Oregon Ducks

Oregon vs. Baylor preview: Does offense or defense win championships?

Oregon vs. Baylor preview: Does offense or defense win championships?

After being an eliminated in the Elite Eight each of the past two seasons, the Oregon women’s basketball team has already accomplished a feat they never have before: dancing in the Final Four for the first time in program history.

Some might consider the Ducks deep run in the NCAA Tournament a success already, but Oregon is determined to add a national championship trophy to their trophy case for the first time, and they won't go down without a fight on Friday as the second-seeded Ducks take on No. 1 Baylor. 

There aren't many teams hotter than the Ducks right now. After shutting down 6-foot-7 center Teaira McCowan of Mississippi State in the Elite 8, Oregon has proven it can effectively defend, as it ranks second in the country to Baylor coming into Friday's matchup. The Ducks also have one of the most explosive offenses in the nation as well, holding teams to 61.3 points per game in the tournament thus far on 36.7 percent shooting and 30.1 percent shooting from three. 

Sharpshooter Sabrina Ionescu is on an unstoppable kick and with a supporting cast like elite forwards Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally, Baylor, the tournament's heavy favorite, will certainly have a tough test ahead. 

Let's preview No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 1 Baylor

Fun Fact: The Ducks are the best 3-point shooting team in the country (41.7 percent). Oregon players Erin Boley, Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally and Maite Cazorla are all shooting beyond 40 percent from behind the arc.

Did you know? This is the fourth meeting between Oregon and Baylor. The Bears won the first three meetings, including an NCAA Tournament matchup in 2005. 

Records: Oregon (33-4), Baylor (35-1)

A Ducks win would: Send the Ducks to the championship title game for the first time in program history.

Count on Kelly Graves: Since Oregon coach Kelly Graves took the rein in 2014, the Ducks have been a different program. In his second year, Oregon was in the WNIT semifinals. Then, following the addition of Sabrina Ionescu, the Ducks made back-to-back trips to the Elite Eight. Now, Oregon is dancing in the Final Four, and it’s only a matter of time before Graves and the Ducks reach the top. Tick, tock. 

Odds Are: The Bears are a 7.5-point favorite over the Ducks, according to Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. The over/under is 147.5 total points.

[READ: Get to know the Oregon Ducks dancing in the Final Four]

One of the nation's best offenses vs. one of the nation's top defenses: Friday's showdown between the Ducks-Bears will be a battle between one of the nation's best offenses vs. one of the nation's top defenses. Oregon ranks third in the NCAA in field goal percentage, shooting 50.5 percent overall, while Baylor leads the NCAA in field goal percentage for defense, allowing teams to shoot just 31.4 percent. 

Ducks X Factor: They don’t call her the triple-double queen for no reason. Sabrina Ionescu holds the NCAA’s career triple-double record and leads the country in assists with 305 this season. Against Mississippi State in the Elite Eight, Ionescu matched her season-best with 31 points, a UO record for an NCAA tournament game. The junior guard is a two-tme Pac-12 Player of the Year, back-to-back First-Team All-American; National Player of the Year candidate; and the probable No. 1 overall WNBA pick. Ionescu is averaging a double-double 19.0 points and 10 rebounds in the tournament and has scored in double figures in 70-straight games, dating back to November 2017. 

Baylor's twin towers: The Bears duo of Lauren Cox and Kalani Brown are the focal point of Baylor's defense and will test Oregon junior Ruthy Hebard in terms of physicality and endurance. Brown, Baylor's 6-foot-7 center, leads the team in scoring at 15.5 points per game and was recently a second-team AP All-American. Alongside Brown, 6-foot-4 junior forward Lauren Cox could cause problems for the Ducks in the paint, as she has so far in the tournament. Through four games in the NCAA Tournament, the pair have a combined 28.4 points, 16.4 rebounds and 4.2 blocks per-game. 

Quotable: "I just think both teams are going to be aggressive and appreciative of where they are. We're not going to take it for granted that we made it to the Final Four. We've came a long way and worked all the season hard for it and the same thing applies to Baylor." - Oregon sophomore forward Satou Sabally

How and where to watch

Time: Friday, April 5, at 4 p.m. PT

Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida


More Ducks: 

[READ: Twinning with Sabrina Ionescu Pt. 1: Rapid fire with her brother]

[READ: Twinning with Sabrina Ionescu Pt. 2: "She's left her mark" but what's next?]

[READ: Sabrina's decision: To declare for the WNBA Draft or return to Oregon?]

[READ: Is Oregon becoming a basketball school?]

DeSean Jackson stayed in the NFC East to play Chip Kelly twice a year

DeSean Jackson stayed in the NFC East to play Chip Kelly twice a year

We all know that Chip Kelly made few friends while as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

[RELATED]: Chip Kelly was 'the worst communicator,' rubbed people the wrong way with Eagles

Well, add DeSean Jackson to the list. 

