Friday Scrimmage Report

Eugene -- For the first time in fall camp, the Oregon Ducks were in full pads and scrimmaging inside Autzen Stadium. The piped in artificial crowd wasn't the only noise as there were several big hits and collisions.

With the first practice held in Autzen Stadium for Fall Camp 2007, the Ducks ran a few short scrimmage sessions while each separate unit worked in drills as well. It was the first chance for many of the young players to get out on the field and show what they can really do, given game situations.

Not entirely surprising, the standout on the day was Jonathan Stewart. A healthy Stewart has the ability to break a long run at any given moment as he showed today on a few big plays. The first was a simple dive play up the middle where Snoop bounced his run out off the left guard and with one juke left John Bacon and the rest of the defense in the dust for a touchdown. Not only was he healthy today, he was also angry. On one play the whistle had blown after Stewart's forward motion had stopped but the group of John Bacon and Kwame Agyeman, nevertheless, shoved Snoop onto his backside. Stewart somersaulted over onto his feet, and full of steam charged Agyeman with a violent shove. Both the defense and offense swarmed to the scene with the coaches beckoning their players to break up the fight. Stewart harnessed this intensity and on the very next play bounced off a few tackles and juked Jerome Boyd right out of his shoes on another touchdown run. Stewart was fired up after the play, jumping and taunting the defense. Duck fans can only hope Snoop is not only healthy, but motivated by anger this fall.

Patrick Chung showed today that he is back in midseason form with a few big hits. He was able to lay his hat on Jonathan Stewart going out of bounds on one sweeping running play to the outside. Chung also terrorized the offensive line breaking through and getting to Brady Leaf on another play.

Redshirt freshman Marvin Johnson once again showed why many feel he will be an All Pac-10 performer before his time is through here at Oregon. Playing at the rover position with the second unit, he had a nice pick of a Dixon overthrow intended for Paysinger. He also had a huge hit on Remene Alston as he planted him into the turf coming out of the backfield. Johnson is lockdown in coverage and can bring the wood in run support as well. It seems only a matter of time before the rest of the Pac-10 finds out about Marvin Johnson.

Also on the defensive side of the ball was Tonio Cellotto who has been hampered by a strained back during fall camp. He showed no signs of soreness today making his presence felt along the defensive line. Cellotto has a very strong upper body with massive arms that give him the girth to throw around opposing offensive lineman. One play saw him heave fellow freshman, OL Charlie Carmichael, onto his backside allowing him to get into the backfield and force a hurried throw from Cody Kempt. Tonio Cellotto is a prime candidate to see playing time as a true freshman if needed.

I also had a chance to watch DE Kenny Rowe today. In drills it is easy to tell why he was so coveted out of high school. He has an extremely quick first step and power for his size that lets him get off the ball and cause havoc for offensive lineman on their back-pedal. It appears Rowe will stay at defensive end but will likely need to hit the weightroom to add weight this fall.

Cameron Colvin continues to impress this fall in an attempt to live up to what many would term failed expectations thus far in his career. Colvin got deep past the secondary and hooked up with a beautifully thrown deep ball from Dennis Dixon on one play during the scrimmage for a touchdown and also made several key grabs over the middle from Brady Leaf. A scary moment for Duck fans however came near the end of practice when each quarterback was given the reigns with two plays to get the ball into the endzone. Colvin snagged a ball on an out pattern from Leaf and curled along the sideline to dive into the corner of the endzone for a touchdown on the first play. Immediately after, Colvin was doubled over in apparent pain. The resounding reaction was disbelief in what fans were hoping was not a serious injury. To everyone's comfort, Colvin just had the wind knocked out of him.

Freshman WR Drew Davis had an up and down day dropping a few balls he probably should have held on to. He was able to get the crowd on hand looking at their roster sheet for his #82 during 1 on 1's however when he lowered his hat and bulled over CB Brian Butterfield. Davis will need to sure up some of the drops he was plagued with today but has looked like a big time future contributor in the wide receiver corps.

A player who hasn't received due recognition thus far this fall has been TE Ed Dickson. Dickson has the body of a tight end but the speed and hands of a wide receiver. Dickson had a few solid catches today that helped move drives down the field. He was also very active blocking down field and helped spring a few long gainers by the running backs. If he gets the touches, he could have a huge season for the Ducks.

The special teams unit was also able to get some work in today. Josh Syria began the practice with a few sub-par punts but boomed several after. Syria really allows his kick coverage to get downfield and make a play on the return man with the consistent hangtime he puts on the ball. The only drop on the day was credited to Remene Alston as he had to run toward the sideline and try and field the ball, which in turn caromed off his right arm.

As previously mentioned, the run game was stellar today. The passing game had its ups and downs however. On several drives, Dixon was right on the money with his throws but on others, a botched snap or a receiver drop would stall the drive. Leaf looked decent on a few drives as well but it was made clear that the defense is still ahead of the offense thus far in Fall Camp. Costa was playing with many of the walk-on receivers and freshman so didn't have quite the support of Dixon and Leaf but was able to mount a few successful drives. On several throws he put the ball right on the money, only to have one of the young walk-ons drop it. On the day, there were a few mishandled snaps that causes a slight concern. The piped in crowd noise may have contributed to some of the botched snaps.

Also of note was freshman RB Malachi Lewis who saw several big holes and used his big frame to run over a few defenders to gain big yardage on a few plays. Andiel Brown was as steady as ever while Andre Crenshaw and Remene Alston were able to pound out some tough yards too.

Other Notes:

#99 DT Jeremy Gibbs was back in action today performing in drills, although he didn't see any playing time in the scrimmage due to being dressed down in shells. LB Brandon Hanna sat out again today with a strained calf that he was nursing with ice on the sidelines. WR Derrick Jones was dressed down in shells but did not participate in order to rest a sore ankle. SS Terrell Ward also did not practice today but was on the sidelines encouraging his teammates.

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