Bye week will help heal up some bruises

The Oregon Ducks (8-3, 6-2) are on a bye week after defeating the Arizona Wildcats 55-45 on Saturday. Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti indicated that his team will use this week to rest up and calm down some bumps and bruises as they watch their next opponent Oregon State take on their last opponent Arizona next Saturday in Tucson.

This week practices will be modified, as Monday will be a day of watching film and going through a light conditioning drill. Tuesday will more of the same but with more emphasis on conditioning. Wednesday will be more like a regular practice and Thursday half the time will be spent preparing for OS while the rest of the time will be a scrimmage for the younger players. Friday and Saturday will be off and the practice schedule will resume to normal on the following week.

Will Bellotti have to task his team to watch the Oregon-Arizona game next week? No, because they'll ready be doing that says the headman.

The head coach also mentioned there is a list of about 16 players that really need the rest this week. Most of them are suffering from bumps and bruises. Except for Drew Davis, who is scheduled for surgery, none of the walking wounded would miss a game if it were played this week and certainly won't miss next week. That includes defensive tackle Tonio Celotto, who was out with a turned ankle.

Bellotti felt that Celotto's presence was missed yesterday.

"We missed Tonio's energy and strength inside," Bellotti told media on his regular Sunday evening media call. "We got worn down; there's no question. Our defense in the second half was not playing at full speed. A great effort but we were not the same in terms of being able to make plays."

Bellotti thought his team was a step slow allowing Arizona to catch the ball, break tackles or get the yardage they needed.

Celotto and a rejuvenated defense will be needed a week from Saturday in Corvallis for the 2008 version of the Civil War against Oregon State. Rogers, the Pac-10's leading ground gainer has caused havoc for the opposition all year and while Bellotti knows the reason for that, doing something is another story.

"Quizz Rodgers is a difference maker, his stature aside," observed Bellotti of Jacquizz Rodgers. "His stature actually makes him more dangerous because you really can't find him and he really does play at a different level in terms of his pad level. He breaks a lot of tackles because he's getting hit at the shoulders and you just don't tackle people as well in that area. You really have to focus at tackling lower, getting your pad level lower and finding him. It's a lot about gap controls. He's had tremendous success against every team he has faced. He's a tremendous running back."

Reflecting on yesterday's game Bellotti thought he'd have like to done some things differently defending Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski, but he just doesn't know what those things would be. Gronkowski got off a huge second half catching 12 balls for 143 yards. Bellotti describes the Wildcat's big tight end as agile and having great hands. It also helped that quarterback Willie Tuitama was throwing as if he had a lazer guiding the ball to the target.

"Overall he just beat the coverage," admitted Bellotti of Gronkowski's effort. "There was man coverage, zone coverage, combo zone coverage; he had a great night and give him credit for that."

The defense could have used some help in the second half from the offense by keeping drives alive according to the coach. There were a number of drives that stalled out because of some miscues like bad snaps or falling down short of a first down on a third down completion.

However, the Ducks had enough points on the scoreboard to give them their eighth win of the season and now this week they can relax and see how well the Beavers and Wildcats can contain each others offenses.

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