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Oregon Quarterback Justin Herbert is seeing Redd

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Ashley Young

Oregon Quarterback Justin Herbert is seeing Redd

When Oregon sophomore wide receiver Jaylon Redd catches a pass, 60 percent of the time this season he has also found the end zone.

Three touchdowns, five catches; that’s an insane catch to touchdown rate. Some may say it’s an unsustainable rate, but in his career at Oregon, Redd and quarterback Justin Herbert have connected eight times, four of which were touchdowns.

The obvious chemistry between the two Ducks stems from Redd gaining Herbert’s trust during Oregon’s fall camp. In UO’s scrimmages, Redd made sure that Herbert could always find him on third down and then get the yardage needed to convert the first down. 

"There has to be someone (Herbert) goes to when he knows we need a play,” Redd said. “I got no problem being that man.”

From scrimmages to games, Redd has proved that Herbert can count on him. The first Oregon (2-0) touchdown of the season is the perfect example. Bowling Green led Oregon in the first quarter, 10-0, it was fourth down and 14, and Herbert found Redd on a 33-yard dime in the back of the end zone. 

[READ: Oregon Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert doesn't play favorites]

Junior left guard Shane Lemieux also noticed a difference in the receiver during Oregon’s fall camp.

“I really never saw any dropped balls (from Redd),” Lemieux said. “He really took it upon himself to catch every single ball that was thrown to him. It didn’t matter if it was a good or bad throw.”

Lemieux added that Redd is a leader on the offense that often gathers the team if they need to make adjustments or get on the same page. He also predicted that Redd will be All-Pac-12 and the conference’s leading receiver this season.

Redd entered his sophomore year with what he calls a “business mindset.”

“I felt like I had a lot to prove,” Redd said. “There was a lot of guys coming in and I felt that I didn’t have a stable situation coming into this year.”

Co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Keith Heyward offered Redd, thinking he would play defensive back for the Ducks.

“I wish he could play some defensive back for us but he’s doing a great job on the offensive side of the ball,” said Heyward. “He is giving the offense that speed in the slot. Catching the ball, fly sweep, however they may use him.”

He’s listed as 5-foot-8, 178-pounds, but his smaller stature doesn’t stop him from getting physical. His blocking ability has impressed his coaches and teammates.

“He’s a hard worker,” junior wide receiver Brenden Schooler said. “He’s going to go 100 percent on every play and he’s not afraid to stick his nose in there and block somebody.”

There is no doubt Redd is a playmaker, so get used to hearing his name, especially on third down.

 

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Oregon Duck uniforms: Black, electric green for week three

Oregon Duck uniforms: Black, electric green for week three

Oregon's first of two 'blackout' games is scheduled for game three against San Jose State. The No. 20 Ducks (2-0) will wear black vs. the Spartans on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Autzen Stadium. Fans are also encouraged to wear black. 

The winged helmets are back and the jerseys feature a new large "Mighty Oregon" font. The jerseys are simpler than in years past. 

Did you know the NCAA tightened restrictions on CFB uniforms?

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Oregon Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert doesn't play favorites

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Oregon football rises to No. 20 the AP Poll

The Ducks aren't looking past San Jose State to Stanford, but I am

The Ducks aren't looking past San Jose State to Stanford, but I am

It's a probable top-20 matchup and ESPN Game Day may be coming to Autzen Stadium on Sept. 22. While the Ducks (2-0) are focused on finishing non-conference play, No. 9 Stanford (2-0) is looming around the corner.

The No. 20 Ducks aren't looking past San Jose State (0-2) to Stanford, but I am.

Can you blame me?

-Junior quarterback Justin Herbert vs. senior running back Bryce Love.

-Heisman Trophy hopeful vs. Heisman Trophy runner-up.

-Biology major vs. biology major (they both aspire to be doctors). 

-Potential first round 2019 NFL draft pick vs. potential first round 2019 NFL draft pick.

An NFL scout’s dream game.

Yes, Oregon has to take care of business against San Jose State first.

