Duck Season

A decade ago, opening up against Oregon and Washington State on the road might not have seemed too bad. Well, its 2002 and these aren't your older sister's Ducks and Cougs. Both are ranked among the Top 15 programs in the nation, and we play 'em back-to-back, on the road. Idaho more than had their hands full last week, and they take on a huge challenge in a talented Duck team in raucous Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

As if playing the Ducks wasn't enough, we get them at the one place they've made a habit of earning victories...their home field. They've lost once at Autzen in the last 4 years, and will be playing their 3rd consecutive home game this season when the Vandals invade Oregon this weekend. The Ducks are ranked among the top 15 in the nation in both polls, and 4th in the BCS. Fresno State last weekend took a good team into Eugene, jumped on the Ducks early and almost pulled out the victory with a 28-24 loss. Chances are really good the Ducks won't be sleep walking this weekend, and will be looking to attack our rebuilding defense early and often.

Below is a quick glimpse at the players to look for this weekend, followed by links to additional information on the Oregon Ducks.

Don Ryan / AP
Duck tailback #2 Ontarrio Smith runnin' wild against Mississippi State.
Duck Offense

Projected starting lineup:

QB Jason Fife, 6-4, 224, Jr
TB Onterrio Smith, 5-10, 204, Jr
FB Matt Floberg, 6-3, 248, Jr
WR Samie Parker, 5-11, 177, Jr
WR Keenan Howary, 5-10, 170, Sr
TE George Wrighster, 6-3, 250, Jr
LT Adam Snyder, 6-6, 310, Sr
LG Corey Chambers, 6-4, 300, Sr
C Dan Weaver, 6-5, 280, Jr
RG Joey Forster, 6-4, 292, Jr
RT Mike Lelagrange, 6-6, 345, So

As with the Cougs, Idaho this week will again be lining up against a very big, athletic offensive line. Both tackles go 6-6, and the center is 6-5. Idaho must find a way to get through this line and get to 6-4 QB Jason Fife, a junior who is picking up right where Joey Harrington left off last season. In addition to finding a way to contain outstanding wideouts Howary and Parker, Idaho must also come up with an answer to slow down much acclaimed tailback Ontarrio Smith. A tall order, indeed.

Don Ryan / AP
Middle Linebacker #44 Dave Morettie and right defensive end #40 Darrell Wright anchor an athletic, fast, Oregon defensive front seven.
Duck Defense

Projected starting lineup:

LE Seth McEwen, 6-5, 266, Sr
LT Kai Smalley, 6-2, 277, Sr
RT Igor Olshansky, 6-6, 304, So
RE Darrell Wright, 6-4, 264, Sr
MLB Dave Moretti, 6-1, 235, Sr
ILB Kevin Mitchell, 5-11, 220, Jr
OLB Garrett Graham, 6-5, 230, Sr
LC Steven Moore, 5-9, 172, Jr
ROV Rasuli Webster, 6-0, 210, Sr
FS Keith Lewis, 6-1, 200, Jr
RC Aaron Gibson, 5-8, 179, Fr

Again, just like the Cougs last week, Oregon's defensive line is big and athletic, and considered by many the strength of the team (the linebackers are right up there as well). LT Kai Smalley is fairly small, but tough as nails. He has 2 backups, both of whom are 6-4, 320+ (one is highly touted true freshman Haloti Ngata who should get plenty of playing time). The ends are both big, veteran seniors with good speed. They will start 2 seniors at linebacker, including 6-5, 230 senior Garrett Graham. MLB David Moretti leads the team with 20 tackles on the year. The corners are small and quick as cats, including freshman Aaron Gibson.

Read More

Official Site Pre-Game Release (PDF)

University of Oregon Official Release

CollegeFootballNews Duck Preview

The Sporting News report on UO/Fresno Game

eDuck Message Forum

ALL Vandals Top Stories