Finishing Up on WSU

When your team has just demolished an opponent 63-14, it's a little hard to come up with anything that was disappointing about your players' performance. So when asked the question on Sunday night, Mike Bellotti thought for a moment and initially said no, but then reconsidered and said he thought the kickoff coverage could have been better.

Well, if you kick off enough times you are bound to make some boo boos.

Oregon scored nine touchdowns on Saturday and with the opening kickoff, which meant the Ducks had ten kickoffs and the Cougars had three of their own or a total of 13 for the game. Hey, anybody can get bored doing the same thing over and over.

Mike Bellotti also said he wished there were more passes completed. As it was, the Ducks were 9-of-19 for 161 yards and two touchdowns. So not everything was as perfect as it seemed.

Bellotti answered questions from reporters during his normal Sunday evening session and to be sure, it did take the Oregon Head Coach a few moments to think of something that didn't go quite right yesterday in Pullman. No one asked about Jeremiah Masoli's performance but somebody asked about Darron Thomas. Bellotti thought Thomas was "OK" and that the freshman overthrew a couple of wide-open guys that would have been touchdowns. Bellotti also mentioned Thomas ran for a touchdown and really for the headman to say much more, he might have been accused of gloating.

63-14 wins can do that.

Beaver fans might be surprised to learn that there is at least one Duck who came away impressed after watching Oregon State beat USC, 27-21. Bellotti has watched the game a couple of times to see what can be gleaned out of the contest that might benefit Oregon.

"In retrospect, I think Oregon State did a very nice job on both sides of the ball," complimented Bellotti. "They found a way to win first keep the chains moving."

Bellotti felt the Beavers were able to pressure Mark Sanchez and stop the Trojan running attack. He thought the Beavers mixed things up with screens and quick passes plus adding north and south runs that were less likely to lose yardage. Will any of that help when the Ducks play USC next Saturday?

"That could be a blueprint for success," eluded Bellotti. "I don't know.

Considering the Beavers knocked off the Trojans the obvious question is whether it is a good or bad time to face the former No. 1 team in the country?

"Well I don't know that's a great question," laughed Bellotti. "I think the Oregon State game proved they are vulnerable but at the same time probably got them madder than a hornet's nest. USC is a very talented team and didn't play as well as they are capable of against Oregon State and I'm sure they are ready to go."

Bellotti was asked about his appraisal of the overall depth of his team and he responded by saying he still has some concerns about the defensive line. However, the coach is encouraged by the play of a number of athletes including Brandon Bear and Tonio Celotto, whom Bellotti commented was "getting better and provides a physical energy presence inside."

Another player that drew the coach's praise was Willie Glasper along with Talmadge Jackson III. As far as the offensive line goes, Jeff Kendall, Jordan Holmes, Bo Thran and Jacob Hucko all give the Ducks "flexibility that is really important."

One area that Bellotti was not particularly positive on is the wide receiver corps, which in Bellotti's words "have not seen a lot of development in the second and third line of players."

Tight end Malachi Lewis is playing more while making some mistakes but is also "making plays."

Bellotti was especially complimentary toward Remene Alston, who "showed some purpose when he ran and did some really good things."

If USC's all-everything linebacker Rey Maualuga and safety Taylor Mays are not back in action next week, will that effect Oregon's preparation any?

"It won't impact it at all. They have great players," admitted Bellotti. "They (Malauga and Mayes) are two physically dominant players but they have other guys who can step in and play and I don't think it will change their scheme."

The never ending Justin Thompson saga may not be over -- yet. Bellotti mentioned that the coaching staff has had communications regarding Thompson's academics and the Duck program is awaiting Thompson's transcripts. School starts tomorrow however Thompson could still have a few days after the term starts before enrolling. If Thompson were not able to enroll the question then would be if the Ducks would further recruit the defensive tackle and Bellotti could only say they would consider it if it occurs. In other words, the situation is the same and thanks for asking.

Defensive end Terrell Turner will have a MRI tomorrow for a knee injury suffered in the later stages of the WSU game.

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