Good Crowd Enjoys Spring Game

EUGENE, ORE. – In an unusually exciting spring game, the team in green, called Pathway beat the team in white, Oregon 35-29 to mark the end of spring workouts for the Ducks. Junior quarterback Jeff Lockie locked the starting job, at least for now, by throwing three touchdown passes, racking 223 yards passing and completing all nine of passes attempted.

(PHOTO) Jeff Lockie (17) sets up to throw downfield during Oregon's annual spring game on Saturday, May 5, 2015 at Autzen Stadium. (Photo by Rich Kolbell).

Jeff Lockie looked exceptionally sharp as he found Royce Freeman for a 17 yard score. On the next possession Lockie hit the versatile Charles Nelson for a 53-yard scoring play. Lockie hooked up later in the game for a 43-yard TD pass and catch.

While spring statistics can be very misleading as to how good a team may or may not be, somethings stood out. First, Nelson, who also played on the defense side of the ball as a corner back was the clear top receiver with five catches and 144 yards receiving, he also had an interception that was caused when he continued to run a pass route and was wide open to haul in a Ty Griffin.

Bralon Addison, seeing his first action after sitting out last season not only caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Alie, but also threw one to Darren Carrington covering 10-yards and an amazing scramble by Addison to buy time to throw the TD pass. Addison, a quarterback in high school, completed all three halfback passes he attempted.

Alie was 6-for-11, 146 yards and the one TD to Addison on the day.

While Carrington’s status for the 2015 season still in unknown due to a violation to the NCAA drug policy, he showed the same skills on Saturday that made him the go to receiver in Oregon’s run to the National Championship game last year. Carrington had four catches for 70 yards and two TDs.

The running back position has been a solid strength for the Ducks over the last decade, continues to be so as Royce Freeman racked up a net 46 yards on six carries while Thomas Tyner had 47 yards on five carries. Kani Benoit picked up 41 yards on eight carries and crossed the goal line once for score. The Oregon quarterbacks all had opportunities to run the ball, but were wearing red non-contact jerseys, mitigating how they might have played in a real game.

Defensively, the top tackler was Jimmie Swain with a total of seven tackles (one solo). The Duck defense recorded a total of seven sacks, though the tackles were simply touches as the defense was not allowed to actually tackle the quarterbacks. There were a total of 16 tackles for loss by the defense yet there was only one interception, that by Nelson.

Obviously there was some notable names missing from the game – DeForest Buckner, Alex Balducci, Tyson Coleman and Justin Hollins were on the sidelines. Hollins ankle was in a cast and he was using a scooter to get around. The offensive line was missing Tyler Johnstone, Elijah George and Doug Brenner. All will be factors on the starting offensive line and rotation next fall.

This game was typical in that the focus was fundamentals though there were a couple of trick-plays that kept the two-hour scrimmage entertaining for the 38,505 fans in attendance.

As has been the tradition of the Oregon spring game over the last few years, the United States Armed Forces was honored in ceremonies before the start of the game, at halftime and in the closing ceremony when players exchanged their jerseys with member of local National Guard and Reserve units who gave military coins back as keepsakes.

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