The Philadelphia Eagles offense is certainly expected to get much faster under new head coach Chip Kelly and the new scheme is apparently inspiring some fun competition at the team’s offseason conditioning workouts.
Eagles safety Colt Anderson broke this news earlier Thursday.
That’s right, a 32-year-old quarterback Michael Vick coming off an injury-plagued season finished ahead of the team’s 24-year-old starting halfback LeSean McCoy.
Then he took the time to rub it in for the world to see.
“So today at the field 1 of my teammates called me old & bagged to race me in the 40yd dash. Anybody want to guess which player? #BirdGang”
“Beat him by a few yards too lol #SpeedKILLS”
Former West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart, who was hailed as Rich Rodriguez’s successor but wound up leaving the school in a messy split, died Monday of what athletic department officials said was an apparent heart attack. He was 59.
Stewart’s family notified the university and said Stewart had been out golfing with the longtime friend who hired him as head coach, former athletic director Ed Pastilong. West Virginia spokesman Michael Fragale said he had no further details, and Pastilong couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
“Coach Stewart was a rock-solid West Virginian and a true Mountaineer,” athletic director Oliver Luck said in a statement released by the university. “His enthusiasm and passion for his state’s flagship university was infectious. We join all Mountaineers in mourning his passing.”
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, who was governor at the time Stewart became head coach, said Stewart was a longtime friend who “leaves behind a lifetime of memories and love for our state.”
“Bill was a proud West Virginian in every sense of the word,” Manchin said, “and he was the best cheerleader this state ever had.”
The West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association held its annual golf tournament Monday at Stonewall Jackson Resort in Roanoke.
Ryan Crook of Beckley said he was playing in the tournament behind a group that included Stewart and Pastilong. Crook said he saw Stewart collapse on the 16th hole. Members of Crook’s group drove their carts to Stewart’s side, and ambulances were called, Crook said.
Stewart went 28-12 in three seasons after taking over when Rodriguez left for Michigan after the 2007 regular season, but resigned last summer and was replaced by Dana Holgorsen the same night.
In December 2007, Mountaineer fans unleashed their fury on Rodriguez for breaking his contract early and taking the Michigan job. He left the Mountaineers not long after a painful loss to rival Pittsburgh cost them a shot at the national championship and two weeks before the Fiesta Bowl game against Oklahoma, taking recruits and assistants with him.
It was Stewart, a deeply religious family man, who stepped in and guided the team to a surprising 48-28 victory over the Sooners.
In the euphoric aftermath, he was given the job full-time – to the surprise of many – but the Mountaineers didn’t go to another BCS bowl under his leadership and Stewart couldn’t match the production of Rodriguez. In Stewart’s three seasons, West Virginia averaged at least 79 fewer yards per game than the 2007 team.
In December 2010, Luck – then just months into his tenure – decided to hire Holgorsen as offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting for the 2011 season. Holgorsen would run West Virginia’s offense while Stewart would coach the team one final season before moving into an administrative job.
Wins and losses weren’t the only issue for the coaching change. Luck said season-ticket sales had declined in the year after Stewart became head coach.
Luck said he’d modeled the transition after those done when Bret Bielema took over at Wisconsin and Chip Kelly assumed control at Oregon. Luck said he had no doubt it would be handled professionally, noting both coaches said they supported the idea.
And Stewart was diplomatic about the hire, saying the team would let Holgorsen “implement ideas and schemes in preparation of getting the finest offensive staff we can compile.”
Six months later, the arrangement had fallen apart, and Stewart’s departure became difficult. Both he and Holgorsen made unwanted headlines in the weeks leading up to the shake-up.
An intoxicated Holgorsen was escorted out of a casino, then a former newspaper reporter said that Stewart had approached him shortly after Holgorsen’s hiring to “dig up dirt” on his eventual successor.
“At the time I thought it made a lot of sense, I thought it was good management practice,” Luck said last June. “With hindsight, folks could certainly disagree.”
In Holgorsen’s first season, the Mountaineers went 10-3, were Big East co-champions and beat Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl.
“The State of West Virginia, our University and our football program has lost a true Mountaineer who gave his native state university a decade of coaching service and a lifetime of guidance and inspiration to thousands of young men over a 33-year career,” Holgorsen said Monday. “Though Coach Stewart achieved many great milestones on the field, we will most remember his kindness and compassion.”
Former West Virginia running back Steve Slaton, who entered the NFL draft after his junior season in 2007, said he was at a loss for words. “I am honored to have had him as a friend and coach,” Slaton said. “I know every player that has had the opportunity to be around him would say the same.”
Stewart, a native of New Martinsville, attended Fairmont State and earned a master’s degree in health and physical education from WVU in 1977.
He had assistant coaching stints at seven colleges before becoming head coach at VMI in 1994, going 8-25 in three seasons. After a two-year stint in the Canadian Football League, Stewart was hired by Don Nehlen as an assistant at West Virginia.
“Bill was such a great Mountaineer and a great addition to our staff,” Nehlen said. “It was a terrific hire – he did a great job not only for me, but for Rich and as a head coach. Bill was such a great husband and a great father. Bill Stewart was a great Mountaineer.”
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin got his first coaching job when Stewart hired him as an assistant at VMI, and Tomlin was elated when Stewart got the West Virginia job.
“We are saddened by the passing of Coach Stew,” Tomlin said in a statement released by the Steelers. “He was a great coach and a tremendous person. We not only lost a good football person, we lost an even better family man.”
Stewart and his wife, Karen, have one son, Blaine.
Oregon football coach Chip Kelly will not be jumping ship to the NFL, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
According to the report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik said Kelly’s heart is with college football. Kelly reportedly met with the Bucs late last week and was near a final deal on Sunday night. With the proximity to National Signing Day, the Times reports Kelly quickly ended talks once he decided to stay.
Oregon reached a BCS bowl game in each of Kelly’s three seasons. Kelly, 48, is 34-6 as the Ducks’ coach. In 2010 Oregon played for the BCS national championship but lost a thriller to Auburn. The Ducks won this year’s Rose Bowl against Wisconsin.
