Saturday Afternoon Session

After Friday's short scrimmage, several players sat out of practice on Saturday. The Ducks were in full pads once again with many areas to improve upon after the scrimmage.

The Oregon Ducks football team was back outside the confines of Autzen Stadium once again today in full pads for the first of the daily doubles practice sessions.

The story on the day was the play of the running backs, who all showed explosiveness out of the backfield. Jonathan Stewart continues to look bigger, faster, and more determined than he has ever been. He hit a hole hard and ran away from the defense on a few runs today showing his speed in the open field. Jeremiah Johnson came out and played hard today as well denying a few defenders with his vaunted stiff arm. Later in practice, JJ was able to juke walk-on cornerback Caleb Tommasini and leave him grasping for air as he slithered his way to a 20-yard gain. Remene Alston had his best practice of Fall Camp as he had several big gainers, showing off his elusiveness in the open field. He has such a small and stocky frame that he at times can bounce off tackles like a pinball and spring free.

Coach Greatwood worked extensively with his men along the offensive line, and more particularly on the rolling screen block. It is a somewhat awkward looking block but appears effective given the right circumstances in using it. Greatwood was left shaking his head a few times when DE Brandon Bair was able to penetrate the pocket and get to Brady Leaf on two instances today. His offensive line would redeem itself as they were solid in run blocking on the day.

Speaking of Brandon Bair, he has kind of fallen under the radar but he is quietly becoming a force along the defensive line. He has moved up and is playing with the second unit. The coaches love his intensity and his desire to learn and improve his play. He had two sacks of Leaf today and continues to get better each day.

The quarterbacks were off and on today, with Nathan Costa probably looking the most consistent. Costa throws a very catchable ball and is likely the most accurate of the quarterbacks. He isn't the fastest but he has the quickness to get out of the pocket, escape pressure, and buy time to allow receivers to get open. He was able to connect with JC transfer WR Terrence Scott on a few occasions as he rolled out of the pocket. Dixon, on the other hand, seemed to lose concentration on a few snaps today, as a few rolled past his feet. He made a lot of good throws, but also made a few poor decisions. A throw behind Jaison Williams had the ball tipped into the air, leaving Walter Thurmond with a gift interception. Thurmond is becoming one of the more vocal leaders in the secondary, especially with the younger guys. Redshirt freshman Justin Roper and Cody Kempt have had their moments thus far this Fall. Roper has a great arm but he lacks consistency, as was the case when CB Brian Butterfield anticipated a pass over the middle for an interception.

Garren Strong had a nice practice today making tough catches on passes from both Dennis Dixon and Brady Leaf. If Strong can stay healthy, he should be due for a breakout season.

Malachi Lewis showed some positive signs today as well turning a few runs nicely up the field. On one play he caught an inside pitch from Costa and broke through a hole to the outside. He was hit hard by Marvin Johnson and sent sprawling into the turf, but the damage was done.

The quote of the day goes to the always candor Coach Greatwood. After Mark Lewis missed an easy block to pick up the blitz, Greatwood jogged over about ready to tear his hair out. "Lewis! You gotta block that guy! We've been doing this since Jesus walked the Earth." A few expletives were left out of course, but it's safe to say Coach Greatwood got his point across as the entire offensive line picked up their performance afterwards.

Other Notes: Sitting out on the day with various injuries and dings were Patrick Chung, Cameron Colvin, Terrell Ward, Willie Glasper, Jameel Dowling, Charlie Carmichael, Brandon Hanna, Pat So'oalo, Derrick Jones, and A.J. Tuitele, who will be back practicing on Monday.

The Oregon football team has Sunday off for rest and will continue Fall Camp on Monday with daily doubles scheduled to begin at 10:30am and 4:45pm respectively.

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