Oregon Ducks

Ducks, sans raincoats, rain touchdowns in Corvallis

Ducks, sans raincoats, rain touchdowns in Corvallis

CORVALLIS- Oregon crushed Oregon State 55-15 in the 122nd Civil War on a typical rainy and cold November day in front of a weak 39,776 fans in Reser Stadium.

The rivalry victory launched the rambunctious Ducks on the sideline to erupt in a chant of "This is Our House" and caused a grinning embrace between UO coach Mario Cristobal and athletic director Rob Mullens. Alas, there was another noticeable change from the last time Oregon visited Corvallis; No one in a Ducks uniform donned a raincoat. 

Cristobal made sure to change the narrative from the Ducks’ last trip to OSU. The 2016 game is one most Oregon fans and players would like to forget. Not only did OSU beat Oregon, 34-24, in a rainstorm but the Beavers proceeded to call the Ducks "soft" for putting on “shiny raincoats” when the showers hit.

Cristobal wasn’t on the coaching staff then but remembers the headlines well.

“I hate to bring it up again, but I read so many articles about shiny raincoats,” Cristobal said. “Shiny coats came out, Oregon gave up a 10-point lead and is accused of what a football player never wants to be accused of; being soft. Those words, they dig pretty deep now. Those things aren’t forgotten so easily.”

And forget they did not. This season’s Civil War exhibited the toughest weather conditions Oregon has faced so far in 2018, but the coaching staff prepared the Ducks to embrace the storm. This week, as the Ducks prepared for the Beavers in the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, the giant screen displayed the weather forecast; 90 percent chance of rain.

“All week (Cristobal) was saying the rain is coming, we knew it was coming and it didn’t effect us at all,” freshman running back Travis Dye said. “We embraced it, took it and we ran with it.”

The Ducks literally ran with it. Oregon rushed for a season-high 392 yards, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Both freshmen running backs reached career highs. CJ Verdell shined, barreling for a career-high 187 yards on 23 carries and four rushing touchdowns, adding one receiving touchdown to score five total. Dye was one yard away from the 200-yard mark, finishing with 33 carries, 199 yards and two touchdowns.

"They had some open holes, but they ran hard," Cristobal said of Verdell and Dye. "They broke tackles."

Dye set a new Oregon freshman record for single-game rushing yards. Verdell became the first player in the FBS this season with four rushing and one receiving touchdown.

“I’ve been telling people from the beginning, this one-two punch can’t be stopped,” said Dye.


It was an important game for Oregon to be able to count on the duo, as quarterback Justin Herbert went down with an injury after being sacked in the second quarter. The severity of the injury will be accessed this week but Cristobal confirmed after the game that the junior “took a shot”. Before leaving the game, Herbert extended his steak with a touchdown pass to 27 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the nation.

Without Herbert, Oregon’s offense scored 34 points. The Ducks looked anything but cold. Which was the plan.

Verdell said Cristobal didn’t talk about the raincoats this week, but he made it clear that ‘he didn’t want to see anyone being soft or acting like they are cold on the sidelines’.

I cannot confirm whether the raincoats made the trip to Corvallis or not. However, when the game ended and the rain intensified, no one could find the jackets.

“I know a few guys were looking for the coats after the game ended,” redshirt junior defensive lineman Gus Cumberlander said. “I don’t think Cristobal wanted us to bring them out on the field.”

The victory improved the Ducks to 8-4, 5-4 in Pac-12 conference play, surpassing their win total from last season. It also was Oregon’s 10th win in the last 11 Civil War meetings, the only loss coming in 2016. Who knew a shiny raincoat could trigger so much motivation?

Oregon Ducks lose out on 4-star CB Denzel Burke who commits to Ohio State

Oregon Ducks lose out on 4-star CB Denzel Burke who commits to Ohio State

A blue chip Oregon target has decided to attend college elsewhere.

2021 four-star defensive back Denzel Burke announced his commitment to Ohio State University Sunday afternoon via his Twitter. 

On May 12, Burke had announced that Oregon was among his top-five teams along with the Buckeyes, USC, Colorado, and Washington.

Via the 247Sports Composite rankings, Burke was the 183rd overall prospect in the country, seventh-best athlete, and fourth-best overall player in Arizona. Oregon has secured three of the five best players in Arizona this recruiting cycle by getting verbal commitments from OL Jonah Miller, QB Ty Thompson, and OT Bram Walden. 

[RELATED]: Oregon Ducks land 2021 four-star OL Jonah Miller

If the 6'0", 189 pound cornerback wasn't going to choose the Ducks the Buckeyes was the next best bet for Oregon as he will not be in the Pac-12 conference. They may match up on the field next season in Colombus, however, when the Ducks travel to play Ohio State on September 11, 2021. 

