QB uncertain but unis set for Ducks vs. Cougs

FOR THE second-straight week the Cougars hit the road as double-digit underdogs, this time going to Oregon for a 3 p.m. kickoff on Saturday. The Ducks opened as 20-point favorites but the line already has dropped to 17 – presumably in light of Duck coach Mark Helfrich’s clear-as-mud comments Sunday night about his quarterback situation.

In the Ducks' win over Colorado on Saturday, starter Vernon Adams sat out for the second time in three weeks with a bum thumb. In his place, Oregon used both Jeff Lockie and Taylor Alie. Neither was particularly impressive, though Alie dialed up a 43-yard TD toss in the fourth quarter.

Asked who will start at QB against the Cougars, Helfrich said, “It depends on, and again at that or any position, guys are going to be at various percentages of availability throughout the week. This guy is whatever percent, this guy is whatever percent, and then that will dictate reps from there.”

Try diagramming that sentence and then take another five points off the betting line.

The Ducks come into game at 3-2 overall and 1-1 in Pac-12 play while the Cougs are 2-2 and 0-1 following a narrow loss at Cal last weekend.

ONE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE that looks rock solid for the Ducks on Saturday, however, is their uniforms. They announced today they’ll be wearing the new “Pioneers” uniform (pictured above). Each jersey will feature a different portion of a sublimated map of the Oregon portion of the Oregon Trail. The helmet decal will feature a silhouette of Lewis and Clark looking through a telescope and Donald Duck pointing West.

HELFRICH WAS ASKED SUNDAY about the four-man front the Ducks used to generate five sacks against Colorado and how that might translate against WSU.

“Obviously if you can create pressure with three guys you can be more multiple, a lot different in coverage, and the same can be said for a four-man rush. Anything more, there's a ton of adjustment and in all those things that is certainly what has made Mike Leach very successful at what he does and why they do what they do. You have to vary things enough, (but also) have to be standard enough in your own mind you can play fast and free, not constantly thinking about formation adjustment or coverage adjustment.”

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