Oregon Ducks

Oregon's ice cold uniforms vs. rival Washington

Oregon's ice cold uniforms vs. rival Washington

With major Pac-12 implications on the line, the No. 12 Oregon Ducks will be donning white uniforms with 'Nightmare Green' lettering and chrome winged helmets against No. 25 Washington on Saturday at 12:30 p.m in Seattle, WA. Duck fans are encouraged to wear green to the rivalry clash.

Oregon's "Nike Vapor Fusion" uniform is celebrating its 20th anniversary of their partnership with Nike. The winged helmets are back and the jerseys feature large "Mighty Oregon" font resembling last season's "Oregon Football 2.0" uniform with slight differences. The addition of Nightmare Green is the biggest change while notably no black set was released (yet). 

Oregon (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) is the only remaining team in the North Division without a conference loss and looking to stay atop of the North standings. A win would improve Oregon to 4-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2013. The Ducks dominating defense is yielding just 8.7 points per game, best in the Pac-12 and third in the nation. 

More Ducks:

3 keys for Oregon to be victorious against rival Washington

Oregon upperclassmen teaching Washington rivalry legacy to young Ducks

Good and bad injury updates for Oregon vs. Washington

How Oregon's offense changes without Jacob Breeland

Numbers to know: Oregon Ducks vs. Washington Huskies

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Justin Herbert to Tennessee in NFL Draft isn't out of the question

Marcus Mariota responds to benching in the most Mariota way possible

Sabrina Ioenscu, No. 3 Oregon Ducks put on a show in front of Kobe Bryant, rout Long Beach State

Sabrina Ioenscu, No. 3 Oregon Ducks put on a show in front of Kobe Bryant, rout Long Beach State

It was more of the same Saturday afternoon for the No. 3 Oregon Ducks (8-1) who blew out Long Beach State (3-7) 81-45 in the Walter Pyramid. But this day, a special guest was in attendance.

5-time NBA Champion and Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

One GOAT had a front row seat to watch another GOAT. And the one that played put on a show, including a step back three pointer to end the first quarter.

This wasn’t the first time Kobe has watched Sabrina Ionescu play. He attended the Ducks' game last season at USC on January 11 and later broke down her game on his Detail series on ESPN+ near the end of last season.

She talked about how she was going to use those tips to enhance her game this season at Oregon football’s spring game last April.

Ionescu finished the game with 21 points, 19 in the first half, on 9-14 from the field. The all-time NCAA leader in triple doubles did get 12 rebounds but fell three assists short of adding to her record total. 

As for her teammates, freshman Jaz Shelley led the way with 17 points on 6-10 from the field including a career high five three pointers. 

The Ducks will continue their season against UC Riverside back in Eugene at 11:00am on Monday, December 16.

Social media reacts to the Oregon Ducks' win over No. 5 Michigan, Payton Pritchard's heroics

Social media reacts to the Oregon Ducks' win over No. 5 Michigan, Payton Pritchard's heroics

What a game.

The No. 10 Oregon Ducks escaped Ann Arbor, MI with a 71-70 OT victory over No. 5 Michigan. The Ducks took command of the game right away but Michigan came back in the second half to force overtime. Then the Ducks outlasted the Wolverines to leave with a ranked win.

You can read our instant analysis here.

Now let’s see how social media reacted.

The Ducks couldn’t miss in the first half

In the first half, the Ducks shot 50 percent from behind the arc, led my senior transfer Anthony Mathis who hit four of his own.

His hot shooting caught the attention of Mark Titus.

The second half was more competitive. 

In the second half, Michigan came back to take the lead. Then the game went back and forth including ANOTHER three from Mathis.

Some online felt the officiating favored the Wolverines, including NBC Sports college basketball writer Rob Dauster.

Not to be outdone by his West Linn teammate, Payton Pritchard took over down the stretch.

In regulation's final moments, Mathis had a look to win the game but the shot was slightly late.

Some reacted prematurely.

If only it had been a second sooner.

Overtime

Then in OT, Pritchard continued where he left off in regulation.

 

The Ducks needed just one final stop. They got it.

Then twitter went wild. This time for real.

National media writers took notice too.

The Ducks will continue their season at home against Montana on Wednesday, December 18th. 