Additionally, verbal commitments are nonbinding so if Oregon can pull off the upset against Ohio State this season in Autzen Stadium then maybe Burke could reconsider, if that game happens.

[RELATED]: Could the Oregon vs. Ohio State series flip locations?

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Walt Disney World would 'be happy' to host the WNBA season as well

Walt Disney World would 'be happy' to host the WNBA season as well

Sabrina Ionescu always produces magic on the court so it only makes sense she may make her professional debut next to the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

According to Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports, Walt Disney World would "be happy" to host the WNBA in addition to the remainder of the NBA season if the league wants.

"We'd be happy to host the WNBA here as well," a source told Smith. "We see this as an overall partnership with the entire NBA umbrella. We've been great partners for years, as seen with the NBA Experience at Disney Springs. This is an expansion of that."

Smith worked at Disney for 20 years before leaving to cover the NBA full-time.

The report comes hours after NBA spokesman Mike Bass announced that the NBA in congruence with the Player's Association have begun talks to play out the remainder of the season at Walt Disney Corporation's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

"The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing," Bass said. "Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place."

On April 3, the WNBA season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no longer targeting to begin training camp on May 15.

"As developments continue to emerge around the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extension of the social distancing guidelines in the United States through April 30, the WNBA will postpone the start of its training camps and tip of the regular season originally scheduled for May 15," said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in a statement. "While the league continues to use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats, our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees."

The league also held the 2020 WNBA Draft virtually which saw three Oregon Ducks go in the first round: Sabrina Ionescu (No. 1 to the New York Liberty), Satou Sabally (No. 2 to the Dallas Wings) and Ruthy Hebard (No. 8 to the Chicago Sky).

Additionally, Oregon State's Mikayla Pivec was selected by the Atlanta Dream with the first pick of the third round. 

Now, it appears like all four will make their respective WNBA debuts at Walt Disney World.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

The secret to Oregon's success starts in the weight room with Aaron Feld

The secret to Oregon's success starts in the weight room with Aaron Feld

You probably noticed the moment Aaron Feld took over as Oregon Football’s Strength and Conditioning coach back in January 2018.

Whether it was the magnificent mustache or perhaps it was the first time you heard him screaming ‘good morning’ at his players when they arrived for football practice in the early AM. Or maybe you noticed his impact on the players themselves, seeing their bodies transform in the weight room. 

Whatever the case may be, Feld has made quite the impact in Eugene, Oregon. 

The biggest difference Feld sees since he has taken over the program is the mindset in the weight room.

The weight room mentality here in the long history seemed to be just guys come in, do what they got to do and get out. What we tried to do was change that mentality of ‘Okay this is something we have to do,’ to ‘Okay, this is part of the process of winning.’ — Aaron Feld

That’s no easy task. For example, the players would have a scheduled lift every Sunday during football season, meaning after playing a long, hard-hitting football game on Saturday, to then wake up on Sunday to go lift. But Feld believes first in training your mind to then train your body. To see working out as something greater than just working out.

We used to have to come up with gimmicks and games and ideas to get them excited about training. This past season, it’s a business mentality. You walk in the weight room, you go to work, you get your job done and then you bounce. The purpose isn’t to lift weights; the purpose is to be great at football. — Aaron Feld

It’s that mindset that separates the good from the great and it’s in every small detail.

The fact that the Oregon weight room overlooks the practice fields serves as a constant reminder to the players that they’re not there to lift weights; they are there to play football. It’s about keeping your body and your mind in tip top shape to play the game of football.

Now it’s part of what they [the players] do and not something they have to do. — Aaron Feld

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Justin Herbert’s Redbox Bowl halftime speech is the most Justin Herbert speech ever

Justin Herbert’s Redbox Bowl halftime speech is the most Justin Herbert speech ever

For those of you who don’t remember, most likely because you’ve washed it from your memory on purpose, let’s flash back to the 2018 Redbox Bowl game.

It was a warm, sunny day for a noon kickoff at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The 8-4 Ducks, in head coach Mario Cristobal’s inaugural season, earned a post-season bowl game against the 7-6 Michigan State Spartans.

What came next was anything but predicted.

The Ducks and Spartans entered halftime with the scoreboard reading 0-0, and no that wasn’t the game clock, it was the score. 

Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld joined host Jordan Kent on the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast. Feld was asked what his favorite memory of being a coach at Oregon was. 

One of his favorites came at halftime of this Redbox bowl shutout.

Justin Herbert calls the whole team up - he doesn’t speak a whole lot - and he give this great ‘Hey, everybody relax, do your job, you know the drill, we’re going to go out there and win this game.’ And then he said, ‘Now let’s go out there and kick their butts.’ The entire team died out laughing. It was the perfect comic relief, icebreaker, like everyone calm down. We went out and had a good time the second half. — Aaron Feld

It’s the most Justin Herbert-like speech ever. 

