Shifting Gears – Morning Practice Update

The Oregon football team practiced in shells Wednesday morning outside under cool clear skies and there seemed to be a little more excitement in the air. Why? This is the final day of the grueling two-a-days with this afternoon's practice set for 4:45, which will likely be followed by some cheering players.

Today there seemed to be a sense of urgency as the pace and intensity of the practice accelerated. Dennis Dixon was throwing darts with most of his throws resulting in completions. Both Derrick Jones and Jaison Williams looked good catching the ball in stride. Dixon also provided one of the highlights of the practice on a quarterback keeper when he shot through the line and broke loose for what would have been a touchdown in a game.

He may not be able to hit a curveball, but Dixon still has blazing speed.

The top play on defense may have occurred when Willie Glasper took on Jaison Williams one-on-one and jumped a well thrown out ball for the interception. It should be noted that Willie is noticeably thicker this year and now has more muscle to drag down big receivers without losing any of his speed.

Josh Syria also boomed some very deep punts with excellent hang time but still struggles at times with his accuracy. Mike Bellotti pointed out after the practice that all three punters have the mentality to succeed but they must avoid the negative kicks that plagued Oregon last year.

The head coach also confirmed that Max Unger would likely remain at the center position, especially with Jeff Kendall nursing an injury.

Note: It appears that Friday's scrimmage, scheduled for 3:35 p.m., will be open to the public. However, that is tentative, so watch for updates if you plan to attend.

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