Oregon’s recent success has been mainly because of Kelly’s explosive no-huddle, spread attack that takes advantage of the team’s speed at the skill positions.
One of those skill players was former Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount, who now is a key part of the Bucs’ backfield.
Raheem Morris was fired earlier this month after three seasons in Tampa Bay. The Times reports at least eight known candidates have interviewed for the position. New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell could be on the team’s list in addition to that group.
The Oregonian came up with the most clever headline for the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game as it gave a little chuckle and was nothing too cute, like Chip Kelly’s offense last night.
This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features University of Oregon Ducks taking on Auburn University Tigers in the 5th actual BCS National Championship Game to be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Auburn, 13-0, 8-0 SEC, Tigers have had a magical season in part to the play of Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Cam Newton as the team went undefeated on the year. Head coach Gene Chizik Tigers definitely had some scares along the way to reaching Glendale as Clemson took them into overtime and they had to rally to defeat the defending national champion Alabama while a lot of speculation surrounded Newton. The Tigers carried that over that momentum into the SEC Championship game where they routed South Carolina.
The Tigers put up some gaudy offensive numbers as they ranked 4th in the nation with 42 ppg, 5th in rushing at 287.2 ypg and 7th in total offense at 497.7 ypg. Newton was the reason for those numbers as the junior quarterback rushed for 1,409 yards and 20 touchdowns while throwing for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns with 6 interceptions.
Newton was definitely the showcase of the offense but did share the spotlight at times with running backs Michael Dyer, who rushed for 950 yards and 5 touchdowns and Onterio McCalebb, 763 yards and 9 touchdowns. When Newton looked to throw the ball he wide receivers more than capable of catching his passes like Darvin Adams who had 48 receptions for 909 yards and 7 touchdowns and Emory Blake’s 500 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Defensively the Tigers as whole is nothing all that spectacular but they do have an impact player in junior tackle Nick Fairley who has 21 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks on the season.
The Tigers have one national title to their credit but that came back in 1957.
Oregon, 12-0, 9-0 Pac-10, Ducks navigated through their season without much of a fight except for a game in mid November against California where they came out with a 15-13 win. The rest of the season second year head coach Chip Kelly watched as his team destroyed the competition, by winning the rest of their 11 games by double digits. The Ducks won it’s second straight Pac-10 title and became the first team in conference history to win nine league games.
Like Auburn, Oregon is too an offensive jugernaught as they led the nation in scoring with 49 ppg and total offense at 537.5 ypg while ranking 4th in rushing with 303.8 ypg.
It is Oregon’s team speed that presents the most problems for teams and it starts with Sunday bound badass LaMichael James. The sophomore running back is simply as good as it gets and finished as the nations leading rusher with 152.9 ypg and a total of 1,682 yards on the season with 21 touchdowns all the while sitting out the season opener. When James leaves the game his backup Kenjon Barner has kept the offensive going and has done so on limited carries. Barner has 80 carries and has gained 519 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Quarterback Darron Thomas has been impressive under center this season as both a passer where he has 2,518 yards and 28 touchdowns with 7 interceptions while rushing for 492 yards and 5 touchdowns. It’s easy to get lost on this offensive with such stars as James and Thomas, both from the state of Texas, but wide receiver Jeff Maehl is as dangerous and very reliable target downfield. Maehl has had a huge senior season, earning All-Pac-10 honors with 68 catches for 943 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The team has also excelled elsewhere with an offensive line that has only allowed 8 sacks on the season and has All-American returner Cliff Harris on special teams who has 4 punt returns for touchdowns on the season.
Defensively the Ducks are loaded with speed that has forced 35 forced turnovers and 31 sacks. The Ducks have a few impact players on this side of the ball and it begins in the middle with linebacker Casey Matthews team-high 73 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries and Spencer Paysinger, 68 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery. The secondary is as good as it gets with Talmadge Jackson 2 interceptions, John Boyett 5 interceptions, Cliff Harris 5 interceptions. Defensive end Kenny Rowe is also a force on the line with his 12.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks.
This is the first ever meeting between the two schools.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks
This game goes down on the Versus network and it features University of Oregon Ducks taking on California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium.
Head coach Chip Kelly owns the nation’s most productive offense and a pretty strong defense as well, which is a perfect 9-0 on the season. The first time that has happened in the 115 seasons the school has been competing in football. The Ducks have soared past the opposition with relative ease this year, with an 11-point win at Arizona State back in September being their smallest margin of victory.
Despite failing to score in the first quarter for the first time this season, Oregon blasted visiting Washington last weekend, 53-16. It was the seventh straight win for the Ducks over the Huskies, and no game during that stretch was closer than 20 points.
Oregon’s high-powered offense, which averages a national-best 54 points and 567.2 total yards per game, utilizes a punishing rushing attack of 305.4 ypg to do the bulk of its damage. Sophomore running back LaMichael James is one of a handful of players still in the Heisman Trophy race, as he has rushed for 1,331 yards and 17 TDs. His 6.8 ypc average leads the team, but he isn’t alone in terms of that kind of production as a total of eight different players average in excess of five yards per carry.
When the Ducks decide to put the ball in the air, it is the job of quarterback Darron Thomas to find the open man, and he has done so roughly 62 percent of the time this year for an average of 230 ypg. He has thrown 22 touchdowns passes against only six INTs, and Jeff Maehl is the team’s leading receiver with 54 grabs for 746 yards and 10 scores.
The Oregon defense is just yielding 17 points and 329.0 total yards per contest. The effort against the run has been good, with foes turning in just 126.6 ypg, and pressure on the quarterback has come in waves as the Ducks have logged 26 sacks. Kenny Rowe has six himself. Oregon has logged 28 takeaways this season, and Cliff Harris has five INTs and Casey Matthews and John Boyett have three apiece.
As for California, it opened the season at 2-2, but has won three of its last five to climb a game above .500 (5-4), and even its Pac-10 mark (3-3) in the process. The most recent outing took place last weekend at Washington State, and the Golden Bears claimed a 20-13 win.