Oregon vs. Wisconsin by the numbers: Offensive comparison

Oregon vs. Wisconsin by the numbers: Offensive comparison

The ‘Granddaddy of them all’ will feature two star-studded offenses and be a stage that recognizes the offensive talent that will be showcased for Sunday’s to come.

A quick glance at the numbers

POINTS PER GAME:

Wisconsin - 34.6

Oregon - 35.9

YARDS PER GAME:

Wisconsin - 441.8

Oregon - 450.7

PASSING YARDS PER GAME:

Wisconsin - 201.2

Oregon - 267.5

RUSHING YARDS PER GAME:

Wisconsin - 240.5

Oregon - 183.2

Let’s break it down and highlight a few key players to watch

WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin offense is ranked third in the conference in terms of yards per game behind the Ohio State Buckeyes and Indiana Hoosiers. The Badgers are second in the conference in terms of rushing yards per game (approximately 32 yards behind Ohio State, lead by their running back J.K. Dobbins).

Another interesting stat is the Badgers’ third (50.0) and fourth (14-of-18 for 77.8%) down conversion rate. Meaning if running back Jonathan Taylor, with his 6.5 yards per carry average against AP top 25 teams, can’t get the Badgers going offensively, they are very efficient with limited down and distance to cover.

Players to watch:

It is darn near impossible to talk about the Wisconsin offense without mentioning running back Jonathan Taylor. The 5-foot-11, 219-pound junior back has put up video game numbers since stepping foot on campus: rushed for 1,977 yards as a freshman; 2,194 his sophomore season; and 1,909 this season with one game remaining. Taylor currently sits 27 yards shy of the nation’s leader (Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard).

To put it in even more perspective, Taylor has rushed for more than 100+ yards in every game this season for the Badgers except for three. However, in two of those games, he rushed for two touchdowns.

The back-to-back Doak Walker Award winner for the nation’s best running back is an absolute force all over the field.

OREGON

The Ducks offense got back on track in the Pac-12 Championship game after two subliminal performances against Arizona State and Oregon State in the previous two weeks leading up to the title game.

Oregon is in a similar place as the Badgers in-terms of conference statistics: Second or third respectively in each of the four categories listed above.

Players to watch:

Penei Sewell. The 2019 Outland Trophy winner has been pivotal for Oregon’s ground attack as well as protecting quarterback Justin Herbert.

Justin Herbert. The 2019 William V. Campbell award winner returned to Oregon for his senior season for exactly this moment. The 6-foot-6, 237-pound Herbert ranks No. 16 nationally in total passing yards (3,333).

Johnny Johnson III has been on an absolute terror in the past four games. The junior wide receiver has caught a touchdown pass in each of those four games.

Instant Analysis: No. 10 Oregon escapes at No. 5 Michigan with a win

Instant Analysis: No. 10 Oregon escapes at No. 5 Michigan with a win

The Ducks played on the road against a top 5 team without a five-star center (F'Faly Dante) and their starting power forward (Shakur Juiston). 

It didn’t matter.

No. 10 Oregon defeated No. 5 Michigan 71-70 in overtime Saturday morning in Ann Arbor, MI. 

Here are three takeaways from the contest.

Anthony Mathis is a stud

The New Mexico transfer had himself a game. He finished the game with 19 points including six three pointers, four of which came in the first half. He got the scoring started with two deep throws to give Oregon a 6-3 lead and never looked back. His hot shooting forced the Wolverines to close out hard whenever he caught the ball and ensured his defender couldn’t help off of him which opened up the offense for Mathis’ teammates.

The Ducks will not panic

Given the experience on the roster, it’s no surprise that during Michigan’s comeback attempt in the second half the Ducks never panicked. Rather, they kept playing their game and finding success. Besides freshman CJ Walker, every other player in the rotation today either transferred to Oregon in the offseason or played for last season’s Sweet 16 team. They all have experience in big games and will see each game through to the final buzzer. 

None were more important than senior guard Payton Pritchard who ended the game scoring eight consecutive field goals to end regulation into overtime. With 1:16 remaining in the extra period, the kid from West Linn got a layin and the foul to give Oregon a three point lead. He finished with 23 points on 11-19 shooting. 

