For the complete release with full notes, statistics, etc., please view the PDF.GAME TIME
Kickoff is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. PST at the Rose Bowl with a national live telecast on ABC. A live radio broadcast will be available across the Oregon Sports Network and on ESPN Radio (XM 140/Sirius 120).
•Ohio State leads the all-time series with Oregon, 7-0.
•The two teams first met in the 1958 Rose Bowl, won by the Buckeyes, 10-7.
•After playing five times over a 10-year stretch, the Ducks and Buckeyes have only faced each other twice over the past 41 seasons (1983, ‘87).
•All but two games in the series have been played at Ohio Stadium.
•Oregon and Ohio State both played USC and Purdue in 2009. The Ducks went 2-0 against the common opponents while the Buckeyes were 0-2.
•UO is 4-2 against its last six top 10 opponents, including a 2-0 mark this season.
•The Ducks are one of only five teams in the FBS to face five top 25 teams to date in 2009 and have the best record of that group at 4-1. The others are Arizona, Washington, USC and Oklahoma. Six of UO’s ‘09 foes are ranked in the final BCS standings.
•Oregon will be appearing in it’s fifth Rose Bowl Game and first since Jan. 1, 1995, and is 1-3 all-time in the “Granddaddy of them all.” UO’s lone win was a 14-0 shutout of Pennsylvania in 1917. The Ducks are 0-2 vs. Big Ten schools in the Rose Bowl.
•Oregon’s Danny O’Neil holds the Rose Bowl record for passing yards with 456 vs. Penn State in 1995. Shy Huntington shares the interception mark with three in 1917 vs. Penn.
•Including games vs. Pac-10 foe UCLA, the Ducks are 8-9 in 17 all-time appearances when playing inside the Rose Bowl.
Oregon’s Pac-10 championship is its third of the ‘00’s. The Ducks shared the crown in 2000 and won an outright title in ‘01. Only USC, with seven conference trophies, had more than UO.
Despite the fact that the Pac-10 title and Rose Bowl bid came down to the final game of the regular season in the Civil War, the Ducks became the first team since Washington in 1991 to win the conference championship by more than one game in the final standings.
Oregon is making its second trip to a BCS bowl game since the series’ inception in 1999. The Ducks first appearance was at the 2002 Fiesta Bowl, when they defeated Colorado, 38-16. The Ducks would have gone to the Rose Bowl that season, but it was the host game for the BCS championship.
JAMES NAMED FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
FR RB LaMichael James was named Pac-10 Offensive Freshman of the Year. A redshirt from Texarkana, Texas (Liberty-Eylau HS), James enters the postseason ranked seventh in the country and second in the Pac-10 with 1,476 yards rushing. His current total is second all-time at Oregon for a single season. The owner of every meaningful freshman rushing record in school history, James has eclipsed the 100-yard mark nine times as a rookie, including the final seven games of the regular season. He is averaging 6.9 yards per carry and has run for 14 touchdowns, the third-most in one season at UO. He is the second Duck to receive the Pac-10’s freshman award and first on offense, joining Jairus Byrd (2006).
DOING IT WITH MIRRORS...AND DICKSON
Not since 1980 has the conference champion had only one player on the All-Pac-10 team voted on by the coaches. Until now. Of the 27 first team spots on offense, defense and special teams, the 8-1 Pac-10 Ducks are represented by SR TE Ed Dickson. By comparison, runner-up Oregon State has seven first-teamers and 3-6 UCLA has five. The last champ with a single all-Pac-10 performer was the ‘80 Washington Huskies, repped by PK Chuck Nelson.
SECOND TEAM QUARTET
Four Ducks received second-team all-conference accolades: FR RB LaMichael James, JR QB Jeremiah Masoli, JR LB Casey Matthews and SR DE Will Tukuafu.
JAMES IS NAT’L PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
The College Football Performance Awards has named FR RB LaMichael James as its National Freshman Performer of the Year. The CFPA selects award recipients based upon scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.