Cal is a perfect 4-0 at home this season, beating up on the likes of UC Davis, Colorado, UCLA and Arizona State by a combined score of 189-34. Going back a bit further, the Golden Bears have won 37 of their last 43 home games.
Jeff Tedford is just three wins away from becoming Cal’s all-time winningest coach, and the Bears are hoping to secure their ninth straight winning season to set a new school record.
Cal junior running back Shane Vereen has been an offensive force this season, rushing for 886 yards and scoring 15 total touchdowns, 12 rushing, three receiving. Vereen’s 90 points have him tied for 10th on the school’s single-season scoring list at the moment, and he is third in the Pac-10 and tied for seventh nationally with 10 ppg.
In last week’s seven-point win at Washington State, junior quarterback Brock Mansion started in place of the injured Kevin Riley and completed 12-of-24 passes for 174 yards. He did not throw a touchdowns pass and was picked off twice. Fortunately for the Bears, Vereen was able to find some running room, toting the ball 25 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Wideout Marvin Jones had just four catches in the game, but turned them into 101 yards to raise his team-leading totals in each category to 42 receptions and 675 receiving yards for the year. He needs just two more grabs to establish his new single-season career high.
The California defense leads the Pac-10 and is among the national leaders in total defense of 299.6 ypg, pass defense 179.7 ypg and sacks 3 pg.
California owns a 39-31-2 advantage in the all-time series with Oregon. Oregon has lost the last three times it has visited Berkeley, last winning there in 2001.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks
This game goes down on the ABC network and it features University of Oregon Ducks takes on the University of Southern California Trojans at Los Angeles Coliseum.
Head coach Chip Kelly is trying to continue his Ducks perfect season as they take their 7-0 and 4-0 record to Los Angeles to face Pac-10 opponent Southern California. The Ducks are coming off of kicking the crap out of UCLA last weekend 60-13. Oregon’s seven wins have come by double digits.
The Ducks offense is lead by sophomore quarterback Darron Thomas, 1539 yards 17 touchdowns 5 INTs, is completing 60.9 percent of his throws. However Oregon possesses a legitimate candidate for the Heisman Trophy in sophomore running back LaMichael James, 971 yards 11 touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Jeff Maehl, 530 yards 6 touchdowns, is the top receiver for Thomas when he goes to the air. The Ducks are racking up 55 points per game and 569.1 total ypg.
Defensively, Oregon is limiting opponents to 15 ppg and 331.6 total ypg and are only giving up 3.4 yards per carry. They have been equally impressive against the pass, especially considering that they have already intercepted 13 passes. The Ducks have 25 takeaways this season to go along with 19 sacks.
Head coach Lane Kiffin has his Trojans, who are not eligible to play in any bowl game this year, at 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the Pac-10. Kiffin’s Trojans only two losses have come on last second field goals.
The Trojans are averaging 37 ppg and 494.0 total ypg, and sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley, 1869 yards 20 touchdowns 4 INTs, is completing 65.4 percent of his throws this season. Senior wide receiver Ronald Johnson, 464 yards 7 touchdowns and freshman Robert Woods, 515 yards 6 touchdowns, are the top two receivers Barkley throws to when he goes to the air. Senior Allen Bradford, 560 yards 4 touchdowns, leads the Trojans ground game.
On the defensive side of the ball, USC is yielding 24 ppg and 402.4 total ypg and 15 of the 21 touchdowns have allowed have been passing. USC has only come up with 8 interceptions but T.J. McDonald leads USC with 49 total tackles and 3 of those interceptions.
USC owns a 37-12-1 series lead over Oregon.
PICK: University of Southern California Trojans
This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features the University of California Los Angeles Bruins taking on the University of Oregon Ducks in Eugene.
Head coach Rick Neuheisel takes his Bruins up to Autzen Stadium 3-3 overall but just 1-2 in Pac-10 play. The Bruins are coming off another thrashing last week, which has been far to familiar during Neuheisel’s tenure, against California 35-7 on the road. The Bruins have no passing game to really speak of as they rank 118th in the nation with 95 yards per game.
The weak passing attack the Bruins put on display is handled by sophomore quarterback Kevin Prince, 384 yards 3 touchdowns 5 INTs, who averages 4.09 yards per completion and is on completing 44.7 percent of his throws. Prince however left the California game with a knee injury before the game was over and his status is uncertain. If he isn’t healthy to play the Bruins will go with sophomore quarterback Richard Brehaut, 189 yards 1 INT, who has 38 pass attempts on the year.
UCLA does have better success on the ground as their rushing attack is turning out 223 yards per game thanks to an impressive average of 5.2 yards per carry. Of the 16 touchdowns scored by the offense this season, 13 have come on the ground. Sophomore running back Johnathan Franklin, 679 yards 5 touchdowns, leads the way, while junior Derrick Coleman, 332 yards 4 touchdowns, has been productive as well as he is averaging 7.5 yards per carry.
Defensively opponents are generating 25 points per game and is allowing almost the same number of rushing yards per game of 182.3 as passing yards 187.5.
Head coach Chip Kelly is a perfect 6-0 and every victory has come by double figures. The Ducks are backed by Heisman Trophy hopeful and ALL-SGE-NCAA Team member LaMichael James, 848 yards 9 touchdowns, who is averaging 7.4 yards per carry. As tremendous as James has been once again, this year he hasn’t had to do it all by himself as the Ducks have the play of sophomore quarterback Darron Thomas, 1231 yards 14 touchdowns 5 INTs, and has rushed for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns. However Thomas is only completing 58.8 percent of his passes but does look for wide receiver senior Jeff Maehl, 423 yards 5 touchdowns, when he does go to the air.
While the Oregon offense gets most of the media attention, the team’s defense has certainly help up its end of the bargain. The Ducks are allowing only 16 points per game and 338.5 total yards per game. The success of the defense is due the ability to generate turnovers, as Oregon has posted 12 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries. Sophomore defensive back Cliff Harris has four interceptions and junior safety Eddie Pleasant leads the Ducks with 33 total tackles.
