Oregon Ducks

Oregon baseball, George Horton reach mutual decision to part ways

Oregon baseball, George Horton reach mutual decision to part ways

After 11 seasons as Oregon baseball head coach, George Horton and the Ducks are parting ways. 

From the UO athletic department:

EUGENE, Ore. – The University of Oregon athletic department and head baseball coach George Horton announced today that, by mutual agreement, the one-year contract option through the 2020 season for Horton will not be exercised.

“On behalf of the University of Oregon, I want to thank George for leading Oregon baseball with distinction for the last 11 seasons and for laying the foundation for future success,” said Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens. “George had a positive impact on both our baseball student-athletes and on the University itself, and this sure-fire Hall of Famer has been a tremendous ambassador for the school and for the game of baseball. We wish him and his family all of the best moving forward." 

“With much thought and deliberation with my family, I feel it is the right time for me to step away as the head baseball coach at the University of Oregon,” said Horton. “My time in Eugene will always be cherished, and I will forever be a Duck. I am very thankful for the opportunity that was given to me by the University to start this program from scratch. I wish my successor, the current student-athletes, fans and administration nothing but the best moving forward. I look forward to being able to spend more time with my family in Southern California and to new opportunities and challenges.”

Horton finishes with a 373-278-1 record (.573) in 11 seasons as the head coach of the Ducks. He was hired in September 2007 to resurrect an Oregon baseball program that had been dormant since it was dropped following the conclusion of the 1981 season, and the Ducks returned to the diamond under Horton in 2009. He led the Ducks to five Regionals, one Super Regional, and four 40-win seasons, including a school-record 48 wins in 2013.

A total of 84 Oregon baseball players earned degrees during Horton’s tenure. The Ducks also produced 48 players who were selected in the Major League Draft during this time frame, including a pair of left-handed pitchers drafted in the first round, Tyler Anderson by Colorado in 2011 and David Peterson in 2017 by the New York Mets. Seven Oregon players earned a total of 20 All-America honors under Horton.

In 28 years as a collegiate head coach, Horton has a record of 1,089-543-2 (.667), including six years as the head coach at Cerritos College (1985-90). He took six teams to the College World Series with Cal State Fullerton from 1997-2007, with the Titans winning the national championship in 2004. Horton is one of 17 people to have appeared in Omaha as both a player (1975 with his alma mater, Cal State Fullerton) and as a coach.

A search is underway for the new head coach for the Oregon baseball program, and associate head coach Jay Uhlman will assume responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the program until a new head coach is named.

WSU Coach Mike Leach calls Autzen Stadium 'Middle Earth'

WSU Coach Mike Leach calls Autzen Stadium 'Middle Earth'

Washington State Coach Mike Leach hardly disappoints when it comes to giving a good quote. That sentiment held true when Leach was asked about the Cougars upcoming matchup against No. 11 Oregon on Saturday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Washington State (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) is coming off their first conference win on Saturday, defeating Colorado 41-10 in a strong offensive showing. After the victory, Leach looked ahead to the “tough” Ducks and referred to Autzen Stadium as a “great looking stadium that looks like Middle Earth” on the WSU postgame radio show.

Middle-earth is the fictional setting of British writer J. R. R. Tolkien's books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

In his Monday press conference, Leach continued his analysis of Autzen Stadium.

“I’ve always like Autzen Stadium. It is one of my favorites in the country. Most people have it as the loudest, I would agree with that,” Leach said.

Then, Leach moved on to preview the Ducks (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12), who have control atop the Pac-12 North Division. The Cougars have beat the Ducks four-consecutive times.

On Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert:

“He’s a talented guy, but, you know, I am very pleased we have ours instead,” Leach said.

How does he plan to stop Herbert?

“The same way we have for the past four years,” Leach said.

 On Oregon’s success:

“The surprising thing to me is that people are surprised,” Leach said.

Leach continued to say the Ducks’ recruiting classes have been one of the best in the country in recent years, why would anyone be surprised that four and five star athletes are playing well?

Why a healthy Deommodore Lenoir is crucial for Oregon vs. Washington State

Why a healthy Deommodore Lenoir is crucial for Oregon vs. Washington State

Oregon starting cornerback Deommodore Lenoir is on this week's depth chart and has been cleared to play against Washington State on Saturday, according to Mario Cristobal.

“(Lenoir) looks good,” Cristobal said. “We feel like he’s ready to go and will be ready to go (against Washington State)."

Lenoir, who has started 20 straight games, suffered an injury in the Ducks’ comeback win at Washington while making a tackle with teammate Nick Pickett. Lenoir left for the locker room, did not return to the game and true freshman DJ James filled in.