This is the best team since the Final Four year

With ranked wins over No. 22 Seton Hall and Michigan, the Ducks have showed they are for real this season. Their two losses both came down to the final possessions on a neutral site to ranked teams, No. 17 North Carolina and No. 6 Gonzaga. Both of those teams got blown out by Michigan in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. This time, they got a final possession to go their way.

This is an experienced team with a closer in Pritchard. Winning the Pac-12 should be the expectation this season for the Ducks. After that, the sky's the limit for what they can do in March.

Anthony Mathis’ scorching first half gives No. 10 Oregon lead over No. 5 Michigan

Anthony Mathis’ scorching first half gives No. 10 Oregon lead over No. 5 Michigan

The short-handed Ducks knew they were going to need someone to step up, especially on the road against the fifth ranked team in the nation. 

Anthony Mathis delivered.

The senior guard made four three pointers in the first half alone en route to 12 points vs. the Michigan Wolverines. He got the scoring started with two deep throws to give Oregon a 6-3 lead and the Ducks never looked back. His hot shooting forced the Wolverines to close out hard whenever he caught the ball and ensured his defender couldn’t help off of him which opened up the offense for Mathis’ teammates.

As a team, the Ducks shot 50 percent from behind the arc to take command of the game. Then on the defensive end, the Ducks played their patented match up zone to great effect. At one point, the Wolverines went without a field goal for nearly eight minutes. 

Michigan got back into the game on a 12-2 run late in the half to cut the lead to six points. Senior guard Payton Pritchard then hit a jumper to end the run.

The Ducks held a 31-23 lead at the half.

Former Oregon running back Darrian Felix has a new home

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Former Oregon running back Darrian Felix has a new home

Just three days after entering the NCAA transfer portal, former Oregon running back Darrian Felix has a new home: The University of South Florida. 

Clemson's co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott was named the new head football coach at the University of South Florida this past Monday.

The 5-foot-11, 197-pound running back from Fort Meyers, Florida saw action in nine games as a freshman in 2017. In those nine games, Felix averaged 6.1 yards per carry and wasn’t stopped for a loss on any of his 30 carries.

Felix utilized a redshirt season after suffering a season-ending injury in 2018.

His best game in an Oregon uniform came against Nevada on Sept. 7, 2019. Felix recorded eight carries for 80 yards, his longest run at 62 yards and one touchdown against the visiting Wolf Pack. 

This season, Felix sat behind CJ Verdell, Travis Dye and Cyrus Habibi-Likio while also competing with freshmen Sean Dollars, Cross Patton and Jayvaun Wilson. His transfer doesn’t come at much surprise. Sitting that far down the depth chart is tough especially with the talent that Felix brings to the table and the young backs he’s sitting behind (all of the current backs are either sophomores or freshmen). He ran with aggression, poise and swiftness along with his powerful 5-foot-11, 197-pound frame.

Felix’s fellow running back took to social media to wish him well. 

A competitor off and on the field, Felix will do great things at his next opportunity.

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Ashley Young contributed to this story

Marcus Arroyo will coach Oregon in the Rose Bowl… Why this matters

Marcus Arroyo will coach Oregon in the Rose Bowl… Why this matters

On Friday, UNLV held an introductory press conference for their next head football coach, Marcus Arroyo. He walked up to the stage, sporting a dark suit, bright red Rebel tie, slicked comb-over hairdo and a grin from ear to ear eager to begin his next adventure in his coaching career.

But before doing so, Arroyo has one final piece of unfinished business to attend to: coaching the No. 6 Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl.

The Rose Bowl is an opportunity that I plan on being apart of and that is ultra exciting for what we’ve done and the athletes that I’ve had a chance to be apart of. Again, that’s an awesome thing. But I’m locked in here [UNLV] and full speed ahead since we had this conversation about the opportunity [UNLV football head coach]. -- Marcus Arroyo

WHY THIS MATTERS:

Two big points stand out in Arroyo’s decision to coach the Ducks in the Rose Bowl.

- Team morale. Keeping the train moving forward. After being in an offensive drought for two straight games against Arizona State and Oregon State, Oregon’s offense got rolling once again in the Pac-12 Championship and did so against a great defense in Utah, defeating the Utes 37-15. Arroyo’s play-calling combined with senior quarterback Justin Herbert’s arm and legs put the beat down and physically outmatched Utah.