The Ducks were the first team in the Pac-10 to become bowl eligible in 2009, a feat they accomplished for the fifth straight year. Oregon has been to 16 bowls in the past 20 seasons, the eighth-most appearances in college football over that time span. The Pac-10 has seven bowl eligible teams this season.
Chip Kelly will join the man he succeeded as UO’s head coach - Mike Bellotti - as the only men to lead the Ducks to a bowl game in their first year at the helm of the program.
The Ducks remained at No. 7 in the final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings released Dec. 6. The appearance in the rankings is Oregon’s 53rd all-time, which ranks 12th among all schools in the history of the BCS. UO is the only Pac-10 school other than USC (64) on the list.
Oregon finished the regular season No. 7 in the AP, USA Today (coaches) and Harris polls. The last time UO entered the postseason ranked in the top 10 was 2005, when the Ducks were tabbed No. 6 in the AP and No. 5 in the USA Today poll before falling to Oklahoma in the Holiday Bowl, 17-14.
The Ducks had the ninth toughest schedule in the country - No. 2 among Pac-10 schools - based on cumulative opposition. UO opponents combined to post a record of 76-52 (.594) against FBS foes. Only Mississippi State played teams with more combined victories (78) than Oregon.
TOP OF THE PAC
As the Pac-10 champions, it should come as no surprise that the Ducks showed statistical prowess on both sides of the ball during conference play. The Ducks lead the Pac-10 (league games only) in 11 of 23 statistical categories, including scoring offense (41.7 ppg), total offense (475.1 ypg), total defense (316.0 ypg), rushing offense (265.8 ypg) and rushing defense (118.6). They were also the best defense against the pass (197.4 ypg) and in the red zone (77.4 pct.).
AMONG THE FBS LEADERS
FR RB LaMichael James ranks eighth in rushing yards per game (123.0) and seventh in total rushing yards (1,476) ... SR PK Morgan Flint is tied for 16th in scoring with 9.0 points per game ... As a team, UO is sixth nationally in rushing (236.08), seventh in scoring offense (37.67), 12th in sacks allowed (1.00), 17th in kickoff returns (24.48), and 21st in sacks (2.67).
COACH OF THE YEAR
Chip Kelly was named Pac-10 coach of the year, following UO’s 10-2 regular season (8-1 Pac-10) and conference title in his first year on the job. He is only the fourth coach in conference history to lead his team to 10 victories in his first Pac-10 season. Kelly is just the second Oregon mentor to earn the honor, joining Rich Brooks, who won the award in 1979 and ’94. The Granite State native is one of seven finalists for the 2009 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award - presented by the Football Writers Association of America - which will be announced Jan. 5. He is also a finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Football Coach of the Year honor - sponsored by the American Heart Association and presented Jan. 14.
JR QB Jeremiah Masoli has rushed for a touchdown in all but three of his 11 appearances this season, giving the Bay Area native at least one score in 14 of his last 18 games. He has 22 career TDs in 23 games as a Duck and is now Oregon’s all-time scoring leader at the quarterback position with 132 points, breaking Joey Harrington’s (1998-01) previous mark of 118.
Most Rushing TDs Since 2008
THE MAGNIFICENT 11
Thanks in large part to a tremendous effort from all 11 defensive positions in wins over Cal (Sept. 26), Washington State (Oct. 3) and UCLA (Oct. 10), Oregon held three consecutive opponents to less than ten points for the first time since 1980.
MASOLI SETS QB RUSHING MARK
With 55 rushing yards at Stanford Nov. 7, JR QB Jeremiah Masoli passed fellow Bay Area native Dennis Dixon as the most prolific rushing quarterback in UO history. Masoli now has 1,377 rushing yards for his career. Dixon amassed 1,208 yards between 2004 and 2007.
FLINT ON SEASON SCORING CHART
SR PK Morgan Flint ranks sixth on Oregon’s all-time scoring list for a single season, amassing 99 points to date. Fellow kicker Nathan Villegas set the school mark in 1998 with 117.
BARNER BREAKS KICK RETURN MARK
FR RB Kenjon Barner has set a new Oregon record for kickoff return yards in a single season with 898 on 37 returns. He broke Chris Oldham’s former mark of 765, set in 1988.
