by Rob Moseley
Venue: Autzen Stadium
Format: Jerseys and shorts
OK, so those details above are assumptions based on last week. Allow me to explain.
Today brings the occasion of your humble correspondent's first road trip in this new in-house role. That means flying on the team charter. And thus not missing the team charter. Which is why I elected to skip practice this one time.
The Ducks are scheduled to leave Eugene at 11 a.m. PT, arrive in Richmond, Va., some five hours later, about 7 p.m. ET, and then bus to Charlottesville. The team scheduled its up-tempo Friday practice for 8 a.m. today, and had I attended, it would have been a really tight turn-around to get a report posted, race to the airport, drop bags at the charter terminal, go back through security, etc.
Fears of missing my first trip with the team danced in my head when I saw that schedule. And I'll be darned if I'm going to be that guy. This week, at least.
So, no practice for me today. Just this once. I hope.
Scout-team spotlight: Special recognition first off to senior offensive lineman Brian Teague. With numbers thin at tight end for the time being, Teague moved back to his old position with the scouts this week. Made for one massive slot receiver when he flexed out off the line, I tell you. The return to health of Pharaoh Brown and addition this week of walk-on Davasyia Hagger will hopefully alleviate that need going forward, but for this week Teague showed his willingness to do everything and anything for the team by pulling off his knee braces mid-practices to run routes.
The focus of this week's spotlight, though, is the defensive line. UO coach Mark Helfrich has lauded Virginia's defensive line all week, and the guys tasked with simulating that front in practice drew kudos from Oregon's staff for their efforts. T.J. Daniel and Cody Carriger stood in for Virginia's Dion Jordan clone, Eli Harold; Ryan Hagen and Stetzon Bair mimicked tackles David Dean and Brent Urban, respectively; and David Kafovalu played the part of end Jake Snyder.
"We asked them to do a lot, as well as play a lot of plays, and they did a fantastic job giving the picture we needed," said graduate assistant Joe Bernardi, who made a point after practice Thursday of shaking each guy's hand in appreciation.
Bair, for instance, was tasked with using his 6-foot-9 frame to mimic the 6-7 Urban. Not only is Urban tall, but he's effective at getting his long arms up to disrupt passing lanes; sure enough, I happened to see Bair knock down a Marcus Mariota pass during Wednesday's practice.
"Before we come out to practice we always have a scout meeting and look at what they do," Hagen said. "We just try and kind of mimic what they do. If a guy does a certain thing a lot, they'll ask us to do that."
The Ducks' scouts had to simulate Virginia's schemes as well as individual techniques.
"They're always moving right at the snap of the ball," Hagen said. "They run a lot of stunts, and a lot of inside stuff. As a D line we had to be on top of our game and give a good look."
Like the scout offensive line, which I mentioned in Tuesday's report, the D linemen in navy scout jerseys this week endured two grueling days Monday and Tuesday when the heat was elevated in the Mo Center. There weren't many subs to go around, but the D line maintained a strong enough effort to earn this week's scout-team mention.
Oregon Football Practice Report — Sept. 6
Release Date: 09/06/2013