After Chip Kelly's first season in Philadelphia, he cut DeSean Jackson after failing to find a trade for the then-27-year-old receiver coming off a season where he had 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.

However, NJ.com reported that the Eagles had concerns over "Jackson's continued association with reputed Los Angeles street gang members who have been connected to two homicides since 2010." This in addition to "a bad attitude, an inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and a lack of chemistry with head coach Chip Kelly" caused Jackson to reportedly fall out of favor with the organization.

Jackson came out with a statement denying the claims shortly after. 

In a conversation with current Eagles teammate Lane Johnson for NBC Sports Philadelphia, Jackson spoke about how he took the Eagles' decision to cut him. 

“Honestly, bro, the past is the past, but I will say when I was released by the Eagles it was definitely a shove in my face, you know?” said Jackson. “The story that was made up and the reason behind it was hard for me to respect. I would have respected it a lot more, man, if they would have just came to me and just told me basically it’s a money issue or we’re going a different route. But no, you want to come up and say I’m a hoodlum and I’m doing all this crazy [stuff]? That [stuff] was personal to me.”

After becoming a free agent, Jackson wanted to stay in the NFC East division for one reason: to play the Eagles, and Chip Kelly, twice a season. 

“I remember the Redskins were one of the teams that hopped in and was really trying to sign me because of all the damage I did to them earlier in my career,” Jackson said. “Dan Snyder personally sent me his private jet. I was in L.A. and he sent me his private jet, he was like, ‘Get on the plane and we’ll figure out the contract.’ [Robert Griffin III] actually came to my house in Calabasas and he was like, ‘Man, please bro, just come play with me.’ I just wanted to go play against y’all twice a year. I’m staying in the division because I want them to see me twice a year... I was going to let them see what they were missing out on.”

In Week 15 of the 2014 regular-season, Jackson saw dividends on his decision when the Washington Redskins defeated the Eagles 27-24, dropping Philly to 9-6. The former Eagle had four catches for 126 yards. The Eagles would finish 10-6 that season and miss the playoffs. 

After coaching the Eagles to back-to-back 10-6 seasons to begin his coaching career, Chip Kelly was awarded with control over personnel decisions by ownership. He then went on to trade away LeSean McCoy, trade for Sam Bradford, and sign Demarco Murray while using a zone-blocking scheme.

Kelly would ultimately only have control over the Eagles' personnel decisions for one offseason. His roster moves were so bad that Kelly would be fired 15 games into his third season after starting 6-9. He then would coach the San Francisco 49ers for a season, going 2-14 before being fired again and accepting the head coaching job at UCLA. 

Looks like cutting Jackson was the beginning of the end for Kelly. 

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

2021 four-star WR Xavier Worthy AKA ‘The Real Flash’ places Oregon in top-6

2021 four-star WR Xavier Worthy AKA ‘The Real Flash’ places Oregon in top-6

The University of Oregon could potentially be getting a little taste of the DC Universe in 2021.

Announced on Monday, 2021 four-star wide receiver Xavier Worthy AKA ‘The Real Flash’ has narrowed down his recruitment to six schools, Oregon being one of them.

The Ducks are the sole Pac-12 conference team in Worthy’s top-6.

The 6-foot-1, 160-pound wide receiver from Central East High School in Fresno, California is the No. 11 recruit from the state of California and the No. 24 receiver in the national ranks in the class of 2021, according to 247sports.

Here’s why Worthy is called ‘The Real Flash’:

Should Worthy commit to the Ducks, he would join other 2021 wide receiver commit Kyron Ware-Hudson. 

Oregon's also in the running for Troy Franklin, the nation's No. 2 wide receiver, and Dont'e Thornton, the nation's No. 6 wide receiver per 247Sports

The Oregon Football 2021 class is sure shaping up nicely.

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

Sabrina Ionescu taking a stand for George Floyd & Black Lives Matter

Sabrina Ionescu taking a stand for George Floyd & Black Lives Matter

The recent death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has sparked outrage, confusion, and protests all across the nation, which has prompted many people from across different spectrums to speak out.

Athletes are among those strongly voicing their opinions on this matter and how things need to change drastically.

From LeBron James to Michael Jordan, the Trail Blazers organization, OSU's Wayne Tinkle and Jonathan Smith and Oregon's Mario Cristobal, many are coming out in support against racism and social injustice

Former Oregon Duck Sabrina Ionescu is the latest to vocalize her support against injustice.

This past week has been a tough one for all Americans.

It is important, now than ever before, that people come together to recognize there is a problem that needs to be addressed, specifically between law enforcement and African Americans. 

The issue has been ongoing and people are fed up with it.