The Bruins owns the all-time series with a 39-24 advantage between the two schools but Oregon has won seven of the past nine against UCLA. The Bruins are just 4-10 all-time against top-ranked teams and hasn’t defeated one since the 1976 Rose Bowl against Ohio State.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks
This game goes down on the ABC network and it features the Stanford University Cardinal taking on the University of Oregon Ducks in Eugene.
Head coach Chip Kelly has his Ducks entering this matchup undefeated (4-0) and 1-0 in the Pac-10. Oregon has defeated Stanford by an average of 26 points over the past four meetings in Eugene. Oregon leads the nation in averaging 57 points while ranking third in the nation with rushing at 321.8. Most of those yards can be accounted by ALL-SGE-NCAA Football team member sophomore LaMichael James, 455 4 touchdowns, who is my eyes the best running back in the country. James is averaging 7.8 yards per carry but doesn’t have to shoulder the load by himself as he has the sophomore quarterback Darron Thomas, 822 yards 10 touchdowns 3 INTs, who can take off some of the slack. Thomas though only has completed 54.7 percent of his throws. Senior wide receiver Jeff Maehl, 254 yards 3 touchdowns, is Thomas favorite target down field.
The Ducks defense ranks third in the nation with 11 points allowed per game and already has shutout two teams this year. The Ducks are a takeaway machine on the defensive side already with 9 interceptions and 9 fumble recoveries to go with 11 sacks. Sophomore safety John Boyett leads the team with 25 tackles and senior linebacker Casey Matthews,16 tackles one sack 2 INTs and 3 fumble recoveries, has come big at major points this season.
Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh brings his team into Eugene undefeated as well with a win in conference play too. Stanford is seeking its first 5-0 start to a season since 1951. Harbaugh has my Heisman Trophy prediction in junior quarterback Andrew Luck, 912 yards 11 touchdowns 2 INTs, under center who was just sacked for the first time last week against Notre Dame, their first win in South Bend since 1992. Luck has completed 62.7 percent of his throws with senior wide receiver Doug Baldwin, 222 yards 3 touchdowns, as his favorite target. Sophomore Stepfan Taylor, 265 yards one touchdown, and sophomore Tyler Gaffney, 152 yards 3 touchdowns, lead the rushing attack. Stanford is averaging 48 ppg with over 200 yards both on the ground and through the air.
The Stanford defense is holding opponetts to just 13 ppg and 256 yards of total offense. Junior linebacker Chase Thomas, 19 tackles 4 tackles for loss 3.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries, is the playmaker on the defensive side.
Stanford leads Oregon in a series that dates back to 1900, 44-28-1 which includes last years win 51-42 at Stanford Stadium.
PICK: Stanford University Cardinal
This game goes down on the ESPN2 network and it features the University of Oregon Ducks taking on the University of Tennessee Volunteers, who will be facing off for their first ever meeting and it comes in Knoxville.
Tough to fathom that some hosts on SGE forget the the Ducks and Chip Kelly trout out ALL-SGE-NCAA Team member running LaMichael James (1,546 yards and 14 touchdowns as a freshman) and will return this week after a one game suspension. Kelly’s Ducks won the Pac-10 a year ago and carried that momentum over into this year, as they completely destroyed the New Mexico Lobos 72-0. The 72 points tied the school’s modern scoring record, against Nevada in 1999, and was the most points scored overall since a 97-0 shutout in 1916.
The Ducks without last years ALL-SGE-NCAA Team member and Jeremiah Masoli now playing at Ole Miss didn’t miss a beat as they rolled up 720 yards of total offense with the help of sophomore running back Kenjon Barner, 147 yards 4 touchdowns and one receiving touchdown, Replacing Masoli under center was handled by sophomore quarterback Darron Thomas,13-23 for 220 yards one touchdown. The story of all the offensive output had to be that the Ducks offensive line definitely didn’t allow a sack and paved the way for 6.4 yards per carry.
The Ducks defensive held the Lobos to a shutout which says pretty much it all. The defensive held the run of the Lobos to 25 yards and 82 yards on the pass. Oregon recorded 5 takeaways and 8 tackles for loss and was lead by senior defensive tackle Brandon Bair, 4 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and senior linebacker Bryson Littlejohn 2 fumble recoveries.
While not as prolific as Oregon’s offensive outburst, Tennessee’s start to the season wasn’t far off the mark, with the Volunteers racking up 50 points and 537 yards of total offense in head coach Derek Dooley’s debut. Junior quarterback Matt Simms, 14-24 for 181 yards one touchdown, saw most of his time utilizing the three-headed monster in the backfield. The Volunteers where lead by junior Tauren Poole,110 yards 2 touchdowns, freshman Rajion Neal,79 yards, sophomore David Oku,77 yards one touchdown, which makes no shortage of ball carries for Tennessee.
The Volunteer defense only gave up 142 yards of total offense, with 56 yards coming on the ground and 86 through the air. Sophomore safety Prentiss Waggner had 6 tackles but a 54-yard interception return to the end zone. Linebackers LeMarcus Thompson, 5 tackles one tackle for loss, and Austin Johnson, 5 tackles one INT, came up big while even adding a safety. Sophomore defensive tackle Montori Hughes, 4 tackles 2.5 tackles for loss one sack, was solid up front.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks
The kitchen must be getting to hot up in Eugene,Oregon as athletic director and former football head coach of the University of Oregon Ducks Mike Bellotti is leaving, for ESPN.
His tenure as the Ducks athletic director lasted less than one year and will now be an announcer and discuss college football with ESPN. Bellotti is stepping away from the kitchen just as things where starting to heat up. Just last week the Ducks second team all Pac-10 quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and ALL-SGE-NCAA Team running back LaMichael James were both suspended after respectively resolving burglary and domestic violence charges.
Bellotti who compiled 116-55 record in 14 seasons before giving way to Chip Kelly last spring, will debut with the network next month.