Chip Kelly’s seven-game winning streak earlier this season was the longest by a first-year head coach at Oregon since C.W. Spears won seven straight to start the 1930 season. Kelly’s 7-0 home mark to start a coaching career is also the best record since Spears won his first seven home games from 1930 to ‘31.
MAEHL GRABS A DOZEN
JR WR Jeff Maehl had a career night in the desert on Nov. 21, when he caught 12 passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns - all career highs - in Oregon’s overtime win at Arizona. The 12 grabs equalled the second-most ever by an Oregon player in a single game. Maehl reset his personal yardage mark 12 days later in the Civil War with 138.
LEADER OF THE PAC
JR QB Jeremiah Masoli is tops among all Pac-10 players and 14th in the nation in points accounted for with an average of 14.73 per game (27 TD: 12 run, 15 pass).
LaMichael James has put together the top season by a freshman running back in Oregon football history. The redshirt from Texarkana, Texas, has established frosh records for most yards in a single game (183 vs. USC) and season (1,476), as well as the most 100-yard games (9).
MORE ON JAMES
FR RB LaMichael James is the 14th Oregon player and first freshman to rush for 1,000 or more yards in a season. For comparison sake, Jonathan Stewart (2005) had 188 yards and Jeremiah Johnson (2005) 147 during their freshman seasons.
All-Time Single-Season Rushers
1. Jonathan Stewart (2007), 1,722
2. LaMichael James (2009) 1,476
3. Saladin McCullough (1997), 1,343
4. Reuben Droughns (1999), 1,234
5. Ahmad Rashad* (1971), 1,211
6. Derek Loville** (1988), 1,202
7. Jeremiah Johnson (2008), 1,201
8. Maurice Morris (2000), 1,188
9. Terrence Whitehead (2004), 1,144
10. Onterrio Smith (2002), 1,141
*Formerly known as Bobby Moore
**UO career leader with 3,296 yards
With two more rushes of 20-plus yards vs. Oregon State Dec. 3, FR RB LaMichael James now has 20 such runs on the season to lead all FBS players. James also leads the nation in total rushing yards against top 25 (AP) teams with 582.
SO TE David Paulson has a modest season total of 12 catches, but 11 have been for first downs. UO has scored on 11 of the 12 drives in which he has a reception.
NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND...
Former coach and current ESPN College GameDay analyst Lee Corso’s catch phrase could be directed at the Davey O’Brien award folks after they left JR QB Jeremiah Masoli off their list of 15 semifinalists released Oct. 26. In consecutive weeks, Masoli out-dueled Washington’s Jake Locker and USC’s Matt Barkley, both semifinalists for the prestigious award. Since Week 4, no Pac-10 quarterback stacks up to Masoli. From Sept. 26 to present, the former City College of San Francisco standout is completing 62.9 percent of his passes (139 of 221) with 15 touchdowns against three interceptions. He’s averaging 64.2 yards rushing per game over that stretch (6.3 per carry), with eight TDs, while totaling 275.1 yards of offense per contest.
ANOTHER TFL FOR TUKUAFU
SR DE Will Tukuafu is now ranked among the top 10 players in UO history when it comes to tackles for loss. With 6.5 on the season, Tukuafu has 32.5 in his three-year career to rank ninth. He recently passed current graduate assistant coach Peter Sirmon (1996-99), who had 32.0 TFLs as an Oregon linebacker.
FOURSOME ON CFPA WATCH LIST
The College Football Performance Awards has named four Ducks to its late-season watch list, led by JR QB Jeremiah Masoli, who is among 19 players under consideration for National Performer of the Year. Masoli is also one of two Pac-10 quarterbacks - along with Oregon State’s Sean Canfield - up for the CFPA Quarterback Trophy. FR RB LaMichael James (Running Back Trophy), SR TE Ed Dickson (Tight End Trophy) and FR RB Kenjon Barner (Kickoff Returner Trophy) are also nominated for postseason accolades, which will be awarded Jan. 11, 2010.
