By Rob Moseley
Venue: Outdoor practice fields
Format: Helmets only
In each of the last four years, Oregon has been one of the country’s top 10 teams in average scoring margin. The Ducks just haven’t played a whole lot of close games.
But you have to be prepared for every eventuality. And so the Ducks found themselves once again going through an overtime scenario this morning, to close out the first of two practices Monday.
The No. 1 offense continues to show signs that it’s clicking as camp progresses. It quickly scored to open the drill, with Marcus Mariota completing a couple of balls to Dwayne Stanford. The last was for a touchdown after a long Thomas Tyner run was whistled down inside the 5-yard line; at full speed, Tyner probably bullies his way into the end zone himself.
The No. 2 defense turned the tables, with the offense knowing it needed a touchdown to extend the scenario. Reggie Daniels broke up one play, and then the front seven bottled up a run on fourth down to end practice. Based just on the overtime drill, the Ducks look like they’ve got an offense finding its rhythm, and a defense ready to go two-deep at most positions and thus employ a heavy rotation to keep guys fresh.
Highlights: There was also a bunch of red-zone work this morning, both in the tempo drill to start the day and the 7-on-7 periods. The offense got off to a hot start, which hasn’t always been the case this month, with Mariota running for a touchdown in tempo and Lockie completing a scoring pass to Royce Freeman.
The 7-on scenario began deep in the red zone. Mariota completed TD passes to Darren Carrington twice, Devon Allen and Keanon Lowe. Morgan Mahalak had scoring passes to Kani Benoit and Taylor Stinson, and Ty Griffin completed the best ball I’ve seen from him this month, a laser to B.J. Kelley through a very small window. Griffin also threw a pick, though it required a really athletic, leaping effort from Justin Hollins.
Other observations: During a punt drill, Ian Wheeler looked to me like the most consistent guy out there. … Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Carrington and Allen fielded punts, though I’m figuring Johnathan Loyd could end up being the guy there. … Tony Washington was called out by name a couple times by Tom Osborne for quality reps on the coverage team. … Tight end Jake McCreath nearly had a play of the day in 7-on, leaping to catch a Lockie pass but coming down just outside the back of the end zone. … The Ducks wore their green game helmets to test their fit for use this fall.