“If you overlook a team, they can really embarrass you,” UO junior left guard Shane Lemieux said. “This week we have an emphasis on playing San Jose State and not focusing on who we have in the future.”

True. However, SJSU is near the bottom of the FBS level statistically in a number of categories; total offense, total defense, scoring offense, scoring defense, etc.

Beating the Spartans shouldn’t be an issue. I expect Herbert to throw up insane numbers against a team that ranks second to last nationally defending the pass. The real win on Saturday will be the Ducks walking out of Autzen without any injuries.

Stanford coach David Shaw announced Love will miss the Cardinal's week three game against UC Davis due to an undisclosed injury, but is expected to return at Oregon. 

Oregon’s defense hasn’t faced anyone close to the caliber of backfield threat that Love presents. However, each of Oregon’s nonconference match-ups have featured a standout player that the Ducks had to game plan for.

Bowling Green’s leading rusher Andrew Green carried the ball 25 times for 113 yards. Oregon kept Portland State’s Preseason All-American and All-Big Sky Conference selection Charlie Taumoepeau in check, but the tight end still broke through a few big holes to score twice on 125 receiving yards on five receptions.

This Saturday, the Ducks will face San Jose State tight end Josh Oliver, a Mackey Award watch list candidate, who is a threat in space.

While Oregon’s cupcake nonconference games did not teach us much about who the Ducks are, it did offer the challenge for the UO defense to prepare for Green, Taumoepeau and Oliver.

Next up, Love, who is a different animal. After deciding to forgo the 2018 NFL draft as a junior, Love’s senior season opened quietly with 29 yards on 18 carries against San Diego State. He rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown last weekend in Stanford's 17-3 win over rival USC before leaving with an injury in the fourth quarter. It marked his 16th career hundred-yard rushing game.

Last season Stanford destroyed Oregon, 49-7, in a game in which the Ducks were without Herbert and penalties (nine for 109 yards) halted UO's offensive momentum. In that game, Love reached the 100-yard rushing mark in less than five minutes, and finished with 147 yards on 17 carries before leaving the game early in the third quarter. 

Love isn’t the only Heisman Trophy hopeful throwing up statistics. Oregon is averaging 43.4 points per game in quarterback Justin Herbert’s 17 career starts. Through his first 19 games, Herbert’s 4,450 career-passing yards are the most all-time for an Oregon quarterback. Yes, even more than Marcus Mariota, who had 4,401 yards through 19 games.


Herbert says his full focus is on San Jose State and the rest Ducks are saying all the right things. 

“We will worry about Stanford next week,” said junior UO wide receiver Brenden Schooler.

It’s a good thing I’m not on the Oregon football team.

Two likely undefeated and ranked Pac-12 teams vying for the North Division crown, playing in prime time… I can’t wait for September 22.

Oregon football most valuable program in Pac-12 conference

Oregon football most valuable program in Pac-12 conference

The Oregon football program is rising in value, according to Forbes. Want to be the Duck fan at the tailgate with all the Oregon knowledge? Here are the numbers you need to know about No. 20 Oregon

Money, money, money: Forbes released its list of 'Most Valuable College Football Programs', and Oregon ranks 12th. The Ducks make $92 million in revenue and $54 million in profit. Notable Oregon football transaction include; Mark Helfrich's $5 million severance pay in 2016 and UO's Nike deal of $88 million in cash and gear over 11 years.  

Oregon is the highest team from the Pac-12 conference, while Texas A&M takes the top spot. The list is created on the basis of average annual revenue, rounded to the nearest million, and is the first Forbes list since 2015 to rank the nations top college football programs. In 2015, Oregon was ranked 14th. 

9 years of dominance: Oregon’s 39 games with 50-plus points since 2009 are the most by any FBS program in that span. The Ducks are also 79-0 all-time when scoring 50+ points.

San Jose State Family? Four Oregon coaches have also coached at San Jose State; Marcus Arroyo (2006-08), Jim Mastro (1996), Joe Salave’a (2008-09) and Donte Williams (2013-15). Also, Arroyo played quarterback there from 1998-2002.

