Wednesday, August 20, 5:00 p.m.
Today's second practice will officially mark the end of daily doubles for the Ducks this Fall Camp. Hard to believe, but after tonight, Oregon will practice only eight more times prior to the start of its 2008 college football season. As a result, the Ducks are tightening fan and media access to workouts as they begin to fine tune the game plan for the rival UW Huskies. Today's practice is closed, as is Friday's scrimmage, with future closures likely when the team works out in full pads inside Autzen Stadium.
As you can imagine, local media members are less than enthusiastic about this news, but that's due in part to the fact that Coach Bellotti typically runs one of the more accessible BCS programs in the country. From the team's perspective, there is too much at stake on Aug. 30 to freely disseminate certain types of information regarding UO's preparations for the start of Pac-10 play.
For example, UW boss Tyrone Willingham was quoted in Tuesday's Seattle P-I as wanting to know who Oregon's starting quarterback is going to be for the opener. "You'd like to know," Willingham said. "It gives you a better look at what the skills of that individual are. So, if you can have that information, it's better to know."
It sure is. I'll bet Coach Aliotti would love to know how mobile quarterback Jake Locker will be one week from Saturday, but he'll have to wait like everyone else not wearing purple and gold on the Husky Stadium sidelines during Fall Camp.
Call this dueling tight-lipped-ness "paranoia" if you must, but I prefer gamesmanship. This isn't UO/Portland State (no offense to the Man in Black and his run-and-shoot Vikings, which should make plenty of noise in the FBS this season), this is Ducks/Huskies!
In other news, the Pac-10 football season starts next Thursday in Palo Alto, when Stanford plays host to Oregon State. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. on ESPN2. Read more in the first weekly Pac-10 press release.
Speaking of kickoffs, the Ducks now have start times for their first six games of the season. Recently confirmed were the home games against Utah State (Sept. 6) and Boise State (Sept. 20), which will both begin at 12:30 p.m. PT.