Notes From Spring Practice: Day 5

Now a third of the way through spring drills, both the Oregon offense and defense have had their moments of brilliance over the course of five practices. For the second consecutive day however, the defense more than met the offense's challenge.

Already five days in and the Ducks stand a third of the way through spring drills, with both the offense and defense enjoying respective days of dominance. On Wednesday however, the Oregon defense continued their encouraging play from Monday's practice; harassing and flustering quarterbacks Darron Thomas and Bryan Bennett all morning long. Though there weren't the number of turnovers forced on Wednesday compared to Monday, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly confidently stated that the defense had his offense's number for the second day in a row.

"I thought our defense played really well today," Kelly stated. "They were big on second down and they did a nice job not letting (the offense) move the ball in overtime (drills). I thought our defense responded really well on Monday and on Wednesday. Our offense didn't come to play."

Tipped passes at the line of scrimmage, stingy run defense, and hard-hitting play marked the defense's performance inside the Moshofsky Center this morning. Oregon junior linebacker Kiko Alonso had maybe the hit of the day on senior tight end Brandon Williams, who made the reception before being flattened by the star-crossed Alonso, who served a team suspension while recovering from an knee injury last season. The hit left Williams writhing on the ground, though he was able to get up and walk off under his own power, returning to action minutes later.

"They're both full speed," Kelly said when asked if he was okay with the overall aggressiveness displayed. "It was a clean shot. It's what I want if people can get taken down one-on-one. I just don't want people diving and leaving their feet. It wasn't a bad shot at all, but stuff like that happens in this game."

The one offensive player who did enjoy success against the defense Wednesday was junior running back Kenjon Barner. Barner, who has seen time lined up at a myriad of positions this spring. His slashing runs and effectiveness catching the ball out of the backfield and turning it in to significant gains highlighted the offense's day.

"Kenjon's a kid who gets better with all the experience when he's getting with more reps and more snaps," Kelly said. "We move him all over the place, playing him at receiver and playing him at running back, and he's adapted to that really well."

The Ducks put their finishing touches on week two Friday morning. Practice begins at 8:35 am inside the Moshofsky Center and is open to the general public.

Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney

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