WARD TO SHRINE
SR DB T.J. Ward has accepted an invitation to play in the 85th annual East-West Shrine Game, benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children, on Jan. 23, 2010, in Orlando, Fla.
VS. THE TOP 10
Since 1999, the Ducks are 8-8 against top 10 opposition, including wins in four out of the last five.
VS. THE TOP 25
It didn’t take first-year head coach Chip Kelly long to experience his team being tested by a top 25 school as the Ducks drew No. 14 Boise State on the road to open the 2009 campaign. Oregon fell to the Broncos, 19-8, but have since defeated No. 18 Utah, 31-24, No. 6 Cal, 42-3, No. 4 USC, 47-20, and No. 13 Oregon State, 37-33, to improve to 4-1. Oregon was 2-1 when facing ranked teams (the week they played them) in 2008.
MASOLI AMONG OREGON’S ELITE
Just 21 games into his Oregon football career, JR QB Jeremiah Masoli joined a very elite group of Ducks on the career ledger for total offense. Masoli had 187 yards in a Nov. 14 win vs. Arizona State, pushing him past Bob Berry (4,543, 1962-64) into UO’s all-time top ten. Masoli is now up to ninth, 328 yards shy of Akili Smith (1997-98).
UO Career Total Offense
MASOLI, COSTA NAMED PAC-10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
JR QB’s Jeremiah Masoli (offense) and Nate Costa (special teams) are the latest Ducks to earn Pac-10 player of the week honors, taking home the hardware in Week 12 after leading the Ducks to an OT win at Arizona. Masoli accounted for six touchdowns (3 pass, 3 run) in leading UO back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, and Costa made a game-saving recovery and hold of a low snap on the game-tying PAT with six seconds left in regulation. They are the fourth and fifth players, respectively, to win a weekly conference honor this season, joining SR TE Ed Dickson (offense, Week 4), FR RB Kenjon Barner (special teams, Week 6) and FR RB LaMichael James (offense, Week 9).
MASOLI WINS WEEKLY ALL-AMERICA AWARD
College football fans have spoken with their mobile phones and JR QB Jeremiah Masoli is the AT&T All-America Player of the Week after his six-TD performance at Arizona in Week 12. Masoli beat out Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett, Cal tailback Shane Vereen and North Carolina safety Deunta Williams for the honor. Dennis Dixon was the last Duck to win the award, following UO’s road win at Michigan in 2007. In an odd coincidence, Mallett played in that game as a member of the Wolverines.
MASOLI NAMED WALTER CAMP POTW
JR QB Jeremiah Masoli was named national offensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation for Week 9 of the college football season, after leading the Ducks to a 47-20 blowout win of then-No. 4 USC. A preseason all-conference choice, Masoli totaled 386 yards of offense and two touchdowns (1 rush, 1 pass). He orchestrated an attack that produced 613 yards - the second-highest total ever allowed by the Trojans behind Notre Dame’s 623 yards in 1946.
With its victory vs. Oregon State Dec. 3, Oregon improved to 18-2 in the regular season when coming off a bye week since 1995. The Ducks only two setbacks came vs. Washington in 1996 and at Arizona in 2007.
The Ducks ended the nation’s longest active winning streak at 16 games, when they defeated then-No. 18 Utah, 31-24, on Sept. 19. It was the Utes first loss since Nov. 24, 2007, at BYU. The following week, UO snapped Cal’s Pac-10 best six-game streak.
Oregon’s spread offense has garnered plenty of attention over the past few seasons, but 2009 is looking like the year of the spread defense for the Ducks. In the win over No. 6 California Sept. 26, the Ducks had 19 players record two or more tackles, with no one player making more than five. In a similar effort vs. Washington Oct. 24, 17 players had multiple stops with no one Duck registering more than seven.
DICKSON NABS RECEIVING MARK
Ed Dickson is the top receiver at the tight end position in Oregon history. The senior has 124 career receptions and 1,557 receiving yards, breaking Josh Wilcox’s former marks of 103 and 1,416, respectively. Dickson’s 124 grabs are the ninth-most among all receivers in UO history.
