by Rob Moseley
Venue: Autzen Stadium
Format: Jerseys and shorts
Oregon's "Fast Friday" is an interesting beast. The Ducks actually have helmets on for Thursday practices, though they're going about half-speed. On Friday there's no padding whatsoever, but players are expected to run at 100 percent, firing their systems back up for the game tomorrow.
As usual, today began with a 10-minute 11-on-11 period for the non-travel squad. Essentially, the scout team. Darren Carrington opened the period with a nice catch in traffic, Davaysia Hagger made another three plays later and Austin Daich added a third to end the period. Lane Roseberry had a long breakaway run, while outside linebackers Mike Garrity and Ivan Faulhaber had tackles on the edge to prevent similar plays. Damion Hobbs scrambled for a nice gain after not being able to find an open receiver, provided both time in pass protection and then a running lane by an offensive line of Jamal Prater, Evan Voeller, Doug Brenner, Jake Pisarcik and Matthew McFadden. Faulhaber and Tyree Robinson blanketed receivers and forced Hobbs to throw the ball away on another rep.
Then the travel squad (no, the Ducks aren't traveling this week, but that's the terminology) took the field. The first period features the entire defense dropping back, an interception being thrown and the unit reversing field to block for the returner, as they did for a couple of long ones at Virginia. Yes, they really do practice just about any scenario that might come up.
After practice, Mark Helfrich briefly addressed the weather with his team. It's expected to be cold and wet Saturday night. "You know that those conditions are?" Helfrich asked. "Perfect. Whatever the conditions are, they're perfect."
Scout-team spotlight: Redshirting freshman linebacker Danny Mattingly gets the nod in this space for more than just one play, but we'll highlight one that jumped out in particular to the man who nominated him, UO graduate assistant Joe Bernardi.
Mattingly was playing against Oregon's ones when they ran a play that required a cut block from center Hroniss Grasu. "A lot of guys would have up eased up in that situation," Bernardi said. "(Mattingly) ran right through it."
From what I've seen of Mattingly, that's his M.O. The native of Spokane always seems to be going a half-tick faster than everybody else on the field, and eases up on a play a half-tick later. "That's the coaches' biggest thing, is to always run," Mattingly said. "And it's always fun to be around the ball."
When it comes to putting his body on the line against a cut block like the one Grasu threw, "I don't really have anything to lose right now," Mattingly said, referring to his redshirt status. "To be honest I am pretty fearless with my body right now."
The Ducks needed that effort from Mattingly this week. Cal's inside 'backers, Hardy Nickerson and Khairi Fortt, really fly to the ball, Bernardi said, and Mattingly did a good job replicating that style.
"He's a football player," Bernardi said. "He's young, and obviously his football IQ will get better with experience. But in terms of running and hitting and playing hard — the intangibles you look for in a football player — he's really good."
BASKETBALL - M
BASKETBALL - W
GOLF - M
GOLF - W
TENNIS - M
TENNIS - W
TRACK & FIELD
Mon, Dec 30
Football 3:45 PM
Valero Alamo Bowl
San Antonio, Texas