Cristobal also added that senior linebacker Troy Dye, who broke his thumb vs. the Huskies, will be monitored, but he already played through the injury on Saturday and is expected to play against the Cougars.

With zero conferences losses, No. 11 Oregon (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) has control atop the Pac-12 North Division. While the Cougars (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) are coming off their first conference win on Saturday, defeating Colorado 41-10 in a strong offensive showing.

Coach Mike Leach’s air raid offense is different than anything UO Defensive Coordinator Andy Avalos and the Ducks have competed against thus far this season.

However, Lenoir knows the Cougars all too well and has never beaten them in his Oregon career. WSU has beaten Oregon four-consecutive times. The health of the upperclassman is vital to stopping WSU.

Lenoir, who was recently named a mid-season All-American by Pro Football Focus, is allowing less than half the balls targeted in his direction to be caught, the best coverage grade in the Pac-12 and one of the best percentages in the nation.

That excellent coverage will be needed against WSU who spreads the field with their receivers. WSU quarterback Anthony Gordon threw four touchdown passes against Colorado, his fourth game with four or more touchdowns in a game this season.

“We have not done a good enough job against Washington State for the past four years,” Crisotbal said.
The Duck defense has dominated at home so far this season, giving up just 19 points in four home games this season while forcing 19 three-and-outs in 53 drives. The Ducks have nine different players with an interception, led by sophomore safety Jevon Holland who leads the nation with three picks.

Off to a 4-0 start in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2013, Lenoir and the Ducks look to avoid a letdown game and snap the four-game losing streak against Washington State on Saturday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Oregon football at USC kicks off in prime time

Oregon football at USC kicks off in prime time

No. 11 Oregon’s next road game at USC on Nov. 2 kicks off at 5 p.m. on Fox.

The matchup could be a Pac-12 championship preview. The Ducks (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) control the North Division with zero conference losses. The Trojans (4-3, 3-1) are tied with No. 12 Utah for first place in the South Division but own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Utes (6-1, 3-1).

Oregon, who is off to its first 4-0 start in Pac-12 play since 2013, will be looking for its fourth consecutive Pac-12 road victory at LA Memorial Coliseum. 

Want to get a sneak peak at the Trojans? USC plays at Colorado on Friday at Folsom Field (6 p.m., ESPN2).

[READ: In enemy territory, La’Mar Winston's leadership planted seeds for the future]

 

Oregon rises in rankings after rivalry win

Oregon rises in rankings after rivalry win

The Oregon Ducks (6-1, 4-0) moved up from No. 12 to No. 11 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, after taking down rival No. 25 Washington on the road in their largest second half comeback win since 2008.

Oregon’s sixth straight win improves the Ducks to 4-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2013 and preserves their spot at the top of the North Division with zero conference losses. It also stifled the Huskies chances at the Pac-12 title. The Ducks have won 14 of the last 16 meetings with Washington, including six of the last seven in Husky Stadium.

[READ: In enemy territory, La’Mar Winston's leadership planted seeds for the future]

It was a polarizing week in the top 25. Among the ranked teams to lose were then-No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 14 Boise St, No. 16 Michigan, No. 17 Arizona St, No. 22 Missouri and 25 Washington.

The Ducks will host Washington State on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

In the Pac-12:

  • Zack Moss broke Utah's career rushing record in the Utes' 21-3 victory over Arizona State.
  • Oregon State beats Cal with thanks to a late touchdown and interception
  • Washington State bested Colorado, 41-10
  • UCLA got a 34-16 win over Stanford
  • USC took down Arizona, 41-14

The Oregon Ducks won a big one at Washington -- or did they?

The Oregon Ducks won a big one at Washington -- or did they?

The Oregon Ducks all but wrapped up the Pac-12 North Saturday afternoon when they dispatched Washington. Nobody’s going to catch them now and the only teams in the conference with a legitimate chance to beat them are going to be Utah in the title game or USC.

But really, winning the Pac-12 this season is certainly not what it used to be. Folks, this league is weak. VERY weak.

It used to be that if the Ducks won in Seattle, that was a monster victory. Same thing with getting a win at Stanford. But take a look at this traditionally strong programs this season.

Washington, with that loss, fell to 2-3 in conference play with losses to California and, yes, Stanford. The Cardinal, also 2-3, lost at USC and at home to a pitiful UCLA team. Oregon State had a big win for its program at California and is all alone in second place at 2-2 behind the Ducks, but had a narrow loss to Stanford at home and was blown out 52-7 by Utah.