DICKSON NAMED NAT’L POTW
SR TE Ed Dickson was named national offensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation for Week 4 of the college football season, following his performance vs. Cal (Sept. 26). The All-America candidate had career bests of 11 receptions, 148 yards and three touchdowns in UO’s 42-3 romp over the then-No. 6 Golden Bears. His 11 grabs equalled the previous school single-game mark by a tight end, tying Josh Wilcox, who had 11 in the 1995 Rose Bowl. Dickson was also one of four nominees for AT&T’s All-America Player of the Week.
MORE HONORS FOR DICKSON
SR TE Ed Dickson became the first Duck to garner Pac-10 player of the week honors in 2009, winning the offensive award for Week 4 (11 rec, 148 yds, 3 TD vs. Cal, Sept. 26). In addition, he was selected as the John Mackey tight end of the week and the College Football Performance Awards tight end performer of the week. Dickson recorded the second 100-yard receiving game of his career to become the 30th player in school history with multiple century-mark receiving efforts.
IN THE CLASSROOM
No fewer than eight players have either already completed requirements for their undergraduate degrees or are expected to by the end of the coming season. DE Will Tukuafu, DB Titus Jackson already have earned their degrees while CB Willie Glasper, TE Ed Dickson, LB Riley Showalter, CB Walter Thurmond III, DT Simi Toeaina and DB T.J. Ward are all expected to qualify to graduate no later than the end of the 2009 fall term.
LUCKY NUMBER 7
Few players looked forward to the start of the 2009 season more than Nate Costa. On Sept. 12 vs. Purdue, the junior quarterback stepped onto the field for the first time since Nov. 11, 2006, when he completed both of his pass attempts for 22 yards and ran for another 25 yards at USC. Against the Boilermakers, Costa was the holder on five extra-points and two field goal attempts. The Hillmar, Calif., product took his first quarterback snaps of ‘09 vs. Cal (Sept. 26) and completed his first two passes, running his string of consecutive completions in his career to seven. He missed his first-ever pass on his eighth all-time attempt and finished the game with a line of 4-7-0 for 35 yards. Costa made his first career start at UCLA (Oct. 10) and tossed the first TD pass of his UO tenure in the Ducks’ win. In his Oregon career, Costa has suffered two season-ending knee injuries, the last of which occurred just over a week prior to the start of the 2008 season and after he had won the No. 1 QB job in fall camp.
WHAT A RUSH
When FR RB LaMichael James surpassed 1,000 yards rushing Nov. 7 at Stanford, he extended Oregon’s streak of having at least one 1,000-yard rusher to three consecutive seasons (Jonathan Stewart in 2007 and LeGarrette Blount and Jeremiah Johnson in ‘08). The longest such streak in UO history is four, from 1999-2002.
Oregon had seven first-time starters among the 22 players who received opening assignments in the season opener Sept. 3 at Boise State. Since then, ten more players have made their starting debuts this season.
In 2007, Oregon ended the year utilizing the services of 10 true freshmen. Last season, that number dropped to five, including current squad members Garrett Embry (WR), Josh Kaddu (LB), Dewitt Stuckey (LB) and Darron Thomas (QB). This year, the Ducks have called upon only three newcomers who were playing high school football a year ago: P Jackson Rice, from Moraga’s (CA) Campolindo High School, LB Michael Clay, who joined the Ducks this summer as a linebacker from San Jose’s Bellarmine Prep, and CB Cliff Harris, a U.S. Army all-American from Fresno, Calif. (Edison HS).
FRONT AND CENTER
With the departure of three offensive linemen who were keys to last year’s offensive success and spent the summer in NFL camps, Oregon’s starting interior line entered the season having accumulated a total of only 20 career starting assignments. The defensive line was in a similar situation, returning 24 career starts -- all by DE Will Tukuafu. What may be lacking in the number of returning headliners is accounted for in experience in the program. Eight of the 10 offensive linemen in the team’s two-deep have already been in the program for a minimum of two seasons.