“I am really excited to join the best team in college football broadcasting,” Bellotti said in a statement. “Working as an analyst for ESPN is a dream come true and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I will bring the insight, experience and expertise I have gathered from 36 years of coaching college football to the studio and telecast booth.”
No doubt Bellotti is excited to be getting away from the firestorm in Eugene, imagine what is going to be said next year if the Ducks fail to produce a comparable season to last when they reached the Rose Bowl.
If you would like for a informative rundown on the Ducks off the field issues that have surrounded the football program since the Rose Bowl game just click (here). It’s a great read.
Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who helped lead the Ducks to the Pac-10 title and a Rose Bowl berth last season, faces a burglary charge in connection with a theft at a campus fraternity house in late January.
The Lane Country district attorney’s office says Masoli and former Oregon receiver Garrett Embry were each charged with one count of burglary in the second degree. Masoli and Embry are scheduled to be arraigned in Lane County Circuit Court later this afternoon.
A fraternity member reported that Masoli and Embry stole two computers and a guitar from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house on Jan. 25. The Ducks announced in early February that Embry had been dismissed from the team a month before for violating team rules unrelated to the alleged theft.
Masoli, who came to the Ducks as a junior college transfer out of Daly City, Calif., threw for 2,147 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. He also rushed for 668 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Chip Kelly has made the announcement that Masoli will be suspended for the entire 2010 season after the second-team All-Pac-10 quarterback plead guilty to burglary in the second degree, and was sentenced to 12 months of probation.
You can read about the fall of the Ducks football program in such a short time here.
What the hell is going on in Eugene Oregon? If you haven’t been following the off season of the University of Oregon Ducks this all might be new to you. Since the Ducks appeared in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State a lot has happened making the Oregon program look out of control.
The Ducks star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and little-used wideout Garrett Embry have been implicated in a laptop theft. Embry has since been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules. Masoli and Embry are being investigated by police for stealing two laptops and a guitar from a fraternity house.
Then head coach Chip Kelly’s placekicker Rob Beard was hospitalized in critical condition after he took a beating on the streets of Eugene. At one point, Beard stepped in to help his friend, Mike Bowlin, a fellow placekicker involved in the fight. Beard wound up on the ground, getting kicked by several people until he was unconscious. Beard has now been charged with assaulting a 19-year-old woman during the fight the Eugene police announced. Bowlin has since left the football team and withdrew from the university.
Sophomore defensive end Matt Simms took it upon himself days later to stand up for his teammates. Simms was arrested and cited with a misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly retaliating against a man he thought had been involved in Beard’s beating. Simms then was dismissed from the team after the arrested.
But that’s not the end to Kelly problems as his team continues to spiral out of control with the arrest of ALL-SGE-NCAA Team member LaMichael James. He was arrested and charged with menacing, assault, and strangulation of his girlfriend. Police said during the altercation James strangled and assaulted Ducks cheerleader Courtney Eckhart.
Just a day later Ducks linebacker Kiko Alonso was cited for DUI. Alonso, had 15 tackles in 11 games playing primarily backup to starter Casey Matthews. The very next night, senior wide receiver Jamere Holland had something to say to all his Facebook friends.
Holland wrote “how the fuck you kick kinko off the team,,,on some weak shit, niggas always faded he slipped up but iveslipn up, and I’m still here, that shit weak buff cuh could have done damage for the ducks, that shit is weak, weak ass fuck, quote me” been
Holland later on updated his status on Facebook and wrote “I wish I could block whites as friends and only have blacks LOL, cause apparently I’m misunderstood.”
Kelly now has dismissed Holland from the football team for a violation of team rules and apparently changeling Kelly with his first expletive post. Holland seemed to believe Alonso had been kicked off the team but that has not happened as of yet.
So if your counting at home that four arrests for the Ducks football team in just a months time. Three players have been kicked off the team and a fourth leaving on his own. Two players futures still to be determined and the star quarterback under investigation for theft.
What the hell is going on with the Oregon Ducks football team? Does coach Kelly have control of this team?
- 19-year-old linebacker Josh Kaddu, was issued a citation for minor in possession of alcohol after he attempted to open the door of a car that did not belong to him.
- Sophomore kicker Rob Beard pleaded guilty to a charge of physical harassment.
- Sophomore linebacker Kiko Alonso was suspended for the entire 2010 football season after he pleaded not guilty for his DUII charge.
- LaMichael James has been sentence to 10 days in jail and a 24 month probation. He was suspended for the Ducks 2010 season opener.
- Jeremiah Masoli will be suspended for the entire 2010 season after the second-team All-Pac-10 quarterback pleaded guilty to burglary in the second degree, and was sentenced to 12 months of probation.
“The Granddaddy of Them All” adds its 96th edition this New Year’s Day, as Ohio State Buckeyes from the Big Ten face the Pac-10 Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Rose Bowl is the oldest bowl game, beginning in 1902 and played continuously since 1916. This year’s combatants both come in with stellar 10-2 records.
Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes captured the Big Ten title for the fifth straight season, distancing themselves down the stretch with five straight victories to close out the regular season. OSU’s bowl resume consists of an 18-22 postseason record. The team will be participating in its fifth straight BCS bowl game and is making its first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1997. The Buckeyes are 6-7 all-time in 13 previous Rose Bowl appearances.
The Buckeyes have relied heavily on the run this season and the results are a gaudy 198.9 yards per game, on 4.7 yards per carry. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor leads the team in rushing with 707 yards and 7 scores. Tailbacks Brandon Saine has 694 yards, 4 touchdowns and Dan Herron has 558 yards, 7 touchdowns. The passing attack has taken a backseat in Columbus this season as Pryor has completed 55.8 percent of his passes this season for only 1,828 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Sophomore DeVier Posey is the top target with 52 receptions for 727 yards and 7 touchdowns.
The Buckeyes ranked fifth among the nation in total defense at 262.5 ypg. The Buckeyes were lead by linebackers Ross Homan 96 tackles and 2 sacks and Brian Rolle 91 tackles. Kurt Coleman amassed 64 tackles and 5 interceptions in the secondary. The ends where maned by Cameron Heyward 5.5 sacks and Thaddeus Gibson 4 sacks.