Oregon is good, make no mistake about it. But its touted defense feasted off the many teams in the division that simply can’t move the football consistently. And I think what hurts a team in the Ducks’ position is that playing weak conference teams throughout the regular season is no way to get ready for powerful squads in a bowl or playoff game. And I think this has been a problem for Oregon in past seasons. Blowouts aren’t good tuneups for playing the big boys of college football.

I'm not trying to rain on anybody's parade. I'm keeping it real.

And this conference just doesn’t have great credentials when it comes to getting a team into the playoffs this season. If you’re elsewhere in the country trying to figure the league out, you’re going to see that Oregon State and Arizona – teams with 2-2 conference records – hold losses to Hawaii, which has won only two other games this season.

Perhaps the conference’s best non-conference performance was a loss – USC’s three-point defeat at Notre Dame or the Ducks’ last-second loss to Auburn. But the Trojans have also lost to BYU (which has lost to Toledo) and Washington.

Go figure.

And as far as the national championship playoff, it doesn’t look good for the Ducks to make the field. Here’s what Oddsshark.com had to say last week about Oregon’s chances. And yes, it's dated, but it's the national perception of the Pac-12:

The No. 11 Oregon Ducks (+1000) lost in their season opener to the Auburn Tigers and have won four straight since. What puts the Ducks at a major disadvantage is playing in the Pac-12 where no win really feels impressive and, to that point, this expected high-potent offense has averaged just 24.3 points per game over their last three games. Oregon has just one currently-ranked squad remaining on its schedule, at No. 18 Arizona State in Week 13. If the Ducks win, that would be their only win over a ranked foe in 2019 – not good enough.

In enemy territory, La’Mar Winston's leadership planted seeds for the future

In enemy territory, La’Mar Winston's leadership planted seeds for the future

SEATTLE- The Oregon Ducks beat their rival Washington in comeback fashion, essentially punched their ticket to the Pac-12 Conference title game and kept a glimmer of College Football Playoff hopes alive.

After overcoming the largest second-half deficit since 2008 at Purdue and improving to 4-0 in Pac-12 play, the Ducks had a lot to celebrate.

However, one part of Oregon’s joyous celebration was not like the others.

Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal fist pumped, threw up the “O” and high-fived brave Ducks fans after the 35-31 victory, with a smile beaming from his face. The team sang the Oregon fight song along with the band, hugging and dancing. Freshman Mycah Pittman jumped up and down with palpable energy after scoring his first Duck touchdown. Senior Troy Dye, with a cast on his broken thumb, gave a television interview that he ended with a hand gesture of the “W” going down. Senior quarterback Justin Herbert happily walked off the field for the final time against UW after calmly leading the team to the win and extending his nation-leading streak to 35 straight games with a touchdown pass.

Then there was senior linebacker La’Mar Winston Jr.

The Portland, Oregon-native huddled together a group of freshman defensive tackles in a passionate display of leadership. Under the screaming fans and celebrating teammates, Winston Jr.’s words were loud and clear.

“I want you to remember this moment,” Winston Jr. said. “When I leave, when everyone leaves. You have to make sure that everyone stays hungry.”

He looked them each in the eye and said a few more words before hugging them. Then jumped over the railing and into the crowd of fans that embraced him.

“I love La’Mar to death, that’s my brother for life,” Dye said of his teammate. “To see him step up like that and bring all those young guys around him and really coach them up, is big-time for our defense. The older guys working with the younger guys trickles down and creates a great future for this team.”

Winston Jr. totaled one tackle against Washington but his impact reaches farther than the stat line and will continue long after he graduates. His leadership has helped the Duck defense dominate this season to lead the Pac-12.

“La’Mar has poured his heart and soul into this,” Cristobal said. “When you do that and overcome a 14-point deficit on the road, when things were looking a little bit shaky… Hard work done the right way, it pays off. It paid off today.”

Cristobal continued to name Winston Jr. as someone he hopes his sons might be like when they grow up.  

The Ducks got a significant win on a rainy, gray, quintessential Pacific Northwest day. Vivid red, gold, green, purple and orange trees surrounding Husky stadium. Inside, the Ducks and Huskies battled in an instant classic. However, the most striking impression was a senior passing along advice in a teachable moment that could reap benefits for seasons to come.

What we learned: Everyone loves Mycah Pittman

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Ashley Young

What we learned: Everyone loves Mycah Pittman

The Oregon Ducks went up to the hostile territory of Seattle, Washington on Saturday and picked up the 35-31 win over the rival Huskies. The win keeps Oregon undefeated in conference play and a near-lock to represent the North in the Pac-12 championship game. 

So what did we learn from one of the greatest rivalry games in college football?

We learned that everyone loves Mycah Pittman.

A four-star recruit out of high school, the buzz was loud around the freshman wide receiver upon Pittman's arrival in Eugene this summer. 

