Defense's day on Tuesday

The defense dominated the day in all aspects. The domination continued on into the 2005 O-Games, where the defense won 6-1. More on the defense later. First, some notes:

Dings and minor injuries are keeping wide receivers off the field. Demetrius Williams, Cameron Colvin, Garren Strong, and Brian Paysinger (who will take 4-6 weeks to recover from an injury) all sat out today. However, they took advantage of the down time to work on their hands with the ball-throwing machine.

-Terrence Whitehead, Palauni Ma Sun, and Geoff Schwartz all sat out too and the coaches appear to be very cautious right now with their starters.

-In punting drills, Matt Dragich boomed one from the back of the end zone to opposite the 35-yard line, hitting it close to 75 yards in the air. His other punts were a bit shorter (still farther than what we've seen in recent years) but talk about HANGTIME.

-It was great to see Tim Day back on the field in pads and practicing with the first unit. He was showing good separation from the linebackers and safeties and Kellen Clemens hit him on a long pass down the field during passing drills.

-Jordan Kent has a knack for getting open consistently, and we're talking on the Division I level. Unfortunately, he does not have D-1 hands at times. However, he really gets open, there is definitely a place for him in this offense with more practice on catching the ball and all the other intricacies of being a Pac-10 wide receiver. One may take it for granted that Kent (a track star and scholarship basketball athlete) is consistently getting big separation from guys like Justin Phinisee and Jackie Bates. Remember though, that he is just walked on and is learning how to play football.

-Thor Pili was back at defensive tackle.

-Nick Reed is showing good speed around the edges at defensive end.

Today was the defense's day in the scrimmage. They were all pumped up and yelling after every big play and they were playing with a fire that seems to have been missing last year. Of course, the offense was missing a large chunk of skill players and offensive linemen. To compensate for the depleted offensive line Haloti Ngata was held on the sidelines. However, even if all those players were able to practice, the defense was simply on top of their game in every aspect. They flew around the field better than I've seen them in practice in all of fall camp, and the defensive line is living up to it's billing of one of the Pac-10's best. Jordan Kent made a nice 4th-and-2 catch over Patrick Chung from Kellen Clemens, but that was about all the 1st unit could muster (yes, Kent got some first unit minutes).

Patrick Chung had an excellent pick from Clemens. Clemens threw a 25-yarder to the 10-yard line or so, and Chung sprinted across the field, jumped in front of the receiver, and pulled it down. The Pac-10 will take notice of Chung this year, and in another year or two, don't be surprised to see his name on preseason All-American lists. This of course is based off of practice performances, but he just looks too good out there to not get excited. Oregon might have gotten the sleeper of the new decade in Chung.

(John Sweeney contributed to this story)

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