Chip Kelly has pushed all the right buttons in his first season at the helm at Oregon. The Ducks opened the year with a deflating loss at Boise State, but regrouped to win seven straight after that to regain their swagger. A shootout loss at Stanford put the Pac-10 title in jeopardy, but Oregon responded with three straight wins and clinched the conference title with a 37-33 win over rival Oregon State in the regular-season finale. Oregon is making its first appearance in the Rose Bowl since 1995 and will be making its fifth trip to the event all-time, with a 1-3 record thus far.
The Ducks uses one of the nation’s most prolific ground games to wear the opposition down and it has worked to near perfection. Oregon ranks sixth nationally rushing the football, averaging 236.1 yards per game on an impressive 5.5 yards per carry.
The team lost starting tailback LaGarrette Blount for most of the season after Blount was suspended after one hittin quittin a Boise State player. It was OK for the Ducks as red shirt freshman and ALL-SGE-NCAA Football member LaMichael James took over the slack and rushed for 1,476 yards and 14 touchdowns, on 6.9 yards per carry after the third game of the season. The other devastating weapon on offense for Oregon is dual-threat quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. The junior signal-caller rushed for 659 yards and 12 touchdowns while throwing 2,066 yards and another 15 scores. Wideout Jeff Maehl had 686 yards and 6 touchdowns, but tight end Ed Dixon did a lot of damage with his yards after catch and blocking while finishing with 42 receptions for 551 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Oregon is giving up just 329.4 yards of total offense per game, while limiting opponets to 23 ppg with 32 sacks and 24 takeaways on the year. Freshman safety John Boyett has made an immediate impression on this team with 78 tackles and 2 interceptions. Safety Javes Lewis has 77 tackles, 2 interceptions while corner Talmadge Jackson has 4 interceptions. Linebacker Casey Matthews has 72 tackles, 2.5 sacks, Spencer Paysinger 72 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and Eddie Pleasant 50 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks while defensive end Kenny Rowe has 8.5 sacks with 11 tackles for loss.
The series between these two teams has been dominated by Ohio State, which has won all seven prior matchups. However, these two schools have met just twice in the last 41 years (1983 and 1987). The first-ever meeting took place in the 1958 Rose Bowl.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks
In a bitter and long-standing rivalry known as the “Civil War”, the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers will battle for the Pac-10 Conference title and a berth in the Rose Bowl.
Last year the Beavers 65-38 loss snapped a six-game overall winning streak and an eight-game streak at Reser Stadium but utlimatley their shot at a Rose Bowl berth. It was the most points Oregon State had ever allowed an opponent.
The Beavers seemed lost without freshman running back Jacquizz Rodgers, the Pac-10′s leading rusher who was out with a shoulder injury. The team also missed older brother James Rodgers, who had perfected his role in Oregon State’s trademark fly sweep. The Ducks were led by Jeremiah Masoli, who threw for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns. They rolled up 694 yards in total offense.
Oregon went on to beat Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl 42-31, and the Beavers went on to defeat Pittsburgh 3-0 in the Sun Bowl.
Oregon leads the overall series with Oregon State by a 56-46-10 margin. This season is the first “winner takes all” Civil War in the history of the longstanding rivalry game, where both teams have the opportunity to go to the Rose Bowl with a victory. The winner will also claim the Pac-10 title, breaking the hold that the Trojans have had on it for the past seven years.
Oregon (9-2, 7-1) lost its opener against Boise State and its lone conference game on the road at Stanford. Oregon State’s (8-3, 6-2) losses this season were to Cincinnati, Arizona and USC.
Few college football fans know anything about Sean Canfield, but the Oregon State quarterback certainly deserves credit for his outstanding play this season. Canfield has completed 70.3 percent of his passes for 2,797 yards with 19 touchdowns against 6 interceptions. Jacquizz Rogers leads the team in rushing with 1,313 yards and 19 touchdowns while placing second on the team with 67 catches. James Rodgers is tops in receiving with 77 catches for 865 yards and 8 scores while also ranking second in rushing.
Oregon State is scoring 32. ppg this season to go along with 422.2 total ypg. The Beavers are have only turned the ball over eight times in 11 outings, perhaps the most impressive stat of all.
Defensively, Mike Riley’s Beavers have been rather mediocre this season, as the team is allowing 22. ppg and 340.5 total ypg. Oregon State has done its best work against the run, limiting the opposition to 98.5 ypg at a clip of 3.5 yards per carry. Pass defense has been it’s downfall. Keaton Kristick is certainly a player worth watching, as he has recorded 80 total tackles to lead the Beavers along with seven tackles for loss and 2 interceptions.
The strength of the Oregon offense is its ground attack, which has accounted for a staggering total of 32 touchdowns. The Ducks have registered a total of 47 offensive touchdowns and are scoring 37 ppg while generating 418.8 ypg. LaMichael James is a dynamic tailback who has posted 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 6.9 yards per rushing attempt. As for Masoli he has thrown 14 touchdowns against only 4 interceptions, while rushing for 619 yards and 12 scores.
Chip Kelly’s Ducks doesn’t possess any star caliber defensive players on the roster, but there are a number of individuals who have made positive contributions this season. Javes Lewis leads the Ducks with 72 total tackles, and he has forced three fumbles. Oregon is allowing 22 ppg and 324 total ypg this season. The team has permitted 14 passing touchdowns and 14 rushing scores.
Oregon has made four appearances in the Rose Bowl, most recently following the 1994 season. The Ducks would have played in the 2002 game but went to the Fiesta Bowl because of the Rose Bowl’s tie with the national championship game that season. Oregon State has not earned a trip to the New Year’s game in Pasadena since the 1964 season.
PICK: Oregon State University Beavers
Southern California has been to the Rose Bowl five times since any other Pac-10 school has gone, but that streak is almost certain to end this season. Oregon can make it official Saturday by winning for the ninth time in 10 games. The Ducks (8-2, 6-1) are the league’s only remaining team with one loss in conference play.