But it also got the job done. The Ducks went on to win 7-6 and Mario Cristobal earned his first post-season bowl game win as head coach at Oregon. Oregon’s sole touchdown was a 28-yard pass from Herbert to wide receiver Dillon Mitchell with 11:19 to play in the fourth quarter.

Oh man, to be a fly on the wall during that halftime speech.

Feld has another favorite memory, quite similar to the one above, that too makes a whole lot of sense when looking at the last four years of the Oregon Football program. 

Last season, Cal had a 7-0 lead at halftime over Oregon in Autzen Stadium, something that doesn’t happen often. 

Troy Dye comes into the locker room, grabs Herbie [Justin Herbert] and pulls him over to the offensive line… We had been coaching and preaching about lifting each other up and elevating everybody and Troy calls these guys over and says, ‘Hey, all we need is eight points. If you get us eight points, we’ll win this game.’ We ended up winning 17-7 so the defense absolutely held their end of the bargain. — Aaron Feld

It’s like those moments when the student becomes the master. 

That kind of leadership was both needed and expected in those crucial moments and throughout the rest of the season from Justin Herbert and Troy Dye when the two decided to forgo the 2019 NFL Draft and return to Oregon for their senior year.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Could the Oregon vs. Ohio State series flip locations?

Could the Oregon vs. Ohio State series flip locations?

There’s still so much unknown right now when it comes to professional sports and collegiate sports.

Oregon Ducks fans and Ohio State Buckeye fans are anticipating the decision on their scheduled 2020 non-conference game this fall. The game is currently scheduled for Sept. 12 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

However, there’s a lot of concern that sporting events will not take place in the state of Oregon at that time. 

Two weeks ago, Oregon Governor Kate Brown gave an update on sporting events in Oregon, stating that large events such as sports would not be able to return or would be drastically altered “until we have a reliable treatment or prevention like a vaccine.”

So now the question is: Will the Ducks and Buckeyes showdown take place at all?

The scheduled Sept. 12 game is part of a home-and-home series.

Oregon is scheduled to travel to Ohio Stadium on Sept. 11, 2021.

This week, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith made a joke about playing both of the games in their house.

“We can just play both of them here, two years in a row,” Smith joked during a teleconference Wednesday.

Ducks fans probably don’t think that was all that funny.

But in all seriousness, Smith said he spoke with Oregon’s athletic director Rob Mullens, but they did not discuss the possibility of flip-flopping locations for the two games.

That's not to say that the possibility of switching locations for the series couldn’t happen.

Smith isn’t ruling out the idea.

“This is the first time I've thought about it, so I'm not so sure I've got a strong opinion on it,” he added during Wednesday’s teleconference. “Because we would be probably giving up a game next year, in '21, which would make it harder for us. So, I'm not so sure I would do that.”

He started off Wednesday’s teleconference stating, “Obviously, we have a lot of challenges with what we’re dealing with it. A lot of things to be… decisions to be ultimately made.”

Listen to the entire Gene Smith conference call right here.

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest GoDucks.com editor-in-chief Rob Moseley. 

Troy Dye went out as a Rose Bowl Champion and it 'meant the world'

Troy Dye went out as a Rose Bowl Champion and it 'meant the world'

Once a Duck, always a Duck.

It's a saying that originates in Eugene but has been echoed all through the country and even the world. As those leave the University of Oregon, one thing's for sure: All Ducks share a special bond. 

Now that sentiment will extend to Minnesota where former Oregon linebacker Troy Dye will be playing professional football for the Minnesota Vikings who selected him in the fourth round, 132nd overall, during the 2020 NFL Draft.

In an interview on the Minnesota Vikings podcast, Dye discussed what his time in Eugene meant to him. 

I think Eugene is probably my second home because I just fell in love with the community. I feel like I have a spot there for the rest of my life, no matter what. - Troy Dye

After winning the Redbox Bowl as a junior, Dye along with quarterback Justin Herbert, forwent the NFL Draft to play one final season in Eugene with one goal in mind: To go out on top.

We've been through so much: Three difference coaching changes, three different offenses, three different defenses, different scandals, different things going on with strength coaches and administration people, just different things that can distract people. People transfering, people getting kicked off. There's many things that can get you discouraged and you can go 4-8, then [7-6], then 8-4, and then the last year could be 8-4 and you'd be okay with that but we had a different mindset, different goal. We made sure everybody was on the same page going into this last year and made it happen. - Troy Dye

The city had given Dye so much that he knew he needed to finish the rebuild his senior class began. 

