Back to Business

The Oregon Ducks got back to work today after enjoying a Sunday off to recover and enjoy their hard-fought victory. Oregon's lopsided win against perennial powerhouse Michigan is still on the minds of the Oregon faithful, but after watching practice on Monday it seemed like the team had moved past their nationally-televised return to relevance.

The players wore shells and helmets and appeared to be going about 50 percent. Many starters prowled the sidelines in street clothes to heal minor wounds, but none of them wore visible braces or extra tape that would indicate any serious injury. The atmosphere at practice was upbeat with plenty of smiles and laughter, but the Michigan win did not cause the team to lose focus. Even running at half-speed, the intensity and attention to detail was evident. Coach Bellotti made sure it stayed that way throughout practice, even making the whole team re-run a set of wind sprints because two unnamed defensive backs gave sub-par efforts. Special Teams Coach Tom Osborne also demanded precision and attention to detail during kicking drills after a few miscues in the game on Saturday cost the Ducks points and field position.

Coach Bellotti was impressed with Tonio Celotto's play against Michigan, and was pleased with the contributions of Andre Crenshaw and Remene Alston in their limited time. "It is hard to get to your third and fourth string tailbacks, but I'm glad that every time they get an opportunity they are showing up pretty well" Bellotti said. The Ducks will continue to rotate the defensive line at this point, however Jeremy Gibbs was praised for his efforts during the Michigan game.

When asked about what challenges Fresno State will bring to Autzen on Saturday, Bellotti said "They are similar to Houston in their team speed, and similar in approach in terms of a balanced offense that features a power running game, down the field passing game, a very good play-action and screen game, and a more mobile quarterback than Michigan." On defense, Bellotti thinks Fresno State brings a lot of team speed, and may be the best defense the Ducks will have faced so far.

BYU quarterback transfer Cade Cooper should re-join the team sometime this week after he returned to his Utah home recently to have the screws in his surgically repaired foot removed.

Finally, sprinter Marcus Dillon has left the team to focus on his senior year with the Ducks track team. Dillon had been hoping to make an impact with the Ducks as a wide receiver much like former sprinter Jordan Kent.

eDuck Top Stories