Blur offense: In the first two games, 10 of Oregon’s 16 touchdown drives have lasted two minutes or less... Don't blink!

The Herbert Advantage: Oregon is averaging 43.4 points per game in quarterback Justin Herbert’s 17 career starts.

Sharing is caring: 12 different Ducks have scored a touchdown through two games, the most in the nation.

Seeing Redd: Sophomore wide receiver Jaylon Redd is tied for the Pac-12 lead with three touchdown receptions. Redd has scored a touchdown in four straight games dating back to Oregon State game in 2017. 
Career-Highs vs. Portland State: Defensive lineman Austin Faoliu set a career-high for the second straight week with seven tackles. Starting running back Tony Brooks-James carried the ball a career-high 21 times for 107 yards and scored two touchdowns. Running back CJ Verdell surpassed 100 rushing yards for the first time in his career with 106 yards on 11 carries with one touchdown.

 

More Ducks:

Oregon Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert doesn't play favorites

The best and worst from Oregon's domination over Portland State

Travis Dye and his ferocious jump cuts could be special this season

"Grandpa" Tony Brooks-James has goals to dominate in his final UO season

Oregon football rises to No. 20 the AP Poll

 

The best and worst from Oregon's domination over Portland State

The best and worst from Oregon's domination over Portland State

In No. 20 Oregon’s domination of Portland State, the good definitely outweighed the bad. However, there were a few ugly points that could be major thorns (ahem, dropped passes) in Oregon’s side in it’s quest to win the Pac-12 north.

THE BEST:

Quarterback Justin Herbert doesn’t play favorites: Sharing is caring? Herbert’s four touchdown passes went to four different Duck receivers in the victory over Portland State. Herbert connected with 11 receivers, amassing 250 total passing yards. In Oregon’s first two wins of the season, Herbert has thrown nine touchdown passes to six different receivers.

Jaylon Redd is streaking: The sophomore wide receiver has scored a touchdown in four straight games dating back to Oregon State game in 2017.

Justin Hollins is a machine: The outside linebacker recorded two tackles for loss versus Portland State, extending his streak to six games with a tackle for loss.

Hello, graduate transfers: Both Kano Dillon and Tabari Hines scored their first touchdowns as Ducks. Dillon, a tight end transfer from University of South Florida, carried four defenders on his way to the end zone and finished with 41 yards on three receptions. Hines had a 23-yard reception and finished the game with 32 yards on three catches.

“Penalty problem” continues to improve: The Ducks committed five penalties for 55 penalty yards against PSU. Through 2 games Oregon has committed 8 penalties, compared to the 9.4 penalties Oregon averaged per game in 2017.

Healthy: The Ducks suffered only one injury. Backup left tackle George Moore left the game in the fourth quarter. 

Bye, swag surfing: Swag surfing is over in Autzen Stadium. The song that former UO coach Willie Taggart introduced has been replaced with “It’s a Party” by Waka Flocka Flame during kickoffs.

100-yard backs: Starting running back Tony Brooks-James carried the ball a career-high 21 times for 107 yards and scored two touchdowns. CJ Verdell surpassed the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career with 106 yards on 11 carries with one touchdown.

That’s a lot of points: Oregon has now scored more than 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 2014 when the Ducks won the Pac-12 Championship and the Rose Bowl/CFB playoff.

THE WORST:

Butterfingers continue: Wide receivers Dillon Mitchell and Johnny Johnson III dropped back-to-back passes that could have gone the distance on Oregon’s first drive.

Where the fans at? The announced crowd of 47,210 was the lowest attendance for a home game since Autzen expanded in 2002.

Backup quarterbacks: Neither backup quarterback proved that the Ducks have a solid option behind Herbert.

Backup quarterback Braxton Burmeister replaced Herbert for the final drive of the third quarter. Burmeister competed all three of his passes for a total of 16 yards and rushed the ball twice for eight yards. Tyler Shough made his college football debut on the final drive. Shough led a four play, 37-yard drive to the end zone but only handed off the ball to CJ Verdell, which doesn’t scream confidence from the UO coaching staff.


