Tuesday, August 17, 6:45 p.m. PDT
There was only one practice on the schedule Tuesday, with the Ducks going through an extended workout on the grass fields in full pads. One added wrinkle was the presence of officials, who presided over team drills as well as live tackle periods.
Practice No. 10 of preseason camp marked the third practice of the week, and all three have featured better ball security and fewer turnovers in general than last week.
Like yesterday, there were plenty of reps to go around for true freshmen running backs Lache Seastrunk and Dontae Williams with the top two offensive units as LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and Remene Alston Jr. were held out of contact drills.
A post-practice interview with Chip Kelly should be up soon on GoDucks.TV. You can also watch Monday's interviews with Kelly, assistant coach Don Pellum (linebackers) and AD Rob Mullens by selecting Coach Interviews.
It's back to two-a-days on Wednesday for practices Nos. 11 and 12.
Today was one of those days that didn't have a shortage of highlight moments, so I'll go with one on offense and one on defense. Junior receiver Lavasier Tuinei solicited applause from the largest crowd of spectators this preseason when he hauled in a Darron Thomas offering with one hand. The ball appeared to be thrown too high, but Tuinei extended his right hand and brought it down without breaking stride. Defensively, Eddie Pleasant came up to meet Seastrunk on a run play and delivered an audible blow that had the freshman checking to see if his helmet was still strapped on.
Won the Day
On offense, Tuinei continues to play at a really high level and had multiple catches in key spots while showing a willingness to be physical with defensive backs in battling for balls. Defensively, Dewitt Stuckey made his presence known on special teams, making solo tackles on both a kickoff and punt return. The junior linebacker also had a nice one-on-one stop against the speedy Seastrunk to prevent a big gain.
At least 300 fans who managed to find a couple of free hours on a midweek afternoon to watch practice. Among the things they saw was a collision between tight end Brandon Williams and safety Javes Lewis where the latter broke up a potential completion but was steamrolled by the former in the process.
Defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro telling a linebacker in his raspy Brooklyn accent, "You wanna blitz? You've got to pay the price!" after a fast-paced and repetitive positioning drill with the front seven.
Darron or Nate?
Both quarterbacks stayed away from turnovers and piled up the completions in the short to midrange passing game, although neither had a ton of success today on deep balls. Running the football was a different story as both Costa and Thomas ripped off some big gains and really ran the ball with purpose. Somebody is going to have to emerge as the starter before Sept. 4, but it's still too close to call.
MATTHEWS ON BUTKUS WATCH LIST
Middle linebacker Casey Matthews was one of 51 players named to the watch list for the Butkus Award, presented annually to the nation's top linebacker. The senior, who tied for second on the team with 81 tackles last year, is also on the watch lists for the Lott Trophy (defensive player) and Lombardi Award (outstanding lineman or linebacker).
SO YOU'RE SAYING THERE'S A CHANCE?
At least one national college football blogger considers Oregon as a potential national championship contender, ranking the Ducks as having the second-best chance of actually reaching the title game. ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson pegs Iowa No. 1, followed by Oregon and Ohio State in a list of 20 teams with the best opportunity to play for it all.
Kellen Clemens made a strong case for keeping a job on the New York Jets' quarterback depth chart last night, completing 7 of 10 attempts for 84 yards in a loss against the New York Giants on Monday night. The Burns, Ore. native has played in 24 games, including nine starts, over four seasons with the Jets.
Redshirt freshman tight end Clint Sager has been added to the 105-man roster for preseason camp, replacing JC wide receiver David Carter.
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