Wednesday Practice Notes

The Ducks concluded their final "hard" work day Wednesday morning as they begin to scale back some with Saturday's game at California rapidly approaching.

1. In preparing for their next opponent, the Ducks will once again be scheming against a quarterback who wasn't originally slated as the starter at the beginning of the season. In fact, this will be the third time this season that Oregon will face a situation such as this, as junior Brock Mansion will make his second start of the year in place of senior Kevin Riley, who has been lost for the season due to a knee injury. With the Golden Bears switching quarterbacks, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly doesn't expect Cal to make too many adjustments offensively heading in to Saturday's game.

"When you get to this point in the season, your offense is your offense even if your second quarterback is in there," said Kelly. "There might be a couple plays that they don't call for Brock that they called for Kevin, but by and large you're gonna see (Shane) Vereen, you're gonna see play action pass off of that and them taking some shots down the field with their really good receivers."

2. All indications are that sophomore punter Jackson Rice will assume holding duties on field goals and extra points in place of Nate Costa who has been lost for the season due to a knee injury. Kelly reiterated this morning that the team is very comfortable with what Rice brings to the table from a holding standpoint and that nothing will change as far as the Ducks' aggressiveness in going for two points after touchdowns.

"Jackson's (held before)," said Kelly. "He did it the last five kicks in the game on Saturday, so he understands what he has to do, he just doesn't have the experience that Nate had. He's done it in the game in live situations and he's done it in practice."

3. With regard to sophomore running back Kenjon Barner returning to action in the return game, Kelly said today that it will continue to be a gradual process of easing Barner back in to that role after he suffered a concussion at Washington State on October 9.

"We're still working him back in," admitted Kelly. "His conditioning is a big factor and to play at the pace and the tempo we want people to play at, it's not something you can turn on on Tuesday and Wednesday. He's still getting back in there and we're not going to force anything with him."

Official Oregon Injury Report:

QB Nate Costa (knee), DB Marcus Davis (knee), WR Jeff Maehl (arm)

Add: Both Maehl and true freshman wide receiver Josh Huff were participating in team drills with the offense today, but were limited to wearing red non-contact jerseys. Huff has been recovering from being ill earlier in the week.

Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney

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