I've built so many relationships and friendships over those four years it's just meant the world to me. So to be able to go out with that senior class that we came in with and go out with the Rose Bowl it just meant the world.

Dye's senior class accomplished just that winning the program's first Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl Championship since 2014, and finishing with the program's highest final ranking of No. 5 since Marcus Mariota left for the NFL. They also left the program ready to continue building forward with back-to-back top recruiting classes in the conference which leads to more talent being injected into the program.

Dye, Herbert, and the rest of the 2020 class will be remembered for turning around the program back to national relevance; where it belongs. 

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest GoDucks.com editor-in-chief Rob Moseley. 

New Hayward Field is complete and it looks absolutely stunning

New Hayward Field is complete and it looks absolutely stunning

The walk to Autzen Stadium is considered among the most beautiful parts of Eugene, but now it may have some competition. 

Wednesday evening, Oregon Track & Field released a look at the newly built Hayward Field testing the sound system. 

Then, Oregon Cross Country coach Jill Steele released a look at twilight which was stunning. 

Oregon 2021 wide receiver target Dont'e Thornton liked what he was seeing, too. 

Construction on the renovation of Hayward Field began in Summer 2018 fully funded from Phil and Penny Knight along with 50 other donors. The capacity has been increased more than double from 10,500 to nearly 25,000.  

The field was scheduled to host the 2020 Pac-12 Championships and 2020 Olympic Trials, but both events were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The newly constructed field will host the 2021 Olympic Trials June 18–27, 2021 ahead of next year's Summer Olympics. 

Additionally, the 2021 World Championships have been delayed to July 15–24, 2022 as the 2022 World Championships at Hayward Field. 

Former Oregon Track and Field star and Olympian Ashton Eaton talked about Eugene maintaining the tradition of Tracktown, USA on the Talkin' Ducks podcast last month, prior the delay to 2022. 

The World Championships was a plan that was in the minds of folks who were building up the Oregon track program, Hayward Field and the ‘Tracktown’ idea years ago. And so, in order to get to that point, the 2008 Olympic Trials had to be had, 2012, 2016 and now 2021. So these things were all not random. They were leading up to this moment of bringing the entire world of track and field to Hayward Field, to Eugene, Oregon. -- Ashton Eaton

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest GoDucks.com editor-in-chief Rob Moseley.

Oregon Ducks signee Luke Hill arrested for attempted murder

Oregon Ducks signee Luke Hill arrested for attempted murder

Oregon Ducks signee Luke Hil was arrested Tuesday on eight different charges, including first degree attempted murder, according to 247Sports

Per arrest records, Hill has been charged with the following

  • An attempted loaded handgun on person
  • Handgun on person
  • Possession of a firearm by a minor 
  • Use of an assault weapon
  • Use of a firearm
  • Attempted first-degree murder
  • Reckless endangerment
  • First-degree assault

The former four-star recruit has a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 19, 2020, at 8:45 a.m. ET in Prince George County in Maryland.

"He was informed earlier this Spring that he would not be a member of our program," head coach Mario Cristobal told DuckTerritory in a statement Wednesday.

Justin Hopkins of ScoopDuck has reported that Oregon hasn't had plans of having him in the program for months. The University never gave him any admissions paperwork after becoming aware of character concerns and told Hill he would not be a Duck. Hill then deleted all Oregon presence among his social media. 

John Canzano of The Oregonian reported that Hill was let go from Oregon following a series of "immature actions" in February unrelated to the current charges. 

247Sports rated Hill as a four-star recruit, ranked as the 195th overall player in the 2020 high school class and 15th overall cornerback. He held offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, and other premier college football programs.

This story is updating as more information is becoming available. 

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest GoDucks.com editor-in-chief Rob Moseley.

Patrick Chung signs two-year contract extension with NE Patriots

Patrick Chung signs two-year contract extension with NE Patriots

Patrick Chung is being rewarded for his consistency on the field.

The former Oregon Ducks safety has agreed to a two-year extension through 2023, according to Field Yates. 

Originally drafted by the Patriots in 2009 and spending all but one season with New England, Chung has been a late bloomer professionally. Chung has found his stride.

He has enjoyed three Super Bowls (XLIX, LI, LIII) since returning to the Patriots after a brief stint in Philadelphia and has only missed one regular-season game.

Chung has also been recognized for being able to stay on the field. During his Oregon days, Chung currently holds the record for starting more games than any other defensive player in program history (51 straight game).

He might not pop off the screen as a player with a lot of Pro Bowl selections or crazy defensive stats season after season, but that never matters at the end of the end when you help your team get to the Super Bowl practically every year.

Chung has been the backbone of this long run of excellent defense the Patriots are now accustomed to the season after season and now is being rewarded for what he has brought to the table for the Patriots.