Pittman suffered an injury during camp and was sidelined to start the season, but since making his debut two weeks ago against Cal, he has been turning heads. 

Entering Saturday's rivalry game, Pittman had seven catches for 100 yards on the season, but no touchdowns. That changed against the Huskies. 

On 4th and 3 from the Washington 36, Justin Herbert found Pittman on the screen pass. Pittman didn't just get the first down though, he sprinted 36-yards to the endzone for the first touchdown of his career.

Following the game, Herbert had some high praise for his freshman weapon -

Mycah just makes plays and that's all he's ever done since he's shown up. It was good to see

Ducks fans on social media, well, they love Pittman too:

At the end of the game, Pittman was just as excited as all of us, as you can see in this video from our Ducks Insider Bri Amaranthus. 

 

Instant Analysis: Oregon takes down rival Washington

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USATI/NBCSNW

Instant Analysis: Oregon takes down rival Washington

SEATTLE - No. 12 Oregon beat rival No. 25 Washington in an instant classic in Seattle, silencing a tempestuous and unruly sea of purple at Husky Stadium.

The win extends the Ducks’ winning streak to six games and improves them to 4-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2013. Oregon (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) remains atop the North Division with zero conference losses and stifles the Huskies chances at the Pac-12 title.

Here are the top three takeaways from the contest.

1. Impressive opening drive

Oregon quickly quieted the unruly Washington crowd with a 75-yard touchdown drive with tempo, great throws, strong rushing attack and a faint "Let's Go Ducks" chant.

Quarterback Justin Herbert was a perfect 6-for-6 for 56 yards and a touchdown, extending his nation-best passing touchdown streak to 35 straight games. Tight end Spencer Webb caught the 12-yard touchdown pass, his second touchdown of the season. Running back CJ Verdell got off to a solid start, with 26 rushing yards on six carries and two receptions for 12 yards.

On the opening drive, the Ducks already totaled more passing yards than they did in 2017 in Seattle. The rest of the game was an up and down rollercoaster for the quarterback, looking brilliant at times and lost at times.

 

2. Oregon’s dominant defense in disarray

The Duck defense allowed only 25 points and one touchdown in the past five games. The dominance did not continue against Washington, allowing three touchdowns in the first half alone.

Oregon’s pass rush was non-existent in the first half, recording zero sacks or quarterback hurries on Washington’s Jacob Eason. Entering this game, Oregon had at least six combined sacks/quarterback hurries in each game this season, averaging nine per game in Pac-12 play.   

Adding insult to injury, linebacker Troy Dye and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir both had to head to the locker room for extended periods of time after suffering injuries. Dye returned and started the second half, Lenoir did not return.

3. Under-REDD-ed

Junior wide receiver Jaylon Redd has been flying under the radar with major contributions to the Oregon offense. Redd extended his nation-leading streak of games with a touchdown catch to six games, scoring on a 16-yard pass in the second quarter. He added another score late in the game to give Oregon the 34-31 lead. The Ducks can count on Redd’s elusiveness and quick bursts.

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More to come with quotes and videos from Coach Mario Cristobal and Ducks players.

Oregon Ducks in action vs. Washington Huskies, follow us on social for live updates

Oregon Ducks in action vs. Washington Huskies, follow us on social for live updates

Saturday is more than just another football game for the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies. It’s a rivalry that runs back 112 years full of chippy moments, heated arguments, trash talking fans, and so much more. 

This time, the rivalry will be played in a sea of purple at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. 

It’s No. 12 (Oregon) vs. No. 25 (Washington) and it’s going to be a good one with Pac-12 north implications on the line. If Oregon (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) defeats UW (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12), the Ducks will have a commanding lead in the north division race. If UW can beat Oregon, then the Huskies are right back in the north mix.

Our Oregon Ducks Insider Bri Amaranthus and Digital Producer Ashley Young are in Seattle, WA so make sure you follow along on social.

HIGHLIGHT:

TOUCHDOWN OREGON!

The Ducks marched down the field on the opening drive and grabbed the early 7-0 lead. 

DON'T STOP ON REDD

Jaylon Redd ties it up for the Ducks

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Calvin Throckmorton on the legacy on the Oregon-Washington rivalry:

“It comes down to controlled aggression. Letting that passion and the pageantry of the rivalry give you that little bit of juice to start the game. But, you have to use that in the right way. It can’t come out as raw emotion, it has to come out as controlled aggression.”

QUICK LINKS

Numbers to Know: Oregon vs. Washington

Oregon upperclassmen teaching rivalry legacy to young Ducks

3 keys to an Oregon victory against rival Washington

Oregon’s ice cold uniforms vs. rival Washington