoe Divine, Wade Bell, Dave Wilborn, Steve Prefontaine, Paul Geis, Rudy Chapa and even Matt Centrowitz Sr.

To do something that hasn't been done by an American since 1908 by is pretty amazing.

Rupp didn't come away with a gold medal. He settled for third in the marathon but considering it was just the second one he's ever run it was an amazing performance. Rupp has seemed to be searching for his best race and perhaps he's found it in the marathon, which is such a punishing discipline. He's successfully run every distance from the mile through 5,000 and 10,000 meters before trying 26 miles. He's got charisma and obvious toughness and someday he's going to bring a gold medal back to Portland.

There were other Ducks in Rio, of course. But this trio was the most special.

 

 

Oregon DB Chris Seisay leaves football team

Oregon DB Chris Seisay leaves football team

As first reported by 247Sports and confirmed by other outlets, Oregon Defensive Back Chris Seisay has left the football program. 

The redshirt junior cornerback, who missed eight games last season because of injury was not at Saturday's practice, according to 247Sports. Seisay indicated in a comment to OregonLive that the decision was not based on playing time.

The struggles Oregon's defensive backs experienced last season can't exactly be pinned on the injury to Seisay entering last season. But his absence certainly hurt. 

Seisay was supposed to be the next in a long line of great Oregon corners following the departure of Troy Hill and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu to the NFL. In fact, during the 2014 season Seisay started in place of the injured Ekpre-Olomu during the Rose Bowl win over Florida State, and in the national championship game loss to Ohio State. 

Seisay began 2015 well with an interception in the season opener against Eastern Washington. The following week at Michigan State, Seisay suffered an undisclosed injury. He underwent surgery, showed up the following week in a walking boot and was shutdown for two months. 

While Seisay was out, and after he returned, the Ducks secondary got lit up. Freshman Ugo Amadi was thrust into the starting lineup in place of Seisay. Other injury problems popped up in the secondary. The season ended up being a mess for a defense that finished ranked 116th in the nation. 

Seisay watched the madness unfold while not being able to do anything about it until the very end. An end that included a second-half collapse against TCU in the Alamo Bowl.

As of last week, Seisay was the No. 3 corner behind Amadi and junior Arrion Springs.  That role should have provided Seisay with plenty of opportunities to play in a conference loaded with teams that employ offensive schemes that require defenses to counter with five or six defensive backs. 

Brady Hoke's Oregon defense a work in progress

Brady Hoke's Oregon defense a work in progress

New Oregon defensive coordinator Brady Hoke didn't have many positive things to say about his unit's performance in the team's first scrimmage on Tuesday. 

“I can’t wait until the next scrimmage,” Hoke said with a smile. “There were guys competing. We gave up too many big plays. Some communication breakdowns. Leverage breakdowns."

Yikes! Sound familiar?

The defense, according to coach Mark Helfrich, allowed two one-play drives, reminiscent of some of the problems that plagued the unit last season when it ranked 116th in the nation. 

The buzz words that defined those struggled were "pursuit," "leverage," "tackling," "communication," etc.

They are popping up again. But hey, Rome wasn't...

You get the picture. 

So far, the only apparent improvements have come in attitude and spirit. The defensive backs feel as if they are being held accountable and have achieved a higher level of communication and effort. The front seven is flying around with reckless abandon. 

Even offensive players have noticed the difference.

“Just the way they’ve been able to attack and run to the football, it’s been a lot more aggressive,” Oregon senior right guard Cameron Hunt said.

Senior transfer quarterback Dakota Prukop said he has seen tremendous growth from the defense since spring drills. 

“The backside defensive players are doing such a great job with their pursuit angles,” he said.

So maybe the defense is headed in the right direction, but it appears to be far off from its intended destination. 

“I want to see how physical we are at the line of scrimmage," Hoke said. "How physical we tackle. If we do a good job with leverage in tackling, and those kind of things that are a part of football.”

Part of the problem is that the Ducks are relying on a lot of inexperienced, and/or provenly inconsistent players while also switching from the 3-4 scheme to a 4-3 defense.

The secondary returns virtually everybodyin a unit thay played very poorly most of last season. The front seven must replace six starters. 

