Ducks' Offense Scores 4 TDs on Saturday

BEAVERTON, Ore. – The University of Oregon's top three quarterbacks combined to complete 14 of 26 passes in addition to accumulating 226 yards of total offense as the Ducks put together an 89-play intra-squad scrimmage at the Nike Complex.

Senior quarterback Dennis Dixon threw for 28 of his 59 yards on the opening drive, and added 15 yards rushing, as the Ducks capped a 66-yard drive with a 26-yard field goal by sophomore Morgan Flint. Dixon followed that up by ending a 40-yard march with a 14-yard touchdown pass to senior Cameron Colvin.

Dixon finished the day completing six of 10 passes and producing points on two of his three drives at the helm.

"I thought our quarterbacks made great decisions in terms of who to throw to, when to get rid of the ball and when to tuck it and run," Bellotti said. "We also moved the pocket well which also presented problems for our defense.

"Our veteran receivers did a good job and they caught a couple of touchdown passes by getting some mismatches on some freshman defensive backs."

It didn't help the defense's cause that it played most of the scrimmage without the majority of its returning starters in the secondary. Junior rover Patrick Chung and sophomore cornerback Jairus Byrd played sparingly after the opening drive, while sophomore cornerback Walter Thurmond was held out of all of the workout nursing a sore leg.

Senior Brady Leaf completed four of 10 passes for 67 yards, including lofting a 30-yard pass into the end zone to junior wide receiver Jaison Williams.

Sophomore quarterback Nate Costa was successful on four of six passes for 43 yards, in addition to running for 25 yards on four carries, as he directed Oregon's longest scoring drive of the 75-minute scrimmage. Redshirt freshman Remene Alston capped a 75-minute drive with an 18-yard touchdown run before ending the workout with a 4-yard scoring run.

Alston led all rushers with 42 yards on 10 carries on a day where junior running back Jonathan Stewart was held out of the scrimmage and junior Jeremiah Johnson was limited to only one series. That played a large role in Oregon rushing for only 145 yards on 41 attempts.

Sophomore Andre Crenshaw added 30 yards on the ground on 10 carries.

"I thought our defense stepped up today," Bellotti said. "They played the run so much better. There were no real explosion plays. Conversely, I want our offensive line to be able to knock people off the ball and we weren't successful today. But I thought we pass protected very well today."

But Bellotti was most pleased by the fact that the offense committed no turnovers, and that the Ducks got through the day without any injuries.

"This is our second major scrimmage with no turnovers," Bellotti emphasized. "That's great for the offense and not as good for the defense. We talk about wanting takeaways, but our problem last year were the turnovers on offense and at this point we seem to be addressing that, which is really a positive."

Williams led 10 receivers with two catches for 42 yards, with freshman Drew Davis catching two passes for 30 yards, Colvin two catches for 24 yards and sophomore Derrick Jones two receptions for 15 yards.

Yet Bellotti's biggest concern on the afternoon was the kicking game. Three place-kickers combined to connect on only two of six field goals during a 30-minute special teams session prior to the scrimmage, while only Flint was successful on the four field goal tries the trio attempted during the scrimmage. He also was short on a 50-yard try later in the day. Freshman Daniel Padilla's 51-yard effort was certainly long enough but slightly off the mark while Matt Evenson's 42-yard field goal also was wide right.

"Special teams requires a lot of work," Bellotti admitted. "We're not where we want to be. Part of it is the new system that we're putting in in some areas, part of it is just that we have to play better and perform better. Our kickers, punters, snappers, holders -- everyone involved -- all need to be on their A game."

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