Ducks Establish Format for Spring Game

EUGENE – Saturday's University of Oregon Spring Game will be designed to provide fans with the most competitive scenario possible as the Ducks' first-team offense will be matched against their first-team defense, according to first-year head coach Chip Kelly.

Kickoff in Autzen Stadium is slated for 2 p.m., with the football game to be televised live on Comcast Sports Net (channel 37) and broadcast on KUGN (590 AM) in Eugene-Springfield, 95.5 The Game in Portland, and KSKR (101.1 FM) in Roseburg.

Saturday's intrasquad clash will mark Oregon's 15th and final team workout of the off-season before reconvening for the start of fall practice in August, with the format intended to provide coaches a true evaluation of where the Ducks stand at the conclusion of the spring.

Coaches collaborated to divide the squad into two equally competitive units rather than utilize a draft system as in the past, with a premium placed on the squad's first-team offense and defense against one another as well as matching the second-team offense and defense head-to-head.

"We could have placed the first-team offense and defense against the rest of the team as do some schools but I don't feel that allows you to gain an accurate gauge of the progress you've made in the spring, nor does it prepare you for next fall," Kelly said. "We have attempted to create a competitive environment in all of our spring practices and now is the time to see who is ready to step into the limelight.

"I've been really pleased with our effort so far but nothing surpasses game day, which I anticipate everyone to be at their best Saturday."

Saturday's simulated game will include a traditional scoring system, with the intention to play four 15-minute quarters along with regulation clock management throughout the duration of the scrimmage. However Kelly said that could change, subject to the health of players involved.

The Ducks will utilize kickoffs to start the first and third quarters, starting all other drives at the offense's 35-yard line on change of possessions, and will not encompass punting into the format once the game has started.

The White Team will be led by defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti and will include quarterbacks Jeremiah Masoli and Darron Thomas, running backs LeGarrette Blount and Andre Crenshaw, as well as wide receivers Aaron Pflugrad, Jamere Holland and Jeff Maehl. The Green Team, headed by associate head coach Steve Greatwood, will include returning defensive starters Walter Thurmond and T.J. Ward in the secondary, linebackers Casey Matthews and Spencer Paysinger, in addition to defensive end Will Tukuafu.

The east and south gates into Autzen Stadium will open at 1 p.m., with an admission of three non-perishable food items to be donated to Food for Lane Country. Parking in the east lot of Autzen Stadium can be accessed through Entry 4 and 5 via Leo Harris Parkway, with a suggested donation of $2 per vehicle to be given to the Todd Doxey Foundation.

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