That's 10 positions that will require tremendous upgrades in production over last season, or new players to have an impact, with only junior defensive end Henry Mondeaux as the lone returning player with much cache. 

“I really think this is a young defensive football team in a lot of ways,” Hoke said. “But I think some of the young guys who played a little bit are going to play more this year and some of the new guys that have come in, they bring a great intensity to them, also.”

Once everything clicks, the Ducks' defense could be just fine. When that will happen remains a mystery. 

“We’re closer than we were in the spring,” Hoke said.

That's all anyone could really hope for at this point. 

Oregon DBs: Smarter, better, deeper and hungrier

Oregon DBs: Smarter, better, deeper and hungrier

EUGENE - No Oregon position group - and maybe within the Pac-12 - faces more scrutiny, will be under as much pressure and has more to prove than the Ducks' secondary. 

Last season the secondary made the arts of covering and tackling appear Jedi-like in comparison to the effort it put forth on almost a weekly basis. 

The group has heard the scrutiny. They've felt the scorn.  Negativity has motivated them to respond. They feel confident that they will. But much work remains to be done. 

“I’m hoping, and I have my fingers crossed, that those guys will play at the level that we need to play at to win in this league,” Oregon defensive backs coach John Neal said. 

First, a recap of the mountain they must climb to reach respectability. Oregon last season ranked 95th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (139.14) while allowing a whopping 35 touchdown passes and intercepting 13. UO’s defense ranked 116th in yards allowed per game (485.3) and 115th in scoring defense (37.5 points per game), most attributed to a poor pass defense.

The good news is that Oregon returns virtually its entire defensive secondary. Or, is that the bad news? Depends on how one chooses to view the situation. From Oregon's perspective, last year's debacle will only make a talented group mentally stronger and thus better.  

“We don’t want to look at ourselves as the underdogs anymore because we’re young," Oregon redshirt junior cornerback Chris Seisay said. "Those days are over. We have to become the players that we know we could be.”

Oregon entered last season with a relatively young secondary. Only safety Reggie Daniels was a returning full-time starter. Tyree Robinson and Seisay started a couple of games. Then-sophomore cornerback Arrion Springs made his first career start last year, as did freshman Ugo Amadi. Toss in part-time starter, redshirt freshman Glenn Ihenacho (who has since transferred), and converted receiver Charles Nelson, and you have a group that could have been expected to struggle. Although, maybe not as much as it did. 

Poor fundamentals. Awful communication. Sloppy tackling. All contributed to the secondary's inability to make plays and prevent plays from being made. The group did improve as the season went along, peaking with strong performances during victories over California and USC.

That didn't last long. The secondary's deficiencies  were on full display against TCU in the Alamo Bowl when the Ducks blew a 31-0 halftime lead to fall 47-41 in three overtimes. 

Most of the damage to Oregon's defense was done through the air by a backup quarterback. The season, and that performance, has haunted the defensive backs the past seven months. 

“We know what we have to do," Robinson said. "We have to grind. We know what we did last year, especially as a defensive secondary. We’re just trying to be the leaders out there. We’re just trying to set the tone, especially on defense, and be the playmakers and make big plays.”

First, they must fix all that ailed them in 2015. 

For starters, better communication and trust is being established. Springs said some defensive backs didn't fully understand all of the coverage schemes last season and at times, overplayed things. That has changed. 

“I feel we’ve taken the next step in terms of being smarter,” Springs said.

Also, a lack of trust hurt the secondary because of indecisiveness and lack of communication. 

“The big plays we gave up last year were just communication," Robinson said. "So the little things can make big plays happen, so we’re just trying to limit those mistakes.”

A change in defensive approach could help. New defensive coordinator Brady Hoke promises to be more attacking up front. The Ducks last season produced 38 sacks (ninth in the nation), but at times struggled to apply consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The goal this season is to attack relentlessly in hops of producing more turnovers through forcing quarterbacks into bad throws. 

“The quarterback is going to have to get that ball out,” Amadi said.

Oregon's secondary is excited about those prospects. 

“We know that the ball is going to be in the air," Robinson said. "When the ball is in the air, go up and be that guy. Be that playmaker. Not, when the ball is in the air be panicking.

