Monday, January 3, 4:30 p.m. MST
The Valley of the Sun stayed true to it's name early Monday as the Ducks woke to bright, blue skies ready to begin their final week of preparation for the BCS Championship Game.
The early morning consisted of treatment, breakfast and meetings at the hotel before heading to the practice site for lifting. Practice - on a meticulously manicured sod pitch - formally got underway shortly before 11 a.m. local time. It was UO's first time practicing on grass since preseason camp back in August.
Fourth-year senior Kenny Rowe will play in his 52nd game as a Duck one week from today.
The workout was typical for a normal game week Monday, but the guys seemed to bring a little extra pent up energy to the field with them. Not sure if it was due to a change of scenery or just the anticipation of playing in the biggest football game of their lives, but the team's spirit and enthusiasm was incredibly high throughout the entire session.
The Ducks' timing off the field proved to be as good as it was on it. As soon as the team arrived back at the hotel, clouds moved in, the temperature dropped and it started to hail before switching to a light, but steady rain. Some might consider that to be perfect studying weather, which is what the team commenced doing after lunch, participating in the first day of winter term classes despite being more than 1,200 miles from campus.
Oregon has another early night in store before doing it all again on Tuesday. This time next week, they'll be playing for the national championship.
Bryan Bennett throws bullets ... Darron Thomas is throwing a better ball now than he was early in the year. It's always been accurate, but now it just looks prettier ... The Ducks have their share of playmakers, but the way the entire group approaches practice is what makes this team so good ... Next year's stable of potential punt and kickoff return men is going to be the best in program history ... Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James have either gotten faster or those Volt Green cleats really do create a blur effect ... There was no real wind to speak of, but I've got to think the video student-assistants who went up on lifts for the first time since August had thoughts of Notre Dame's Declan Sullivan while they were up there.
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