by Rob Moseley
Editor, GoDucks.com

Venue: Moshofsky Center
Format: Shells

The Ducks' wake-up call came a little earlier today, the first day of classes for the university. Practices will now end around 11 a.m. each day, rather than as late as noon at times the last few weeks, so that players can get across the river for school in the afternoon.

This week will surely be an adjustment, particularly for the freshmen. But ultimately, linebacker Derrick Malone said, guys typically perform better academically in the fall despite trying to balance school and football.

"Because it's such a strict schedule; in the winter you have more free time," Malone said. "So it works out pretty well when we get back in school."

To help the newcomers adjust, academic coordinator Tim Bruegman held seminars last week to get them acquainted with navigating campus. Speaking from experience, it can be pretty comical for a freshman trying to find that first classroom of the fall, and then the second if you only have 5-10 minutes between classes.

"You've just gotta keep your priorities right, make sure you've got your schedule and know what you have to get done," senior D lineman Taylor Hart said.

With the earlier start to the day, the smart players will try to get to bed earlier, too.

After afternoon classes, they'll be back at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex for training table (i.e., dinner) and meetings. Malone said he tries to wrap up homework prior to that, so that once he leaves the football complex around 6:30 or 7 p.m., he's got a little time to relax before getting to bed.

"You can't slip on your school, because then you'll be up all night studying," Malone said. "And when you've got to wake up early in the morning, you can't survive through the season with five hours of sleep a night."

Highlights: The weather Saturday obviously had a lot to do with all the fumbles, but today the Ducks showed how much stripping the ball is emphasized in practice. DeForest Buckner, who forced one fumble and recovered another Saturday, did both on the same play early in practice. Later, Avery Patterson had a scoop and score. … The wind and rain also played havoc with the passing game Saturday. In the Mo today the UO offense was back to its typical efficiency, with Marcus Mariota rifling scoring passes to Eric Dungy and Josh Huff during 11-on-11. … During the same period, Jeff Lockie connected on an intermediate length pass to Thomas Tyner, who scooted into the end zone. … Jake Pisarcik had a pancake during one-on-one pass-rush drills. … An outmatched cornerback was driven about 25 yards down the field when left tackle Andre Yruretagoyena got his hands on him.

Other observations: There continues to be no public update on the status of De'Anthony Thomas in the wake of his ankle injury Saturday. "The type of player he is, you're going to miss him no matter what, but guys really stepped up — Byron (Marshall) stepped up and Thomas (Tyner) stepped up," Mariota said. "The motto around here is 'next man up.' Those guys played well, and obviously we're going to miss De'Anthony, but he's going to take care of it and it's his business." … About a dozen university students attended an open tryout for walk-ons after practice. In the past it was a much larger number, but the recruiting staff does a lot of background work prior to the tryout now, thinning the numbers. I don't know how today went, but typically only a player or two will be asked to join the team for practices. … Not only will former Colorado assistant Mark Helfrich be returning to Boulder this week, but graduate assistant Cha'pelle Brown will be back on campus after playing for the Buffs from 2006-08. Brown was an undergraduate assistant in 2011 and a GA in 2012 for his alma mater. Also, Oregon GA Joe Bernardi's father, Gary, is Colorado's offensive line coach.