Back at it for the final day of spring drills for week two, the offense and defense went head-to-head for the second time in a span of six days to determine who would be the winner of competition day. Though the Oregon offense gave a spirited effort, the defense met the challenge for a third straight practice, capping off a very impressive week of work with a narrow 78-77 victory. In the eyes of Oregon head coach, Chip Kelly, it's the little things that have separated the defense from the offense as of late.
"I think they been paying a little more attention to detail," Kelly said after practice Friday. "Understanding how to get off of blocks and getting everybody running to the ball, leveraging the football the right way...they had a very good week. I thought the offense battled today, but the defense -- in the last two drills -- did a nice job building a decent lead."
There were some tense moments in the final hour of practice as sophomore wide receiver Josh Huff went down with an apparent knee injury after getting tangled up with junior cornerback Scott Grady. Huff seemed to land awkwardly on the leg after attempting to reach for a pass that was slightly off target. Huff was visibly upset laying on the ground before being helped off the field. Huff's status as of the publish time of this article is unknown and Kelly declined to speculate on the exact nature of the injury until he was able to gather more details.
Sophomore wide receiver Nick Cole filled in in Huff's stead and is a player who has caught Kelly's eye through the first half of spring drills.
"Nick's gotten better," Kelly stated. "We're down a couple of receivers, but we don't talk about who's playing what level. When someone's gone down, someone jumps in. Nick has really improved this spring and is putting himself in the mix...if we played today, he'd be playing for us."
Junior running back LaMichael James provided a handful of offensive sparks this morning with two runs during 11-on-11 team drills that were eerily reminiscent of memorable touchdown runs last season. His first highlight reel run came as James rushed off tackle left before reversing field briefly then cutting back left, catching the defense out of position for a big gain and evoking memories of his 72-yard touchdown run at Tennessee. James' second run virtually mirrored his 76-yard touchdown scamper vs. Stanford, as James bursted through the line and outran a pursuing Cliff Harris en route to a "touchdown."
The Ducks will kick off week three of spring drills on Monday, April 12 at 8:35 am inside the Moshofsky Center. All spring practices are open to the general public.
Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney
Notes From Spring Practice: Day 6
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