Ducks Hope To Not Regress

Utah State University has a chance this weekend to make history. If the Aggies can come into Autzen Stadium on Saturday afternoon and catch the 16th ranked Oregon Ducks still celebrating the win over archrival Washington, it would be an upset for the ages.

"I hope not," replied Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti. "We've talked about it. I've heard their (Oregon) comments and I'm really appreciative that they understand the message that we've given to them. At this point in the season it is less about our opponent, and that's not taking anything away from Utah State, but it is more about us. Us continuing to recognize our weaknesses, eliminating them and getting better. Also trying to create more depth, to get an opportunity to play people who are going to have to contribute later down the road.

In other words, the task then for the Oregon Ducks this week is to stay awake, stay alert and put another pounding on a team that is coming in for a paycheck.

Bellotti hopes to get some new comers in the game this week and that those players see action in critical times of the game, not just in mop-up duty. Bellotti indicated that the Ducks wanted to do that last week, but the game was fairly close until the fourth quarter when Oregon put the Huskies away.

The Oregon coaching staff thought they had two patsies in a row?

Bellotti responded to a question from a Seattle columnist about a controversy apparently brewing in the Emerald City that Bellotti had his squad run the score up on the helpless Huskies. Bellotti responded by saying he has great admiration for Coach Ty Willingham and the University of Washington. He considered taking a knee in the final minute of the game, but upon consultation with his assistants the headman felt it best to keep playing for the sake of the younger players getting a chance to contribute. Besides, Bellotti indicated he has been in similar situations the Huskies were in and that he would prefer the other team not take the knee.

Can you imagine the uproar in Seattle if the Ducks had given mercy to team that seemed to have given up before the final whistle blew?

Despite the coach-speak, this week will be the time folks will want to come out and see the guys that were on the bench last week. Guys like Jamere Holland who as Bellotti pointed out must show the things he wants to see in practice this week. Holland was on the participation list last Saturday, but didn't record any catches. In fact neither did Ed Dickson and certainly he shows what he can do in every practice.

Possibly the Ducks haven't shown everything in their playbook? Ya think?

In the for what it's worth department, Justin Roper is feeling much better and the trainers tell Bellotti the lanky quarterback will be ready for Utah State. For those thinking Roper might have the afternoon off against the Aggies, that won't be the case. Bellotti doesn't think Roper got in enough work against the Huskies before the concussion he suffered forced him to stay on the sideline. While Roper taking off his helmet allowed Jeremiah Masoli and Chris Harper to demonstrate their considerable talents, it didn't allow Roper to do the things the coaching staff wanted him to do.

By the way, according the Dave Williford, Director of Media Services, a decision has been reached on the pronunciation of Masoli's name. It will be from time henceforth Ma SOO LEE. Just like how we pronounce it on our videos.


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