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Placekicker, Backup QB Battles Ongoing; Tyner Back Soon
Release Date: 09/01/2013
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by Rob Moseley

Perhaps it was only natural that, in Mark Helfrich's initial evaluation of video on Virginia, the Oregon coach's eyes gravitated toward two of the biggest men on the field.

Fresh off Saturday's 66-3 win over Nicholls at home, Helfrich and the No. 3 Ducks will go on the road this week, to face Virginia. There, the UO football team will be challenged by a "very impressive D line," Helfrich said.

"They're really big and athletic on defense, very impressive," Helfrich said after watching video of the Cavaliers' 19-16 win over visiting BYU this weekend. "They really dominated the game defensively."

Helfrich specifically mentioned the defensive tackle tandem of 6-foot-7, 295-pound Brent Urban and the 6-1, 290-pound David Dean. Virginia plays the speedy Eli Harold at one end, stout Jake Snyder at the other and has Henry Coley patrolling at middle linebacker.

The Ducks will head to Virginia on Friday, but Helfrich expressed little concern over the distance travelled on the road trip, at least initially. He said trips East to West are typically more taxing.

"Instead of relaxing and hydrating here, getting ready for the game, they'll be relaxing and hydrating on a plane," Helfrich said.

In reviewing video of the Ducks against Nicholls, Helfrich said he saw "a lot of stuff that we can clean up, and could have been more efficient, in every phase."

The UO coach praised the decision-making of Marcus Mariota, if not always the execution of his throws. He said he'll continue to reinforce the new targeting rule with the Ducks, after speaking with the conference coordinator of officials today for more clarity on Terrance Mitchell's ejection Saturday.

Helfrich said the battle between backup quarterbacks Jeff Lockie and Jake Rodrigues will be ongoing, as will the one between placekickers Alejandro Maldonado and Matt Wogan.

"Both (Lockie and Rodrigues) did some good things, and both those guys could have done things more effectively and cleanly," Helfrich said.

Though the Ducks had three 100-yard rushers Saturday, many fans were concerned that heralded freshman running back Thomas Tyner did not play. Helfrich said of Tyner, "I expect him to be ready to go in the very near future."

Running backs coach Gary Campbell said Saturday he expected that Tyner would be on the trip to Virginia.

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