But Arizona (6-3, 4-2) is one of three clubs along with Stanford and Oregon State with two Pac-10 defeats, and Mike Stoops Wildcats could also secure their first trip to the Rose Bowl with wins in their final three games. est.
That will be a tough task against the Ducks, who are tied for the nation’s sixth-best rushing offense even though star sophomore LeGarrette Blount has been suspended for nearly the entire season after throwing a punch following a 19-8 loss at Boise State in the opener. Oregon continues to rely on freshman LaMichael James who ranks 10th nationally with an Oregon freshman-record 1,193 rushing yards, including more than 100 in five straight games.
Oregon coach Chip Kelly’s Ducks are seeking their first Rose Bowl bid since 1995, also have a major threat in junior quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who has run for 9 touchdowns and thrown for 11 while leading an offense that averages 37.1 points, ninth-best nationally. Tight end Ed Dickson is as good as it gets in the country, pacing Oregon in receptions 37, receiving yards 488 and 5 touchdowns catches
Arizona figures to provide some resistance with the Pac-10′s third-best rush defense, but were gouged for a season-worst 176 yards on the ground at California last Saturday. The Golden Bears were missing injured star running back Jahvid Best, but backup Shane Vereen totaled 159 yards on 30 carries in Cal’s 24-16 victory.
The Wildcats also likely need to improve their offense if they hope to keep up with the Ducks. Arizona averaged 37.6 points in its first five Pac-10 games before struggling against Cal, totaling season lows in points and rushing yards (73) as starting running back Nic Grigsby was sidelined with a shoulder problem. Quarterback Nick Foles attempted 41 passes but threw for just 201 yards, his third straight game under 250 after he averaged nearly 400 in meetings with Washington and Stanford in October.
Senior wideout Terrell Turner currently paces the team in receptions 42, 407 yards, 4 touchdowns and Juron Criner 29 catches, for 403 yards, 5 touchdowns are all viable options down field.
The offense is not the only unit that has delivered in Tucson this season, as Arizona has been effective against both the run (104.9 ypg) and the pass (200.2 ypg).
Junior end Ricky Elmore 34 tackles, 8.5 sacks is the player to watch for on the defensive line. Veteran LBs Xavier Kelley 55 tackles, two sacks and Vuna Tuihalamaka 52 tackles, one INT are formidable in the middle of the defense, while senior safety Cam Nelson 50 tackles, three sacks, one INT and sophomore cornerback Trevin Wade 46 tackles, four INTs lead the way in the secondary.
Oregon leads the all-time series by a count of 20-14, but the two teams has split 18 meetings at Arizona Stadium.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks
In position to win its first conference title since 2001, Oregon is doing its best to avoid any outside distractions. That became a bit more difficult this week with the reinstatement of running back LeGarrette Blount from a suspension.
With Blount eligible to play for the first time since the season opener, the Ducks will try to focus on the task at hand Saturday night and beat a struggling Arizona State team at home so they can maintain their slim lead atop the Pac-10.
After rushing for 1,002 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, Blount was expected to be one of the top playmakers for Oregon (7-2, 5-1) before being suspended for the season for punching Boise State defensive end Byron Hout following a season-opening loss.
Although suspended, Blount remained on scholarship and was allowed to practice with the team. On Sunday, coach Chip Kelly recommended that Blount be allowed to rejoin the team and the Pac-10 approved his reinstatement the following day.
With Blount sidelined, redshirt freshman LeMichael James has flourished as the Ducks’ top running back. He will remain the starter against Arizona State (4-5, 2-4). James has run for 1,043 yards and eight touchdowns, becoming the first Oregon freshman to surpass 1,000 yards rushing.
One week after making a statement with a 47-20 victory over USC, Oregon suffered a stunning 51-42 loss at Stanford last Saturday that reduced its conference lead to one-half game over Arizona. The defeat also cost the Ducks any shot at a berth in the Bowl Championship Series title game, but wins in their final three contests against Arizona State, Arizona and Oregon State will send them to the Rose Bowl. Oregon scored two late touchdowns to cut a 20-point deficit to six, but Stanford held on to end the Ducks’ seven-game win streak.
Jeremiah Masoli threw for a career-high 334 yards and three touchdowns while James added 125 yards rushing – his fourth straight game with at least 100.
James could have a difficult time extending that streak against the Sun Devils, who lead the Pac-10 and rank sixth nationally in rushing defense (87.4).
Another area of concern for the Ducks is their own run defense, which allowed Stanford’s Toby Gerhart to pile up 223 yards on 38 carries last week. He became the first Pac-10 runner to gain more than 200 yards against Oregon since Washington’s Corey Dillon on Oct. 26, 1996.
Arizona State has plenty of issues of its own, having lost three straight and ranking near the bottom of the conference in scoring (24.1) and total yards per game (353.8).
In the third quarter of last Saturday’s 14-9 loss to USC, coach Dennis Erickson replaced struggling quarterback Danny Sullivan with 6-foot-8 freshman Brock Osweiler, who finished 11 of 27 for 153 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Osweiler will make his first career start Saturday because of Sullivan’s right biceps injury. Osweiler is the first true freshman to state for the Sun Devils since Jake Plummer in 1993.
Last week’s defeat dropped the Sun Devils to 3-28 against ranked teams since 2000 – and 1-7 under Erickson.
Oregon has dominated Arizona State lately, winning the past four meetings by a combined 168-73 score. The Sun Devils haven’t won at Oregon since Oct. 2, 2004.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks
The Trojans look to stay in the hunt for an eighth consecutive league title and shore up some defensive breakdowns when they visit the Ducks and their prolific offense. In less than two months, Oregon (6-1, 4-0) has made a season that could have become defined by an embarrassing loss at Boise State and LeGarrette Blount’s infamous punch into one with a chance to win its first Pac-10 title since 2001.
Riding a six-game winning streak, the Ducks, off to their best conference start since opening the 2000 season with seven straight league wins, stand alone atop the Pac-10.