Not a real test: The Ducks have steamrolled over both Bowling Green and Portland State. Oregon’s nonconference slate is total cupcake, which makes it hard to know where Oregon stands in the conference.  "I feel like we know who we are, we just haven't been tested," said Cristobal.

Oregon football rises to No. 20 the AP Poll

Oregon football rises to No. 20 the AP Poll

The Ducks (2-0) have moved up to No. 20 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll after college football week two. Oregon also made its first appearance in the Amway Coaches Poll, coming in at No. 23 after being the first team out of the Top 25 last week.

Oregon started the Mario Cristobal era ranked as No. 24 in the preseason AP Poll and then climbed one spot to No. 23 after winning its 14th consecutive home season opener. 

Oregon's dominant 62-14 victory over Portland State extended its streak of consecutive non-conference home wins to 23. The Ducks jumped to an early lead, removing the unease left by last Saturday’s cringe-worthy start against Bowling Green and were able to win without suffering any major injuries. 

Oregon has now scored more than 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 2014 when the Ducks won the Pac-12 Championship and the Rose Bowl/CFBplayoffs. Also, in Oregon's first two wins of the season, quarterback Justin Herbert has thrown nine touchdown passes to six different receivers.

However, Oregon likely won’t see much movement in the AP poll until its conference opener versus No. 9 Stanford at home. Stanford moved up to No. 9 after beating USC, 17-3 in a rematch of the 2017 Pac-12 championship.

Three more Pac-12 teams reside in the AP Poll: No. 10 Washington, No. 22 USC, No. 23 Arizona State

Alabama remained at No.1 after beating Arkansas State.

More Ducks:

Oregon Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert doesn't play favorites

Oregon Mailbag: Who is really calling plays? What's the deal with the horn?

Travis Dye and his ferocious jump cuts could be special this season

"Grandpa" Tony Brooks-James has goals to dominate in his final UO season

NCAA tightening restrictions on CFB uniforms

Oregon’s unpredictable power/tempo offense brings the "thump"

 

Travis Dye and his ferocious jump cuts could be special this season

Travis Dye and his ferocious jump cuts could be special this season

Oregon’s rushing attack is legendary and the history of offensive weapons is impressive. The past four seasons, No. 23 Oregon could count on Royce Freeman, who carried the bulk of the rushing load and holds Oregon’s career rushing yards record (5,621) and career touchdowns record (60).

Those are some big cleats to fill. Oregon (1-0) has pegged senior Tony Brooks-James as their every down back, and he has goals to dominate in his final season as a Duck.

Behind Brooks-James are five scholarship running backs that each have a special skill set. If you are looking for special, look no further than the first running back off the bench last Saturday, freshman Travis Dye and his ferocious jump cuts.

Dye replaced Brooks-James for the third series in Oregon’s 58-24 victory over Bowling Green, he rushed for 37 yards on seven attempts and demonstrated why his teammates and coaches talk wildly about him.

“I think he’s darn good. Shoot, he’s a lot better than his brother (Troy),” Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt teased. “I just had to say that for Troy because Troy will get fired up on that one. Travis is really so talented. He has so much balance, runs with his shoulders out front and has good vision.”

Football is a family affair for Travis, as Dye has four older brothers that have played (or are playing) college football, including star UO junior linebacker, Troy.

Troy said he was proud of Travis’ performance in his college football debut. Travis sat a few feet to his right on the podium and ended it with some brotherly love: "But at the end of the day, he's still a bum."

Travis enrolled early at Oregon for spring football after rushing for 2,383 yards and 34 touchdowns as a high school senior at Norco High school in California. Dye was banged up with a minor injury in UO's fall camp but rebounded and is fully healthy.  

Brooks-James smiled wide when talking about Dye’s strengths. He complimented his shiftiness and ability to run hard without hesitation.

“With those things combined, when he hits a hole, he’s gone,” Brooks-James said.

Dye can juke anyone with his jump cuts but it was the freshman’s maturity that impressed quarterback Justin Herbert. 

“He knows what he’s doing,” Herbert said. “He made some mistakes but he gathered himself and came back and ran really hard.”

