Oregon Ducks

Sportsland, Oregon: 11/23/2010 - #38

Wed, 11/24/2010 - 2:13am
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In the first part of an extra long holiday podcast, Los and the gang delve into the Blazers injury woes and their outlook for the rest of the season, and discuss the action around the rest of the league. Then they move on to BCS talk, including possible championship scenarios, Black Friday, and awards winners. This is all followed by the NFL, and early seasoncollege basketball action.

In Part 2, Los and the gang wrap up everything else they missed in Part 1, including NCAA Women's soccer, Baseball Rookie's of the Year, High School football playoffs, Kentucky vs Portland in Men's basketball, and this week's segments, including This Week in Oregon Sports History and What Plucks My Duck.

Sportsland, Oregon: 11/15/2010 - #37

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 2:08am
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In the first part of a two part episode, Los and the gang open up with their concerns about the Blazers situation, specifically Brandon Roy's comments and health. After that it's on to the world of college football, with plenty of Ducks talk after their tight win, which inevitably leads to BCS Championship talk and Heisman Trophy predictions. They wrap up Part 1 trying to figure out who the best team in the NFL is.

In Part 2, Los and the gang wrap up everything else they missed in Part 1, including NCAA Women's soccer, Baseball Rookie's of the Year, High School football playoffs, Kentucky vs Portland in Men's basketball, and this week's segments, including This Week in Oregon Sports History and What Plucks My Duck.  You can check it out in the nifty player on the right.

Sportsland, Oregon: 11/8/2010

Fri, 11/12/2010 - 12:55am
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Back after an extended break, Los and the gang start off a packed show by remembering the great Maurice Lucas on the day of his memorial.  They also delve into the Oregon Ducks National Championship chances, the Portland Pilots Women's Soccer National Championship chances, the Blazers' start to the season, and some NFL talk.  Check it out at blogtalkradio.com/oregonsportsradio, sportslandoregon.blogspot.com, or in the nifty player on the right.

Sportsland, Oregon: 10/18/2010

Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:04am
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In this week's episode, Los and the Oregonsports.com crew discuss the year's first BCS Rankings. They also commend OSU for its 2ot loss to Washington, and apologize to PSU for causing their last second heartbreaker.

In a Special Edition NBA Preview, Lostradamus and the Oregonsports.com crew analyze everything you need to know about the upcoming NBA season. From the Blazers' outlook to the end of year awards, plus playoff predictions and teams to watch out for. They also come up with a new nickname for LaMarcus Aldridge at the end of the show, in addition to the usual weekly segments.

Check it out at: SportslandOregon.blogspot.com  or at blogtalkradio.com/oregonsportsradio

Sportsland Oregon: 10/11/10

Tue, 10/12/2010 - 4:52pm
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Plenty of things to talk about in the Oregon sports world, including the Ducks ascension to #2 in the polls, the Beavers clawing back into the Top 25, MLB end of season awards, and a tearful goodbye to the Timbers this season. All that plus the usual segments, and Blazers talk

Check it out at:

SportslandOregon.blogspot.com 

or at blogtalkradio.com/oregonsportsradio

Sportland, Oregon #32

Tue, 10/05/2010 - 12:46pm
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In this week's episode, Los and the gang open up right after Pat Chung's amazing Monday Night Football outing. Then they move on to some Ducks and Beavers football, and weigh in on the possibility of PSU winning theBig Sky. Finally, the guys talk about the Blazers training camp, and throw out their personal suggestions for NBA divisional realignment.  Check it out at:

SportslandOregon.blogspot.com

or at blogtalkradio.com/oregonsportsradio

This Better Work

Sun, 08/29/2010 - 4:42pm
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Chip Kelly’s decision to go with Darron Thomas over Nate Costa at quarterback makes sense coming from a man known as a risk taker, but there may be one off-the-field risk he didn’t take into account when choosing his starter.  Costa, a 5th year senior who has fought back from injury over and over again, has more experience in the sense that he’s more familiar with the playbook, and was supposed to be the starter 2 years ago before hurting his knee.  This in turn has earned familiarity and respect from his peers in the locker room.  How much backlash could be coming from the upper classmen on the team over this decision to go with the inexperienced sophomore instead of Costa?

The Ducks Quarterback Controversy 2010 has been billed as experience vs. potential.  If you want veteran leadership and in-depth knowledge of the playbook, you want Costa.  If you want high-risk, high reward, big play potential, you want Thomas.  Just think back to the big 4th quarter explosion against Boise State two years ago, when Thomas went for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns in the period while almost rallying the Ducks back from a 19 point deficit.  After it all played out and the announcement was made on Friday, I’m not sure it was that simple.

