Friday Practice Holds Short Scrimmage

Eugene -- The Oregon Ducks were in pads for the first time in fall camp on Friday, holding the training session inside Autzen Stadium with piped in noise. It was also the first day of contact, and while the passing game had it's moments, the big story was Jonathan Stewart.

We had a pretty up-tempo practice," said Head Coach Mike Bellotti. "We threw a lot at them with the noise and a lot of other things."

The screeching noise makes it difficult to hear and simulates what players can expect in rowdy venues. It also requires good communication among the athletes.

Passing was an adventure this afternoon but two passing plays stood out, first was a long pass play from Brady Leaf to Jaison Williams that would have been for a touchdown if scores were counted on Friday. The second play that stood out was a long bomb from Dennis Dixon to Cameron Colvin. Dixon threw a perfect spiral on a post pattern, hitting Colvin in stride and No. 3 took care of the rest by putting distance between himself and the defender.

The play of the day though goes to Jonathan Stewart. Actually two plays -- both would have been long gains or touchdowns. The first was a dive up the middle that Stewart powered his way through, but the second was more sensational.

After a late hit by a couple of defenders including Kwame Agyemon, Stewart did a complete somersault, came to his feet, and charged the defenders like an enraged bull after a matador on a hot Sunday afternoon. Whistles blew and coaches rushed in to break up the squabble. On the next snap, Stewart again took a hand off, juked right then left, and took off and no one could catch him. When the whistle blew to stop the action, Stewart was obviously pumped up and strolled back to the huddle knowing he showed everyone why he is the featured player on this team.

"If I could get that kind of energy from him all the time, that would be good," said Bellotti of the play and the melee on the previous snap before the big run. "He was a little motivated to come back after that play and he did."

Bellotti feels that Stewart is seeing the field much better this year, and it helps that the offensive line is creating holes for the big back to run through.

Stewart for his part laughed off the incident, but he was pleased with the results.

"Yeah, I was fired up," Stewart said after practice regarding the plays.

The Ducks held a very short situational scrimmage at the end of practice which entailed the five quarterbacks leading the offense through 3rd and fourth downs at the defense's 5-yard line.

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