USC (6-1, 3-1) and Arizona are tied for second, and either team could take the conference crown by winning out.
USC coach Pete Carroll Trojans have owned at least a share of the Pac-10 title each season since Oregon last won it, but they’ll likely be out of the running should they lose this weekend. To avoid that fate, USC’s defense will likely need to improve upon its performance from last Saturday’s 42-36 win over Oregon State. The Trojans allowed the Beavers to roll up 482 yards of total offense, the most yielded by USC since giving up 556 yards to Texas in a 41-38 Rose Bowl loss following the 2005 season.
It was also the second straight shaky defensive effort for USC, which gave up 367 total yards in a 34-27 defeat at then-No. 25 Notre Dame on Oct. 17. The Trojans allowed an average of 8.6 points and 238.6 yards in their first five games.
Proving it for 60 minutes against a high-powered Oregon offense led by a healthy quarterback Jeremiah Masoli should be quite a challenge. Masoli missed the Ducks’ 24-10 win over UCLA on Oct. 10 with a knee injury, and the offense never got in sync. He returned to the lineup last Saturday and didn’t seem to miss a beat, passing for 157 yards and a touchdown and running for 54 yards and two scores in a 43-19 victory over Washington. The versatile quarterback is the key to Oregon’s offense, with the team averaging 45.7 points and 484.7 yards in the last three games he has played.
LaMichael James, Oregon’s workhorse since Blount’s suspension, has rushed for 657 yards and six touchdowns in his last five games. The redshirt freshman running back totaled 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Huskies, and has had at least one run of at least 26 yards in each of his last six games. While Masoli and James lead the offense, the Ducks’ defense has been just as impressive.
Oregon coach Chip Kelly Ducks limited Washington to three points through three quarters last week, and has held three of its last four opponents to 211 yards or fewer. The Ducks’ 19 takeaways are tied for the Pac-10 lead – posing a tough challenge for mistake-prone Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley.
The freshman has thrown at least one interception in each of his last three games, including two last week. Barkley has thrown for 1,540 yards with seven TDs and five interceptions in six games this season.
USC may need its steady ground attack featuring Joe McKnight and Allen Bradford to take the pressure off Barkley. McKnight was limited last week because of sore hands and finished with 65 rushing yards on 11 carries, but Bradford ran for a career-high 147 yards and two scores.
The Trojans defeated Oregon 44-10 last season but lost 24-17 loss to the then-No. 5 Ducks in their last trip to Autzen Stadium in 2007. That was USC’s only defeat in the last five meetings.
PICK: University of Oregon Ducks
The University of Oregon’s 2009 season debut at Boise State wasn’t exactly how it’s fan base expected their season to start. The high powered Duck offense was held without a single first down in the first half, turned the ball over twice and of course LeGarrette Blount laying down the one hitta quitta on a Bronco player. New head coach Chip Kelly was suddenly ripped from local to nation media for displaying a lack of discipline over his team, in his first game in charge.
Oregon alum Tony Seminary is well aware of the protocol: Travel, cheer, take what comes. But what came was so bad, Seminary decided to fire off a pointed e-mail to Kelly, complete with an invoice of his trip, though he never even expected a response:
I was so angry with the game (even before the post-game melee) I am sending you an invoice for my trip to Boise. The product on the field Thursday night is not something I was at all proud of, and I feel as though I’m entitled to my money back for the trip. Please see my invoice attached in this email. I will happily send along receipts if need be.
It was to the point, not disrespectful, nothing in there about vandilizing your property, about as fine of an angry message as you can send or receive, especially when the recipient can hardly argue that his performance was worth the dough.
What followed next was of complete suprise to Seminary and everyone else that has read this story, Kelly sent a check for $439 dollars, a money back guarantee kind of a thing. Seminary has the level of his respect he has no for the first year coach is gone beyond anything imaginable, that he will support Kelly no matter what happens down the line.
“He could lose every game 50-0 and he’d still be my coach, our coach, through thick and thin.”
If any Notre Dame fans have the bright idea of copying Seminary, there’s no need of sending any mail. Just bum rush the walrus at SeaWorld, Charlie Weis takes the stage every half hour.
Gimme my damn money…Payback’s a mother******, ain’t it?
The University of Oregon Ducks fast-paced offense over the past two seasons, there’s little reason to believe the Ducks will have a drop-off as Chip Kelly makes the transition from coordinator to head coach. Sixteenth-ranked Oregon begins the Kelly era on the imposing blue turf of Bronco Stadium, where No. 14 Boise State University Broncos will look to win its 50th regular-season game in a row. The Broncos stunned the Ducks in Eugene, Oregon a year ago.
The Ducks were expected to rebuild in the last season of Mike Bellotti’s but instead were one of the nation’s most dangerous offenses in Kelly’s second year as offensive coordinator. Oregon finished seventh in the country in scoring offense (41.9 points per game) behind the running tandem of LeGarrette Blount, which led the nation’s second-ranked rushing offense (280.1 yards per game). The Ducks found out late last season that they have a reliable quarterback in. Junior Jeremiah Masoli who threw for 830 yards and six touchdowns and ran for seven more. Oregon averaged 54.0 points in winning its final three games, including a 42-31 victory over No. 13 Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl to secure a No. 10 finish.
Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, meanwhile went on to throw for 3,486 yards and 25 touchdowns in leading the Broncos to a 12-0 regular season in 2008 and a No. 9 ranking heading into a Poinsettia Bowl meeting with 11th-ranked TCU. He failed to throw for a touchdown in that game, and TCU ran for 275 yards and limiting Boise State to 28, in a 17-16 win. The Broncos return 12 starters, six on each side of the ball and that’s enough for them to win their seventh WAC title in eight years.
Boise State was third in the nation in scoring defense (12.6 points per game) last season, and corner-back Kyle Wilson was the WAC’s defensive player of the year after leading the team with five interceptions last year. He also returned three punts for touchdowns. The Broncos hasn’t lost a regular-season game in Bronco Stadium since a 41-20 loss to Washington State on Sept. 8, 2001.
PICK: Boise State University Broncos