Hoke, the defensive backs said, has brought a certainly level of authoritarianism to the defense.  He has brought an energy, and demands accountability. 

"You really can’t hide," Springs said. "He will call you out. I've been a victim. He's kind of a bully, but not really."

Finally, in order to improve the secondary simply must perform well. 

Neal said he sees a much stronger unit this fall. A group that he said is virtually three deep across the board. 

“I think this is the most competition we’ve had because we have a lot of depth,” Robinson said.

Neal said five, maybe six safeties could play, along with five cornerbacks. That's counting Robinson doubling as a potential backup corner, something he played last season. 

Having players play multiple positions, something Neal always tries to do, enhances the versatility of the secondary. 

“That creates depth,” Neal said. “I think that’s gonna make us better and more consistent. The ability to play harder.”

A lack of depth last season caused Oregon to move Nelson, a wide receiver, to safety, and it forced starters to play without much rest opposite an Oregon no-huddle offense that doesn't eat clock. 

“That caught up to us in a couple of games, especially our last two games," Neal said. "We got tired.”

Right now, Robinson and redshirt junior Juwaan Williams are the starting safeties with Daniels and Khalil Oliver as the backups. Springs and Umadi are starting at cornerback with Seisay as the third corner. He is also playing some nickel and dime back, as are others. 

All are needed, according to Neal, in order for Oregon to have success against spread teams such as Washington State and California.

“We have a chance to line up with four cover guys on their four receivers, which is something you have to have to try and slow those people down,” Neal said. 

Seisay said Neal took some unnecessary heat for the play of his group, and that the players must keep up their end of the bargain and seize the challenge before them. 

“It’s on us, as well,” Seisay said. “We’re just trying to show the country that coach Neal is a great DB coach, and we listen to him and we’re going to improve.”

Top 10 Oregon football traditions

Top 10 Oregon football traditions

Oregon's season opener in Autzen Stadium is drawing near. In the spirit of getting back into the world of college football, let's take a look at why Autzen Stadium is special. 

Traditional may not be the word that comes to mind when thinking about Duck football. However, sometimes being nontraditional and unpredictable leads to some pretty fun traditions. 

1. It Never Rains at Autzen Stadium 

You have to live in Oregon to really understand the irony behind this iconic statement; and only true fans truly believe it. Before the start of every home game, PA Announcer, Don Essig, leads the entire Autzen crowd in letting the visitors know that “It never rains in Autzen Stadium”. 

2. “The Pick”

In 1994, Kenny Wheaton made what remains the most iconic play in Oregon Football history, when he intercepted a pass and ran 97 yards for a touchdown. Before each home game, this play is replayed on DuckVision, causing the crowd to erupt. 

3. Flashy Uniforms

What do you do when you want to convince the top recruit in the country to snub USC and move to Oregon? Give them awesome gear of course. While most universities have 2-3 main uniforms colors, the Ducks have 5-10 and perhaps more.

4. Win the Day

This slogan was initiated by former Head Coach, Chip Kelly in 2010 to instill a “one game at a time” mentality.

5. Motorcycle Man

Some stadiums light fireworks, while others blare loud rap music to announce the team’s arrival to the field. At Autzen, they rev up a motorcycle driven by a guy wearing a football helmet, along with the Duck, and lead the team onto the field. It’s loud, it’s unique. It’s tradition.

6. Noise Level

Although Autzen’s seating capacity is nowhere near that of the Big House in Michigan, you’d never know it if your eyes were closed. Most speculate that because of its shape and construction, Autzen’s noise level can reach crazy high decibels. 

7. Duck Push-Ups

Not only does Oregon have the coolest mascot, but it also has the strongest. In what has become a tradition, the Duck translates points into push-ups after the Ducks score. 

8. Mascot Man

No Duck Tradition article would be complete without mentioning the “mascot guy” in the north-east part of the stadium. He must search for days, but he somehow manages to find stuffed versions of every rival mascot, which he ties to a long stick with a noose. After each score, usually in unison with the Duck push-ups, he smashes the mascot to the ground one time for each point, as the crowd chats, 1-2-3-4….

Click here to continue reading 10 Favorite Oregon Football Traditions