by Rob Moseley
It's on to Nicholls preparations as the Ducks concluded preseason camp today.
Venue: Autzen Stadium
Format: Full pads
Situations: Various down-and-distance situations for the full team, and a few kickoffs and kickoff returns, plus field-goal kicking.
Highlights: Mark Helfrich said today's scrimmage was going to be focused on younger players, and he wasn't messing around -- starting quarterback Marcus Mariota played just one series. The irony of that possession for the offense was, Bralon Addison dropped two passes, before going on to be one of today's standouts.
The day began titled toward the defense, with Lane Roseberry running for the only touchdown of the first half. Addison hauled in a jump ball deep down the field from Jake Rodrigues and then fought off defenders into the end zone, but there was a penalty on the play.
Addison later returned a kickoff for a touchdown, with Issac Dixon clearing out two coverage guys on the play. And the little receiver might have even had the best hit of the day, a crackback block on Reggie Daniels while Josh Huff was running with the ball.
"The DBs had kind of been punking us all camp long, because we couldn't really knock people around or cut them," Addison said. "It felt good to get up under Reggie that one time. I was really excited about that play."
Addison had been limited by some nagging injuries over the course of camp, as nearly everybody has. But he looked great today; he gets compared often to De'Anthony Thomas because of their all-purpose roles, but he's much more of a slippery, shifty runner, as opposed to Thomas' elite speed.
"I had a lot of fun out there today," Addison said. "I was just excited I got a chance to participate today."
The Ducks ran some 120 plays between the offense and defense, and had just one turnover, a fumble late in the scrimmage. There were also no major injuries, Helfrich said, though he was disappointed with the number of flags, thrown by the officiating crew that was on hand.
Overall, though, Helfrich was pleased with the effort he saw.
"The defense kind of got the better a little bit of it early, and the offense kind of got after them in the red zone portion," Helfrich said.
Over the next 48 hours, coaches will meet and set their depth chart. They'll also sit down with young players to discuss the possibility of redshirting.
FWIW, I didn't see anything today that changed my mind dramatically regarding which young guys might play. Receiver Devon Allen did some impressive things as a kickoff returner, and also caught a late touchdown from Damion Hobbs, but the Ducks have plenty of veteran options as both returners and receivers.
Other highlights: Jeff Lockie threw three second-half touchdowns, to Josh Huff, Kani Benoit and Johnny Mundt. The freshman tight end Mundt earlier caught a ball and absolutely trucked a safety, and his touchdown was a nice sliding catch in the back of the end zone.
Benoit added a couple late rushing touchdowns, and the offense also got rushing TDs from Huff and Colt Lyerla. Jake Rodrigues used play action to set up a touchdown pass to Keanon Lowe, and he completed another to Chance Allen, who was leaning out of bounds in the end zone but kept his toes in.
Other observations: Oshay Dunmore spent some more time at outside linebacker today, and was really impressive. He had a sack and then pressured the quarterback into an incompletion on consecutive plays, and later forced the day's only fumble. No doubt, if he does move down from safety permanently, he'll need some time to adjust, but this could be a great move in the long run. ... The placekickers had another up-and-down day, but finished with a flourish. Alejandro Maldonado connected from 45, 30 and 42 yards on his final three attempts, and Matt Wogan made his last two, from 39 and 42 yards. ... The scrimmage format included a halftime in which the Ducks used the old visitor's locker room in the west end zone of Autzen. The Ducks will use that one for games as well, to cut down on time lost walking to and from the new football center. Opponents will now use a locker room outside the stadium's east end zone. ... Running back Thomas Tyner was spotted by local media walking without a boot following the scrimmage.
Up next: The Ducks hit the bowling lanes for some team-building tonight, and return to practice Saturday.