Chip Kelly has a “win-now” mentality.  He realizes he has a very talented, experienced team (17 returning starters) that’s favored to win the Pac-10 this year.  The potential future benefits of giving Thomas the reins speak for themselves.  He could a 3 year starter, in the same mold of player as Dennis Dixon.  Since Kelly only cares about the now, not the later, this means Thomas most likely won outright in the competition against Costa.  He’s not in there for his potential.  He’s in there because right now, he’s the better quarterback. 

This drastically helps his case against any possible backlash.  Even though an older player will have paid his dues, if the younger player is simply better, then he should be the one taking the field.  Hopefully, most of the upperclassmen will realize this, despite any loyalty they may feel towards Costa. 

The real problems will come to a head should Thomas flounder in any of the early games.  The Ducks’ non-conference schedule could very well have them at 3-0 going into Pac-10 play.  First up will be New Mexico, a seemingly simple Mountain West opponent that only won one game last year.  Then the Ducks have to travel to Tennessee to take on the Volunteers in a very winnable matchup against an average SEC team.  Then they wrap up the non-conference schedule back home against the lowly Portland State Vikings, a Big Sky team whose biggest news this offseason was that they were going back to their familiar green jerseys.

The Lobos and Vikings games should be cakewalks for Thomas and the Ducks.  Any struggles he shows there should be red flags, and the concerned upperclassmen will have their concerns validated.  Mark the Tennessee game as the first genuine litmus test of the Darren Thomas decision.  An inexperienced, young, underclassman quarterback making his second career start on the road in the SEC will face a very uncomfortable situation at Neyland Stadium.  If he’s successful, this will be a good sign for the Ducks.  This year’s Vols team is of about the same quality as most other Pac-10 teams.  If he struggles, expect to hear cries to bring on the Senior.  Hopefully, for Thomas’, Kelly’s, and the Ducks’ sake, Thomas will not struggle early on, because locker room dissonance can only hurt the situation, especially during an in-season quarterback controversy. 

More Pressing Concerns Than Saturday's Decision

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 7:24pm
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Chip Kelly stated today he'll announce who the starting quarterback is on Saturday. The week before the season opener. Just like he said he would. Just like I said he should. Regardless of whether it's Costa or Thomas, the Ducks will be fine offensively as long as they are healthy.

Defensively, the experience is there, but a talented secondary needs to get its depth chart figured out. Talmadge Jackson will start at one corner, but the other side is still up for grabs. Cliff Harris, Anthony Gildon, Avery Patterson, Scott Grady now vie for the other side. Terrance Mitchell and Chad Peppars also have their hat in the mix.

Defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti and secondary coach John Neal are both pleased with the depth they have at the position. All of those guys are pretty good ball players, and many of them contributed or even started for arguably the best defense in the Pac-10 last year. Unfortunately, none of them has separated himself from the pack to become the clear-cut #2. This can be viewed as beneficial for the Ducks, since depending on what packages they send out there many of them might be on the field at once. In a field this deep and talented, it's good to know you don't lose much, if anything, the deeper you go on the roster.

At the same time, corners play on their own island. While the quarterback is the leader, he has a tremendous support system that starts with the experienced offensive line and continues on through the rookie-rushing record holder LaMichael James. The Ducks have shown you can insert different quarterbacks into this system and they will succeed because of the system. The corners, on the other hand, are out there on their own, and blown coverage will prove costly.

Aliotti says “The strength might be that we have three or four guys who can be pretty darn good.” Yes, it's good to be deep. But you want the players to know when and where they'll be out there, and what their responsibilities are. This is not a position you want to have to be tweaking as the season starts. If a quarterback makes mistakes, others can cover for him. If a corner makes a mistake, it's his and his alone. Neal believes "I don’t think any of them have my complete trust in terms of all the things we ask them to do in the scheme and the technique." At least Costa or Thomas will have the position sealed up before New Mexico. It doesn't look like the secondary will be nearly as solidified. Cliff Harris better figure out how to stay focused.

 

Expectations are for a lot of "yes" men in Eugene

Fri, 08/13/2010 - 8:15pm
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Expectations are low for the Oregon football team.  After an offseason marred by numerous appearances on the police blotter, and a quarterback controversy with no real favorite, this team will be hard pressed to re-create last season’s success.

OR

Expectations are high for the reigning Pac-10 champs.  The 11th ranked team in the country returns 17 starters, including star running back LaMichael James, who set the conference rushing record for freshman with 1,546 yards last season.

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