Will George Floyd’s death spark change? Most would hope so, but as of now, it is too early to tell.

What matters is that athletes, including Ionescu, are using their platform and speaking out.

Justice needs to be served for George Floyd and his wrongful death.

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 odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year

Justin Herbert’s odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year

With the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the LA Chargers selected Oregon Ducks quarterback, Justin Herbert.  

Days following the draft, Chargers fans had mixed feelings about their team drafting Herbert, but as of late, it seems that most fans have bought into Herbert being the future.

Despite the former Oregon Ducks QB likely not seeing much playing time, if any at all, during the 2020 season with nine-year veteran Tyrod Taylor appearing to be the starting quarterback, Herbert is still a sleeper to earn the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is the favorite to win the honor.

Burrow’s odds are listed at +240 at MGM. If the former LSU quarterback wins the award, it will be the second straight year that the first overall pick is the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Last season, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray earned the honor.

The next-best odds belong to the last pick of the first round, Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who is listed at +600. Followed by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at +900, while Herbert is at +2000. Packers quarterback Jordan Love and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts are both at +8000.

[RELATED]: Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers were meant to be

Draft Kings released the odds for the winner of the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award just days after the 2020 NFL Draft. They also listed Herbert as a dark horse pick at +1600.

With Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn high on Taylor at the moment that will allow Herbert a year to grow into a starting quarterback while also providing the primary competition in training camp.

[RELATED]: Betting odds of Justin Herbert being LA Chargers' starter Week One

At the NFL Combine, the 6'6", 237 pound Herbert showed off his athleticism with a 40 yard dash time of 4.68 seconds (3rd among QBs), a vertical jump of 35.5 inches (tied for 2nd among QBs), broad jump of 123 inches (3rd among QBs), 3 cone drill of 7.06 seconds (1st among QBs), and a 20-yard shuttle of 4.46 seconds (4th among QBs).

But, as one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Chargers may have to take a chance on the young QB this season just as the betting world might as well.

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

Oregon Ducks HC Mario Cristobal attends Black Lives Matter rally in Eugene

USA Today Images

Oregon Ducks HC Mario Cristobal attends Black Lives Matter rally in Eugene

On Friday, Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal released a statement in response to the death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that have broken out in response. 

[RELATED]: Oregon football, CFB coaches call for change amid death of George Floyd

“Posting on social media isn't enough. We must carry out these principles and values in our daily lives," said Cristobal in the statement. 

“We are responsible for using our voices for change. We are responsible for protecting those that don't feel safe or are afraid to share their perspective. We are responsible for creating a new normal.”

Sunday, the Duck's head coach is putting his money where his mouth is by his actions.

Two days after making the statement, Cristobal was seen at a Black Lives Matter protest outside the Federal Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon by Henry Houston of the Eugene Weekly. 

The death of George Floyd went viral last week after a video showed police officer Derek Chauvin using his knee to pin Floyd's neck to the pavement for eight minutes and 46 seconds, two minutes and 53 seconds of which happened after Floyd became unresponsive, per a criminal complaint against Chauvin.

The officer ignored Floyd's pleas for him to stop: "I can't breathe... Please, the knee in my neck, I can't breathe."

The lack of charges brought upon Chauvin nor the other three officers standing by the Minneapolis Police Department sparked nationwide outrage leading to national protests and riots against police brutality and public pressure to arrest the four officers. 

Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Floyd’s family said in a statement with their attorney, Ben Crump, that they “expected a first-degree murder charge.”

Mycah Pittman has a YouTube channel and it involves a flamethrower

Mycah Pittman has a YouTube channel and it involves a flamethrower

Many have gotten a lot of extra time on their hands due to the coronavirus pandemic and Oregon Ducks wide receiver Mycah Pittman has begun taking advantage of it.

How so? While he's still putting in work on the field getting ready for his true sophomore season, he's also begun producing content for his YouTube channel in the form of vlogs and Q&A videos.

After releasing just three videos so far, Pittman has gained over 10,000 subscribers. It also helps that his brother, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., had 159,000+ subscribers. 

Pittman's first video was a typical Q&A video where he answers questions provided to him by Ducks fans, including his favorite game from his freshman season and how disappointed he was to get injured not once but twice last year. 

The second video, and his first vlog, saw him with his friends set up and execute a prank on his brother.

Hint: The prank involved a flame thrower and if you want to see the payoff, the video is embedded below.

The latest video uploaded by Pittman showcases a typical workout from him along with some professional athletes such as his brother and John Ross of the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Mycah Pittman said his goal is to play in the NFL during his Q&A video, so it makes sense he'd practice with the best in the offseason when he can't be in Eugene. 

From the video, it's clear that Pittman's putting in the work necessary for a breakout sophomore campaign that may have well happened last season had he not had awful injury luck.