Following the first game, the Ducks were permitted to expand their roster above 105 for the remainder of the season and added 11 players. Of the new additions, three took part in spring practices – JR TE Sam Doman, JR OL Justin Fritz and SO DL Nick Musgrove. Expansion also brings the return of FR RB Jordan Thompson, who began fall camp on the 105-man roster, but was sent home due to illness. Spring signee and scholarship student-athlete FR DB Avery Patterson is now formally on the squad. He is joined by fellow true freshmen WR Ben Butterfield (Sherwood, OR/Sherwood), the younger brother of UO cornerback Brian Butterfield, DB J.R. Maffie, DE Andy McIntyre and DB Tyler Rittenhour, a prep teammate of FR P Jackson Rice. Rounding out the newcomers are a pair of former junior college players, JR RB Andres Reed and JR OL Josh Sanford, both from College of the Siskiyous. A second wave of walk-ons arrived in early October, by way of a tryout: De La Salle product FR DB Mikey Dosen, wide receivers FR Dane Ebanez and FR Brian Harris, FR LS Ned Lyon, FR RB Brandon Thurston and JR DL Denton Tuiasosopo, a transfer from FCS school Sacramento State and cousin of current Duck Simi Toeaina.
Seniors Walter Thurmond III and Will Tukuafu, and juniors Jordan Holmes and Jeremiah Masoli, were elected season-long captains following a team vote.
ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY
ESPN College GameDay produced its weekly college football preview show from the University of Oregon on Oct. 31, preceding the game vs. No. 4 USC. Overall, the premier college football pre-game show, which has aired weekly on ESPN since its inception in 1989, has made four trips to Eugene. The production’s first Oregon appearance occurred in 2000, when it made its first-ever appearance in the Pacific Northwest on Sept. 23 prior to the Oregon-UCLA game. Oregon and UCLA also were featured in 1998 when the show originated from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Ducks are 3-1 when hosting GameDay. The show was also in Tucson ahead of Oregon’s Nov. 21 game vs. Arizona.
It speaks well of a program when former players return to their alma mater after they have graduated to fill a role within the athletics department and Oregon has benefitted from an influx of recent returnees. In addition to long-time assistant coaches Steve Greatwood and Don Pellum, who have both served on the Oregon coaching staff for over 20 years, the Ducks have added four former players in various capacities. Former standout linebacker Peter Sirmon (1996-99) begins his first year as one of Oregon graduate assistant coaches, In addition, former defensive backs Rashad Bauman (1997-01) and Matthew Harper (2006-07) have returned as football interns while wide receiver Garren Strong (2004-07) is a recruiting intern.
An overlooked facet of Oregon’s success has been the continuity of its coaching staff. Although first-year head coach Chip Kelly is only in his third season as part of the Ducks’ program, becoming the school’s third head football coach in 33 years, the core of the staff has remained intact over the course of three different head coaches. Running backs coach Gary Campbell is in his 27th year on the Oregon staff, which equals the longest tenure of any Oregon assistant football coach in school history. In addition, offensive line coach and running game coordinator Steve Greatwood is in his 25th year on the Ducks’ coaching staff, linebackers coach Don Pellum is in his 22nd season, while defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti is in his 19th season at Oregon.
Oregon has been selected for 12 out-of-market television appearances this season: Sept. 3 at Boise State (ESPN), Sept. 12 vs. Purdue (FSN), Sept. 19 vs. Utah (ESPN), Sept. 26 vs. Cal (ABC), Oct. 10 at UCLA (ABC), Oct. 24 at Washington (ABC), Oct. 31 vs. USC (ABC/ESPN2), Nov. 7 at Stanford (FSN), Nov. 14 vs. Arizona State (ESPN), Nov. 21 at Arizona (ABC), Dec. 3 vs. Oregon State (ESPN) and Jan. 1 vs. Ohio State (ABC).
FOR THE RECORD
Oregon’s 47-20 win over USC on Halloween was the kind of result neither program had ever experienced in 55 prior meetings:
•It was the Ducks’ most points ever against the Trojans, as well as the most points scored against USC since UCLA had 48 in two overtimes in 1996.
