Bellotti: Assumptions and Proof

Eugene -- Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti met with the media today, launching the 2007 football campaign. His main message -- there are lots of assumptions about the Ducks and his team will have to prove their stuff on the field.

Bellotti wants to erase the bad taste of the 2006 collapse, and believes his players are up to the task.

"More to prove this year," Bellotti said of his 2007 team. "It is important for them staying hungry and playing with a purpose."

The Ducks are coming off a disappointing 7-6 season last year, including four straight losses to close things out.

Bellotti spent several minutes today answering questions, and the most obvious were around the status of senior quarterback Dennis Dixon, and running backs Jonathan Stewart and Jeremiah Johnson.

While Bellotti mentioned that he would have preferred Dixon staying in Eugene over the summer and not pursuing baseball, the coach also acknowledged that Dixon has a reservoir of knowledge with which to draw. Bellotti also thought that, while there is a new offensive coordinator in Chip Kelly, essentially the offense would remain the same as it has been for the last two years.

The Oregon headman also wants to see the combination of Jonathan Stewart and Jeremiah Johnson carry the ball at least 25-30 times a game. Bellotti feels that Stewart will have a big season this year.

One other interesting item, Bellotti indicated that junior transfer Terrance Scott, freshmen Aaron Pflugrad and Jeffrey Maehl would be in the mix as punt return specialists.

Maehl is not yet in Eugene, along with William Wallace, but Bellotti indicated that the two would be enrolling in a few days.

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