Already having completed a practice earlier in the day, the Ducks took to the field yet again for their competition in full pads. Speaking on the matter of scheduling a competition for the afternoon session after their past two practices, coach Kelly had this to say: "...we scheduled it that way to kind of see how they respond...we're happy, they're probably not happy (in reference to the hot weather that is moving in on Eugene this week)," said Kelly.
Tempo being such a big part of the Ducks offense, conditioning and practices like these are crucial in getting the players to begin to establish a rhythm as they close in on their game against Arkansas State on September 1st. And according to Kelly, the Ducks are right on schedule for getting in game shape.
"I think this group is in better shape than any group we've had to start," and after the conditioned teams the Ducks have had in the past, that is more than an impressive statement of the indication of Oregon's level of fitness. Kelly also made sure to mention how driven his players were to practice.
"...I haven't been around a group that likes practicing like this group. They come into meetings and they are wide eyed and they are excited about it...they have a smile to them and a step to them because they are excited about what the next challenge is." An eager to learn group coupled with the talent they possess surely puts a smile on ever Duck fans' face.
The offense used a 60 yard first-touch run by Kenjon Barner to spark themselves to a 40-33 win in the competition.
Still one of the more prevailing stories coming out of this practice was the competition between Mariota and Bennett.
Both talented quarterbacks, Kelly said that "they both have a good grasp (of the offensive system); but they are by no means a finished product."
Kelly also stated that both quarterbacks are two of the quickest learners and able to adapt to situations that arise in a fairly fast-paced manner.
Said Kelly, "Whenever they make a mistake they don't make the same mistake twice." This is good news for all Duck fans to be rest assured that both quarterbacks are maturing in their own right and will be ready to take command of one of college footballs most potent offenses.
An integral position part of this potent Ducks offense has always been the running back. While Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas will see the most touches at the position, things still remain fairly uncertain behind them; though Kelly remains confident that whoever is behind them will still be productive.
One of the players Kelly touched on when asked about the Ducks' depth behind Barner and Thomas was Kenny Bassett.
"I think Kenny's had a really, really, really good camp and is pushing for time behind them (Barner and Thomas)" Kelly mentioned, "I know as a staff we have been really impressed with Kenny"
Pleased With Ducks' Practice Performance
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