As a freshman, Mycah had 18 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns in seven games. The former four-star recruit broke his collarbone during fall camp causing him to miss the first four games of the season and broke an arm against Arizona, causing him to sit out each game until the Rose Bowl. 

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

Oregon football, CFB coaches call for change amid death of George Floyd

George Floyd's family attorney

Oregon football, CFB coaches call for change amid death of George Floyd

The death of George Floyd has affected many aspects of life and college football is no different.

This past Monday, Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, lost his life after a white police officer held Floyd down on the ground with his knee to Floyd's neck for several minutes.  

Four police officers connected to the death of Floyd were fired.  The officer who held Floyd down, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.

Since Floyd's death, there have been protests, riots and looting in Minneapolis where the incident occurred and across the country.

Outrage is being felt across the country, which has prompted athletes and coaches across the country to weigh in on the matter. 

Various players and coaches of University of Oregon football team have reacted Floyd's death and the action that should be taken to prevent incidents like Floyd's death from happening again. 

Other college football coaches have weighed in, as well. 


Arik Armstead among Forbes' highest paid athletes, but there's a catch

Arik Armstead among Forbes' highest paid athletes, but there's a catch

This year’s Forbes list of highest-paid athletes in the world features a range of athletes across different sports.

While more NBA players made the list than any other sport (34 players), NFL players had their best year as a group thanks to the season’s late-summer start.

There are currently 31 NFL players on the list. Carson Wentz ranks the highest out of all of them with coming in at No.10.

Former Oregon defensive tackle Arik Armstead also made the Top 100. He came in at No. 59 with earnings of $26.8 million. After signing a blockbuster five-year, $85 million contract extension back in March, which included $45.85M in guarantees, it would make sense that him to be on this list.

Here is the thing, though. You most likely won’t be seeing Armstead in next year’s Forbes list.

Confusing? Yes, but let’s break down Armstead’s complicated contract.

As mentioned before, Armstead signed a 5 year, $85,000,000 contract with the San Francisco 49ers, including a $3,500,000 signing bonus, $40,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $17,000,000.

A lot of money upfront as you can see. But with it is a lot more complicated than that.

OvertheCap explains it a little bit more.

Armstead received $45.85 million in guarantees, $34.15 million of which is guaranteed at signing. His initial guarantee is made up of his 2020 and 2021 base salaries, a $17.5 million signing bonus, and a protected $7.5 million 2021 option bonus. If Armstead is on the roster on April 1, 2022, another $5.85 million becomes fully guaranteed. There are $750,000 in per-game bonuses in the final four contract years. The 2025 season is a void contract year used for the purposes of lowering cap charges during the contract. The contract voids if no extension is reached by the fifth day of the 2025 waiver period.”

Here is a breakdown of the cap hit by year:

2020: $6M

2021: $12.5M

2022: $20M

2023: $21.74M

2024: $23.26M

2025: $18.5M (Voids on 5th day of waiver claim which is after the Super Bowl)

So, yes, Armstead will still receive $34.15 million in full guarantees and $45.85 in total guarantees.

The contract is a little different from the norm of how contracts work, but they're becoming more common.

Long story short, it’s a three-year deal. The 49ers can get out after Year 2 if the option bonus is exercised, and that would mean $6.65 of his base salary is guaranteed instead of $14.15 million.

The 49ers basically got Armstead under $19 million against the cap for the next two years combined.

Armstead did make enough money for the Forbes list this year, but don’t be on the lookout for Armstead to be on next year.

The 49ers made him a wealthy man, but the organization is playing the money game well but spreading it out over the next five years.

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

Oregon Football lands commitment from 3-star corner Darren Barkins

Oregon Football lands commitment from 3-star corner Darren Barkins

Another day passes and the Oregon Ducks continue to build upon the Califlock pipeline.

On Saturday, 2021 three-star defensive back Darren Barkins from mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista, California has committed to the University of Oregon.

My whole life I’ve been waiting for this moment. With that being said I would like to announce that I will continuing my athletic and academic career at THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON! — Darren Barkins

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound corner held offers from other Pac-12 schools Arizona, Cal, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State as well as Oklahoma, UNLV and Boise State among others before deciding on Mario Cristobal and flocking north to Eugene, Oregon.

Barkins is the second DB to commit to Oregon in the past 24 hours. The Ducks landed JUCO transfer Jadarrius Perkins from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College on Friday. 

Here's what the Oregon corners room could look like in 2021: Mykael Wright, Trikweze Bridges, DJ James, Verone McKinley III, JJ Greenfield, Dontae Manning, Bennett Williams and Barkins.

First-year Oregon cornerbacks coach Rod Chance seems to be doing okay on the recruiting trail so far for the Ducks.

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