- For Justin Herbert. The relationship between offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and quarterback cannot go understated. It is the fuel behind the engine. Senior quarterback Justin Herbert and Arroyo have been inseparable for the past two seasons and have the utmost trust in one another. 

It is important for the two to maintain this connection with that stout Wisconsin defense looming around the corner.

Oregon Ducks forward Shakur Juiston ruled out, N'Faly Dante will travel against No. 5 Michigan

Oregon Ducks forward Shakur Juiston ruled out, N'Faly Dante will travel against No. 5 Michigan

The No. 10 Oregon Ducks (7-2) will not be at full strength Saturday morning on the road against No. 5 Michigan (8-2).

Ducks Coach Dana Altman ruled starting forward Shakur Juiston out for the contest due to a knee injury suffered late against No. 17 North Carolina in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. The UNLV transfer currently averages 8.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game on 43.1 percent shooting from the field. 

Altman will replace him in the starting lineup with freshman C.J. Walker who averages 5.8 points per game and 55.6 percent from behind the arc. However, his 57.9 free throw percentage indicates that three point percentage is a standard deviation or two above his true average. Regardless, the former five-star recruit should perform amicably in Juiston’s place. 

Freshman center N'Faly Dante will also travel with the team for the first time all season. He can officially enroll at the Unversity of Oregon on Saturday and plans to play this season. If he plays this weekend is unlikely. 

As for what Juiston’s absence means overall for the game, Payton Pritchard and Will Richardson will be called upon even more to create offense since Walker’s shot creation isn’t as good as Juiston’s. 

Defensively speaking, the Ducks run a fierce match up zone so it’s unlikely the Wolverines will be able to exploit Juiston’s absence by going after the more inexperienced Walker each possession. 

The Wolverines started the season unranked but catapulted into the top five of the AP poll following wins over ranked UNC and Gonzaga to win the Battle 4 Atlantis. Since then, they have dropped two games on the road at No. 1 Louisville and unranked Illinois. 

The Ducks and Wolverines tip off at 9:00am PST in Ann Arbor, MI.

A picture worth a thousand words: What this photo means is more than just another Oregon recruiting visit

A picture worth a thousand words: What this photo means is more than just another Oregon recruiting visit

Mario Cristobal is a darn good recruiter... but, we all knew that. The proof is in the pudding. 

In his second season as head coach for the Oregon Ducks, Cristobal signed the No. 1 recruit in the nation, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux. This season, he has already landed commitments from five-star inside linebacker Noah Sewell (Orem, UT - younger brother of Penei Sewell); four-star receiver Johnny Wilson (Calabasas, CA); four-star quarterback Jay Butterfield (Brentwood, CA); etc, etc.

In his two years, he has obtaining the top two recruiting classes in program history. 

Cristobal isn’t afraid of recruiting anywhere, anytime. He was seen recruiting and making home visits hours after winning a Pac-12 Championship. Maybe his tactics and efforts were the reason Cristobal didn’t win the Pac-12 Coach of the Year…. But that’s beside the point.

Here is something that doesn’t come at a surprise: Cristobal in the home of a five-star recruit:

Kelee Ringo is a five-star defensive back from Scottsdale, Arizona in the 2020 class. Ringo has narrowed his future down to five schools: Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon and Texas. 

Here is something that may come as a surprise: featured in the photo (from left to right) is defensive coordinator Andy Avalos, Cristobal, safeties coach Keith Heyward, Ringo and cornerbacks coach Donte Williams. 

WHY THIS MATTERS:

On Wednesday, it was announced that offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo accepted the head coaching position at UNLV. A part of every head coach’s responsibilities is filling a coaching staff, whether that be from the previous coaching staff or making your hires outside of the program. Would Arroyo try and hire any Oregon coaches away with him to UNLV? Well, Heyward’s name came up recently as a possibility.

On the other hand, those are just rumors and Heyward is still a Duck. You coach and recruit for the team that has employed you. Until that Oregon “O” is no longer on his chest, Heyward will continue to coach and recruit the future success of the Ducks’ defense. 

And we like it that way. Oregon’s defense took major strides this year under this coaching staff that has worked so well together. A Pac-12 Championship; a defense that ranked No. 16 nationally in yards per play; No. 9 in points allowed per game and No. 1 nationally in red zone touchdowns allowed. 

Add this along with the incoming 2020 class, and that would arguably be hard to walk away from.