•It was also Troy’s largest losing deficit since a 27-point loss to Washington in 1997.
•Oregon gained 613 total yards, the second most ever against USC (behind Notre Dame’s 623 in 1946), and ran for 391 yards (the most since Texas A&M had 486 in the 1977 Bluebonnet Bowl).
•Oregon’s 31 first downs were the most against Troy since UCLA had a USC opponent record-tying 32 in 1970.
•The Ducks did this against a USC defense that was allowing just 291.7 total yards (including 79.9 rushing, fifth in the nation) and 15.1 points.
•It also snapped USC’s 10-game winning streak against AP top 25 opponents.
•UO’s 24 first-half points were the most surrendered by USC since Stanford had 28 in 2004.
THURMOND OUT FOR YEAR
Preseason All-America Walter Thurmond III will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a knee injury on the opening kickoff vs. Cal (Sept. 26). The senior cornerback got off to a great start in 2009 and played instrumental roles in wins over Purdue (Sept. 12) and Utah (Sept. 19), returning an interception and punt return for touchdowns in those two games, respectively. The four-year starter posted 17 tackles in three appearances this year in addition to being ranked second in the Pac-10 (16th nationally) in punt returns (15.0 avg.) and third in the league in kickoff returns (27.7 avg.) at the time of his injury.
GLASPER DONE DUE TO KNEE
SR CB Willie Glasper will miss the remainder of the year after suffering a season-ending knee injury during a non-contact drill during practice Oct. 6. The Pittsburg, Calif., native had evolved into a special teams standout and solid reserve defensive back the past two years while earning one starting assignment prior to the start of the 2009 season. The three-year letterman had assumed the starting cornerback role in place of the injured Walter Thurmond III, who is also lost for the season with a knee injury. Glasper had recorded 11 tackles in five games this season, including 1.5 tackles of loss.
PICK-6 TIMES III
SR CB Walter Thurmond III recorded the third interception return for a touchdown of his career in UO’s Sept. 12 win vs. Purdue, placing him in a three-way tie with Rashad Bauman (1997-01) and Kenny Wheaton (1994-96) for the most in school history. Thurmond ranks third on the NCAA list for the most Pick-6 touchdowns by active FBS players.
THURMOND SETS TD MARK
Since the era of two-platoon football was re-established in the college game for good in 1965, no Oregon defensive player has accounted for more touchdowns than SR CB Walter Thurmond III. The senior has broken the plane of the end zone five times – one fumble return for a touchdown vs. Fresno State (‘07), interceptions against South Florida (’07), Oregon State (’08) and Purdue (’09), as well as punt return for a score vs. Utah (’09). Prior to Thurmond, cornerback Michael Fletcher (1996-99) held the unofficial record for most touchdowns by a non-offensive player – four (one fumble return in 1997, two punt returns in ’98 and a punt return in ’99).
KELLY AT AUTZEN
Head coach Chip Kelly made his sideline debut at Autzen Stadium in the home opener Sept. 12 (W 38-36) after spending the past two seasons calling plays from a booth high above the field as the team’s offensive coordinator. Since Kelly’s arrival in 2007, the Ducks are 17-3 at Autzen, averaging 41.1 points per home game.
The Ducks have won 10 straight games at Autzen Stadium, dating to 2008, which is tied for the second longest streak in stadium history. UO won 10 in a row at Autzen between 1989 and ‘91, and a record 23 straight between 1997 and 2001. Oregon has won its last nine Pac-10 contests at home since falling in overtime against Oregon State in the 2007 Civil War.
HOUSE OF LOUD
With seven home crowds beyond capacity this season, including a State of Oregon record 59,597 vs. Oregon State on Dec. 3, Oregon has sold out Autzen Stadium (cap. 54,000) for 68 consecutive games, dating to 1999.
For only the third time in school history, Oregon sold over 43,000 football season tickets, with ticket sales topping the 43,200 mark. That total is slightly below the 43,242 figure from 2007 while the Ducks sold 44,182 season tickets a year ago. Single-game reserved seats have been exhausted for all home games this season.