Kelly Stands By Masoli

Chip Kelly fielded several questions regarding the apparent inconsistent play of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli but stood behind his starting signal caller. Masoli, was 4-of-16 for 95 and one interception in Oregon's 31-24 win over Utah. However, Masoli also picked up significant rushing yardage and was key in handling the ball as Oregon racked up 255 yards rushing.

(PHOTO) Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, left, congratulates LaMichael James (21) after a touchdown run against Utah during the first half of an NCAA college football game in the rain in Eugene, Ore., Saturday Sept. 19, 2009. Oregon defeated Utah 31-24. (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

Kelly indicated Sunday afternoon to beat reporters that Masoli's play was inconsistent, but the junior quarterback has had inconsistent spells in the past. When asked if there would be competition for the starting job this week in practice Kelly indicated that there is competition "every week" in practice.

As reporters continued to press Kelly regarding the quarterback situation and if Masoli was kept in the game because of the success of the running game, Kelly responded by saying, "I stayed with Jeremiah because he is our starting quarterback and gives us the best chance to win."

Masoli rushed for a total of 74 yards but was sacked and ended up with a net 47 yards rushing including two touchdowns.

While the passing game was non-existent in the second half, Kelly felt Lavasier Tuinei was the most effective blocking wide receiver in the Utah game.

If the passing game is anemic at this point of the season everything else, particularly the defense is playing better than expected. The Ducks held Utah to 297 yards. The Utes had been averaging over 500 yards coming into the game in Eugene.

One player asked about was John Boyett and Kelly had words of praise for the redshirt freshman free safety who has filled in for senior T.J. Ward. Boyett eight tackles (three solos) plus an interception that sealed the win for Oregon. Ward was injured in the Boise State game and is not yet cleared for practice.

"John did a nice job," said Kelly of Boyett. "He's getting more confidence back there."

Boyett's interception of Terrance Cain with 1:06 left in the game essentially ended any hopes of Utah getting back in the game. The Oregon offense took a minute off the clock before punting, but with just six seconds to go in the contest Utah was only able to get one play off that was good for seven yards and the game ended on Utah's own 27.


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