Notes From Spring Practice: Day 9

The Ducks held their first scrimmage under sunny skies Saturday afternoon, as players such as Aaron Pflugrad, Jamere Holland, and Scott Grady had a chance to show out in front of fans and coaches alike inside Autzen.

1. Play from the projected top two quarterbacks on the Oregon depth chart was much sharper Saturday afternoon, as juniors, Jeremiah Masoli and Justin Roper, performed about equally during today's scrimmage. Masoli seemed to be the sharpest he's been all spring, completing 8 of 13 passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns, while demonstrating impressive quicks, rushing for 58 yards on six carries. "We were kind of up and down throughout the day," stated Masoli after the scrimmage, "it just served as a good marking point to see where we were at through the spring...I'd give us a B, it could have been better. It could have been a lot better. We were real sloppy with some of our run plays on the O-line, but we just got to get back on the same page." Roper went 7-for-13 for 95 yards with a touchdown and interception to his credit. Stat-wise, Roper's performance may not have been as noteworthy as Masoli, but Oregon head coach, Chip Kelly, felt very satisfied with Roper's overall play. "Before I watch the tape," said Kelly, "I thought Justin Roper was very consistent and threw the ball really well -- converted a big third down and drove the team down the field a couple times." The play at the quarterback position, however, appeared to drop with Darron Thomas at the helm. Thomas' 4-for-13 passing performance proved his erratic play this afternoon, as the offense struggled to find a consistent rhythm with him behind center.

2. Coach Kelly termed the play of the offensive line today as "sloppy". Kelly made a point of mentioning that going back to the Holiday Bowl, the Ducks are replacing six senior offensive lineman and are also without juniors Bo Thran and C.E. Kaiser this spring (due to injuries), thus the line is going to take its fair share of lumps as they gain more experience. Players such as Simi Toeaina, Terrance Montgomery, and Terrell Turner took advantage of the young offensive line and stood out today along the defensive front. Montgomery, in particular, was seen on at least three different occasions making tackles for loss in the Oregon backfield. Linebackers Eddie Pleasant and Josh Kaddu also drew high praise from Kelly, Saturday, as both players displayed a knack for flying around the field and playing a physical brand of football. Arguably the most impressive player defensively for Oregon today was cornerback, Scott Grady. The redshirt freshman from Tigard had a number of impact plays throughout the scrimmage, including a long punt return and a long interception return that would have put the Oregon offense in terrific field position in a game situation. The Grady interception should have been his second on the day, as just moments before he dropped what seemed to be a sure-fire pick of Roper along the sideline.

3. Aaron Pflugrad and Jamere Holland were the two big play guys for the Ducks through the air, as players found the end zone on Saturday. Pflugrad, most notably, made the most of his opportunities, as both of his catches on the day went for touchdowns, finishing with a total of 45 yards receiving. "He throws a nice ball," said Pflugrad of his chemistry with Masoli, "it's good to work with him everyday and get our timing down now." Holland and his dominant play on the outside for the Ducks has been one of the hallmarks throughout the spring. His five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown led all Oregon receivers during Saturday's scrimmage.

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