The lights weren’t too bright for Travis in his college football debut. He was one of six running backs that totaled 212 rushing yards with an average of five yards per rush. Once pac-12 conference play starts, Oregon will likely shrink its rotation. Dye has put himself in the position to contribute to Oregon's power-tempo offense this season and for many to come.

“He’s going to be really, really good for a long time here,” offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo said. “We are really excited about him.”

"Grandpa" Tony Brooks-James has goals to dominate in his final UO season

"Grandpa" Tony Brooks-James has goals to dominate in his final UO season

Oregon has an elite history of impressive running backs. In Oregon’s season opener, it wasn’t one Duck performance that dazzled, instead it was the six-headed running back monster that totaled 212 rushing yards with an average of five yards per rush.

No. 23 Oregon (1-0) flexed its depth by spreading the ball out to all six of its scholarship running backs in its 58-24 victory over Bowling Green. Freshman CJ Verdell led the way with 51 yards and Cyrus Habibi-Likio was the only running back to score.

Going forward, will Oregon's stat line show six running back rushers? Probably not. But it sure did give reason for optimism for Oregon's power-tempo offense. It raised some examination of the roles for seniors Tony Brooks-James and Taj Griffin.

Starting running back Brooks-James had the best average at 5.4 yards per carry, but only carried the ball five times, making him fifth on the team in rushing attempts, less than quarterback Justin Herbert. Brooks-James also caught one pass for 53 yards and averaged 20 yards on his three kickoff returns. 

Brooks-James didn't record a carry after halftime but don’t fret, the Ducks still believe he is their every down back.

"We held Tony out again figuring the game was in good hands," Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said. "But no, he'll be a guy who totes the ball more than just that."

Brooks-James’ teammates call him “grandpa." The leader of the running back room beefed up 17 pounds in the offseason and has goals for last season as an Oregon Duck.

“I don’t have a set yardage (goal) because I don’t want to put a limit on myself,” Tony said. “(My goal is) to dominate in all phases of the game”

Brooks-James enters his senior year coming off back-to-back 1,000 all-purpose yards seasons and on Doak Walker award watch list.

Listed as a running back after spending last season as slot receiver, it’s also Taj Griffin’s last UO season to shine. In his last two seasons, he’s had just 55 carries but has shown peeks into his lethal speed and playmaking ability.

UO’s plan to utilize Griffin in open space worked against Bowling Green. Griffin only rushed once for four yards but took a screen pass from Herbert 83 yards for a touchdown.

“I only need a small crease so whatever way I can get set up for success to get to the secondary,” Griffin said on how he can be an offensive weapon.

So while there might be a plethora of talent at running back, expect the old man of the group to be the lead workhorse, Grandpa Tony Brooks-James. 

Career-highs, milestones and streaks: Oregon numbers you need to know

Career-highs, milestones and streaks: Oregon numbers you need to know

On Saturday, No. 23 ranked Oregon is looking to extend its streak of consecutive non-conference home wins to 22 when it hosts Portland State at 11am at Autzen Stadium.

Yes, the Ducks should crush the young Portland State Vikings, but there is still plenty to watch and get excited about. If you want to be the person at the tailgate with all the facts, here are some numbers to know:

High-flying offense: Oregon is 78-0 all-time when scoring 50+ points.

Oh, the good ole days: Oregon hasn’t scored 50 points in back-to-back games since 2014 (Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl). This could change against Portland State on Saturday, if the Ducks amass 50 points. 

Defensive duo: Jalen Jelks and Troy Dye combined for 28.5 tackles for loss in 2017. They are the top returning tackles for loss duo in the Pac-12 conference.

On a roll: Oregon has four defensive touchdowns in its last three games (dating back to last season) with at least one in each contest.

Go Herbie go: Quarterback Justin Herbert’s five touchdown passes in UO’s season opener broke the record for most touchdown passes in an opener in Oregon history. Akili Smith (1998) and Danny O'Neill (1994), previously held the record with four touchdowns each.

