Bronco Should Have Been Booted

Mike Bellotti felt the player that hit Jeremiah Masoli and was called for roughing the passer should have been immediately ejected. Bellotti spoke to reporters on Sunday night and said the play was a textbook case for the reason why the rule to prevent hitting defenseless players above the shoulder was implemented.

The play occurred in the first quarter in yesterday's Oregon-Boise State game at Autzen Stadium.

"The one on (Jeremiah) Masoli was worse than the one on (Ed) Dickson," complained Bellotti of the two vicious hits in yesterday's game. "The one on Masoli was crown of the helmet to the face right underneath the jaw. It is a textbook reason we made the rule for not hitting anybody with the crown of your helmet and not targeting anybody, a defenseless player above the shoulders. That player should have been ejected."

Bellotti indicated he would turn his complaint into the Pac-10 officials and the conference will have to decide what to do with it. The player that made the hit on Masoli was BSU safety Ellis Powers.

Masoli left the game in the second quarter because of a concussion that resulted in the hit by Powers. The incident occurred on the third snap of Oregon's first possession after Masoli had thrown a pass downfield. Masoli completed two more passes and missed one in the quarter and was unable to continue playing after the first quarter.

Dickson was jarred on a play that left a large bump on his forehead in the fourth quarter becoming the victim of a late hit by Jeron Johnson, whom subsequently was ejected. Dickson had become relief quarterback Darron Thomas' favorite target in a frenzied fourth quarter comeback. Thomas threw for 210 yards on 13-for-25, three touchdowns and an interception. Dickson finished the day catching seven passes for 103 yards and two of those catches in the fourth quarter were good for touchdowns.

This week the Ducks will plan on splitting snaps between Thomas and Masoli provided Masoli is completely healthy. At this point Bellotti is confident that Masoli will be ready to play next week against Washington State at Pullman. Certain packages will be planned for Chris Harper also. Harper was ineffective passing in the BSU game but ran for 28 yards (21 net) and had a long run of 21.

Bellotti is less confident that starting quarterback Justin Roper will be ready for the Cougars next Saturday. The head coach figures Roper is 50/50 and more doubtful than probable.

There were no other injuries from yesterday.

Bellotti has called Thomas the most improved quarterback on the roster and yesterday's performance gave a good example of what the Houston native can do.

"He was making plays," said Bellotti of Thomas. "We were all really impressed and obviously a great spark for us. It was also a unique situation where it was go-for-broke situations where you're going to throw it every down...He can run the regular offense it is just a matter of repetition and understanding what we do."

The Ducks will now open the playbook for Thomas and figuring out what he likes and can do. The plan had been to redshirt Thomas, but now that has changed and the Oregon coaches must figure out how to work in four quarterbacks into the plans.

When talking about the game, Bellotti felt the defense had trouble recognizing play action which burned the Ducks at least for or five times in the game.

"What gave us trouble was recognizing our visual cues," cited Bellotti of the defensive breakdown. "Our eyes, we didn't get them right. On play action passes especially. We should have been in position to make plays."

Ironically, Bellotti thought that the defensive line "played one of the best games ever as a line group." The Duck headman felt that the Ducks were able to make BSU one-dimensional and held the Broncos to a mere 38 yards net rushing.

"Sonny Harris had his best game as a Duck," complimented Bellotti. "You can talk every time about Nick Reed and what he does."

The problem of course according to the head guy is that the Ducks didn't handle to other dimension very well. BSU threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns.

Bellotti will now start reviewing tape on Washington State after spending a day looking over the BSU film and meeting visiting recruits. Will the loss to BSU have much effect on recruiting and specifically the recruits that were here this weekend? Probably not, according to the Duck coach.

"I've never seen that as a negative to recruiting," observed Bellotti on the question of how a loss might effect recruiting. "It (recruiting) is more about the relationships with people."

In his experience, Bellotti feels that recruits want to find out about who they are going to play for and play with when the make an official visit. This weekend the Ducks had at least two visitors including 5-star defensive end Nick Kasa and 2-star defense end C.J. James.

Another visitor, Karrington Armstrong committed to Oregon during his visit.


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