Monday Practice Notes

After practice Monday morning, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly discussed his impressions of Washington State this upcoming weekend, his team's maturity in ignoring national rankings, and the steady progression of Darron Thomas at quarterback.

Coming off a key victory over a top ten team in Stanford last Saturday, the Ducks were back at work Monday morning inside the Moshofsky Center preparing for their matchup against Washington State in Pullman this upcoming weekend. With the victory, Oregon moved to 5-0 overall, 2-0 in conference and is sporting a No. 3 national ranking in both the AP and Coaches' Poll. Despite the big win over the Cardinal however, Kelly insisted that his team hasn't lost focus.

"This team is mature and they understand that we don't get governed by outside influences," said Kelly. "We prepare against a vision and we'll go out and compete against that vision on Saturday. That's what it's all about for these guys."

Kelly also commented on sophomore quarterback Darron Thomas' performance on Saturday, as the first year starter from Houston, Tex. appears to be gaining significant traction with each passing game.

"Darron's done a fantastic job," stated Kelly. "For five games in, to be where we are and for him to be playing with that poise and that leadership and making sure he understands where to go with the football depending on what the defense is gonna try and take away; that's what we want to do and that's part of what being a spread offense is."

In looking ahead to Saturday's game against the Cougars, Kelly noted that he's been impressed with what he's seen from Washington State on film, and from sophomore quarterback Jeff Tuel, in particular.

"Their quarterback is a really good player," opined Kelly. "They they throw the ball extremely well. They're one of the top ranked teams in our conference throwing the football. They're playing harder. It's year three (under head coach Paul Wulff) and I think they have a better understanding of the system...it's a good football team that has our full attention."

Official Oregon Injury Report:

OL Everett Benyard (ankle), RB LaMichael James (leg), OL Trevor Fox (knee), DB Eddie Pleasant (shoulder), OL Bo Thran (back), WR Lavasier Tuinei (hand), TE Curtis White (shoulder, hamstring)

*Note that James and Thran were dressed in normal practice attire, despite being limited on Monday. Tuinei wore a non-contact jersey this morning, but was running with the first-team offense, making a stellar one handed grab near the sideline against the scout team in spite of the bulky club on his hand.

Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney

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