Career-highs: In UO’s opener, defensive lineman Jordon Scott set career-highs in tackles (7) and tackles for loss (1.5). Defensive lineman Austin Faoliu set a career-high with five tackles. Wide receiver Jaylon Redd set a career-high with 81 yards receiving
 and scored a 33-yard touchdown, the longest touchdown catch of his career. Defensive lineman Jalen Jelks tatched a career-high with nine tackles (third straight game with six or more).

First game under the lights: A total of 10 true freshmen played in UO’s season opener. (Bryan Addison, Karsten Battles, Travis Dye, Kahlef Hailassee, Jevon Holland, Verone McKinley III, Penei Sewell, Tom Snee and Steve Stephens)

Freshman starter: Right tackle Penei Sewell was the first true freshman offensive lineman to start season opener since 1997 (Last true freshman to start a game on the offensive line was RT Tyrell Crosby in 2014).

Don’t mess with Hollins: Justin Hollins recorded a tackle for loss in UO’s season opener for the fifth straight game dating back to 2017.

Safety Ugo Amadi poised to be a star: Amadi returned his fifth career interception 38 yards for a touchdown on Bowling Green’s first drive of the second half. The senior finished sixth on the team in total tackles with five, but he was tied for the lead with four solo tackles. After his performance in the opener, the Ducks have moved him to the starting punt returner role.

Nose in the books: A first-team Academic All-American as a sophomore, Herbert holds a 4.06 GPA as a biology major.

Run Tony, run: Senior running back Tony Brooks-James surpassed 1,000 all-purpose yards in each of the last two seasons.


UO’s “penalty problem” showed improvement: In 2017, Oregon was the most penalized team in the nation, averaging 9.4 penalties for 88.3 penalty yards per game. Oregon finished with three penalties for 35 yards.

 

More Ducks:

Oregon climbs to No. 23 in the AP Poll

The Good and Bad from Oregon's victory over Bowling Green

In No. 24 Oregon’s 58-24 victory over Bowling green the good outweighed the bad.

Oregon's rushing attack led by seven-headed monster

NCAA tightening restrictions on CFB uniforms

Oregon’s unpredictable power/tempo offense brings the "thump"

Dazzling UO running backs: The locks, contenders and long shots

Oregon climbs to No. 23 in the AP Poll

Oregon climbs to No. 23 in the AP Poll

The Ducks started the Mario Cristobal era ranked as No. 24 in the preseason AP Poll. After winning its 14th consecutive home opener, Oregon (1-0) climbed one spot to No. 23.

The dominant 58-24 victory over Bowling Green removed the unease left by the Las Vegas Bowl loss to Boise State in Crisotbal’s debut and set up the Ducks to dominate their nonconference opponents (Portland State, Son Jose State). Most importantly, the Ducks walked away without multiple major injuries, but tight end Cam McCormick is out for the season with a broken fibula. However, the win does not move the needle much in the national picture. After Florida State's loss to Virginia Tech, Willie Taggart and the Seminoles dropped out of the top 25. 

Three more Pac-12 teams reside in the AP Poll: No. 9 Washington, No. 10 Stanford and No. 17 USC. 

Alabama remained at No.1 after beating Louisville.

Oregon likely won’t see much movement in the AP poll until its conference opener versus No. 10 Stanford at home.

Washington is the favorite to win the North Division and the Pac-12 Conference title.

However, I picked Oregon as my dark horse to capture the North Division because;

1) Oregon’s schedule is favorable; The Ducks don't play reigning Pac-12 Conference champion USC and host both Washington and Stanford in home games.

2) Defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt brings back a unit with depth and experience.

3) Oregon offense is led by 6-foot-6, 240-pound quarterback Justin Herbert, a potential Heisman Trophy contender and NFL first-round pick.

More Ducks:

The Good and Bad from Oregon's victory over Bowling Green

In No. 24 Oregon’s 58-24 victory over Bowling green the good outweighed the bad.

Oregon's rushing attack led by seven-headed monster

NCAA tightening restrictions on CFB uniforms

Oregon’s unpredictable power/tempo offense brings the "thump"

Dazzling UO running backs: The locks, contenders and long shots