Oregon Fall Camp: Day 9 - Afternoon

With day nine in the books, the Ducks look to day ten with optimism. Offensively, the all-out battle for the starting quarterback position has reached full tilt where as defensively, the coaching staff is realizing the true breadth of the depth along the defensive front seven.

1. Handicapping the battle for the starting quarterback spot on the Oregon football team has been like working a Rubik's Cube; just when you feel like you have it figured out, something foils your thought process and forces you to reassess the entire puzzle. Though Nate Costa and Darron Thomas are the two biggest pieces to this particular puzzle, determining how exactly they fit has been an exercise in futility. Today, Costa came through with the better afternoon, demonstrating the kind of steady, error-free play that makes him an attractive horse in this race. While he didn't produce a tremendous amount of big plays through the air, Costa was consistent finding the open receiver and accurately delivering him the football. Though he did toss an interception (a pass that was bobbled by true freshman tight end Curtis White and picked by junior safety Eddie Pleasant), Costa had one of his sharper days overall of fall camp.

Thomas was a bit average today, comparatively speaking. After having an impressive past few days, he regressed some, telegraphing a pass that was intercepted by sophomore safety John Boyett and showing slowed decision-making when in the pocket. Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has maintained that he's taking the race in stride, using every drill and situation as an evaluator of his quarterbacks' strengths and weaknesses.

"We're not going to do anything until the week of the game," said Kelly, "We've got more scrimmage time and more evaluations (to do). And those guys know it. We're not gonna turn around tomorrow and say that guy is number one and that guy is number two. There's no reason for it."

2. Redshirt freshman linebacker Boseko Lokombo had another huge day this afternoon as he was seemingly in on every big play during 11-on-11 team drills. Lokombo, who is battling for a starting position at SAM linebacker with Josh Kaddu, had maybe the hit of the fall thus far when he decleated sophomore walk-on running back Anthony Blake on a pass play over the middle. Lokombo followed that play with a pass break-up as well as a strip of Thomas a few plays later. His progress has been staggering, as Kelly compared his emergence to another star player on the Oregon roster.

"He's a lot like LaMichael James when he was on the scout squad," said Kelly of Lokombo,

"There's a lot of guys when you see them and you're redshirting them, you know that next year they're going to be pretty good players. Bo showed up last year and he's right where I expected him to be this year."

Notes: Sophomore defensive end Dion Jordan started opposite Kenny Rowe with the first team defense Wednesday, as junior defensive lineman Terrell Turner was moved inside next to Brandon Bair. Jordan's emergence off the edge the last couple of days has garnered him some serious consideration as a potential starter this upcoming season.

Official Oregon Injury Report:

RB Remene Alston (right foot), RB Kenjon Barner (hand), OL Jamaal Burrell (ribs), OL Hroniss Grasu (shoulder), DT Ricky Heimuli (n/a), WR Josh Huff (ankle), OL C.E. Kaiser (left hip), DB Javes Lewis (head), LB Spencer Paysinger (knee), OL Darrion Weems (back), TE Curtis White (shoulder)

*RB LaMichael James was full go this afternoon, shedding the red non-contact jersey for a standard issue white one.

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