Oregon Ducks

There seems to be a possibility of a very compelling Civil War

There seems to be a possibility of a very compelling Civil War

The way things were going this season, I really didn't think there was any possibility that Oregon and Oregon State would be heading into Saturday's Civil War in Corvallis off victories.

And impressive ones, at that.

The Ducks won their first road game of the season at Utah behind a surprisingly stout defense and a clutch, second-half offense. The Beavers didn't defeat a high-quality opponent but survived the rare situation for them of going into a game as a favorite -- being expected to win -- and then going out and doing it in very solid fashion. OSU even discovered a spectacular passing game, all of a sudden.

But the storylines for this game are what will really make this game special.

The Ducks are trying to shake off a season so different from the past decade that their head coach, Mark Helfrich, is being chased by the mythical pitchforks and torches of a fire-the-coach lynch mob. The whisper stream, in fact, has been alive for a while now with rumors that a decision has already been made to let him go. But I'm not sure how reliable that is or whether the win at Utah would have anything to do with that changing.

At Oregon State, it appears that even through multiple injuries all over the field, second-year coach Gary Andersen may be gaining a lot of traction on a very rapid rebuild of the Beaver program. For the Beavers, a win over the Ducks would provide a big bounce in recruiting, ticket sales for next season and overall attitude within the program.

For the Ducks, it would maintain their dominance over their arch-rival and perhaps save Helfrich's job. If it's at stake in the first place.

At the time of writing this, it was still too soon for an early line on the game but I can tell you it should be a narrow margin. The Ducks, by the way, are 2-10-1 against the spread in their last 13 games and the Beavers are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven. If that matters to you.

If you're asking me for a pick, you're going to have to wait until later in the week. It's too soon.

Oregon RB Darrian Felix to enter NCAA transfer portal

Oregon RB Darrian Felix to enter NCAA transfer portal

If you ever found yourself saying “Man, I wish Darrian Felix wasn’t injured”, you’re likely not the only one. It's the career you wish took a different path. The potential Felix has at the running back position is very much there, but unfortunately the injury bug struck early into his Oregon Ducks career.

Just announced today via his social media, Felix has decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal.

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 joined CJ Verdell and Cyrus Habibi-Likio in that 2017 freshmen running back class that backed up senior Royce Freeman, redshirt senior Kani Benoit and redshirt junior Tony Brooks-James.

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. 

What this means for the Ducks:

This season, Felix sat behind 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.

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

Oregon Ducks success and snubs in 2019 Pac-12 Conference honors

Oregon Ducks success and snubs in 2019 Pac-12 Conference honors

Let the honors and awards begin to pile up for the No. 6 and 2019 Pac-12 Champion Oregon Ducks.

On Tuesday, the Pac-12 conference released its first team, second team and specialists honors.

Below is the list of Ducks who made the list.


Penei Sewell - The Outland Trophy finalist and Pro Football Focus Pac-12 Player of the Year can now add Pac-12 first team All-Conference to his impressive sophomore season resume. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound offensive tackle makes highlight plays all over the field, whether it’s protecting quarterback Justin Herbert or creating a lot of space for the ground attack. 

Sewell was also named on Tuesday as a finalist for the 2019 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year award.

Brady Breeze - Rewind last weekend to the Pac-12 Championship game and Breeze played his heart out. Both on special teams and in the secondary, the 6-foot, 196-pound junior flew to the ball and made some serious big hits. The Portland-native has earned and deserved this award this season in his best year yet in an Oregon football uniform. His best game came against the USC Trojans in Los Angeles where he recorded one pick-six, one fumble recovery and seven tackles.

In the Pac-12 Championship, it was more of the same: nine tackles, one interception and one monstrous hit that almost flipped Utah wide receiver Jaylen Dixon.


CJ Verdell - The 5-foot-9, 210-pound running back has had an up and down season in his sophomore campaign. Easily his two best games were against Washington State (rushed for 257 yards on the ground and three touchdowns) and against Utah in the Pac-12 championship (sealed the win with a 70-yard TD run to go along with 208 rushing yards that resulted in the Pac-12 championship MVP trophy). Overall, Verdell has had back-to-back seasons rushing for over 1,000+ yards for the Ducks, the fifth Ducks running back to do so and just the third as a freshman and sophomore.

[RELATED]: CJ Verdell makes history and smells like roses

Shane Lemieux - A four-year starter on that stout Oregon offensive line that has been named a finalist for the Joe Moore Award that recognizes the nation’s best offensive line.

Troy Dye - Duh. This is a no-brainer but also definitely too low. Dye has lead the team in tackles 19-of-37 career games, has lead the team in tackles the previous three seasons. His senior season, Dye has recorded 75 tackles and two interceptions while wearing a club on his right hand for half the season.

Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year:

Kayvon Thibodeaux - And with good reason. In his first season of collegiate football, Thibodeaux leads the team in sacks (9.0) and tackles for loss (14.0). In the Pac-12 championship, Thibodeaux made Utah QB Tyler Huntley’s life a nightmare applying six QB pressures and 2.5 sacks. He also blocked a punt on special teams.

The future is bright.


No Justin Herbert? No Calvin Throckmorton? 

This is by no means in disrespect to the players who were honored with first or second team accolades, but c’mon Pac-12. How does one win the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year and not earn first team or second team accolades? Especially when another freshman defensive lineman in USC's Drake Jackson made second team.

At least the Ducks add Pac-12 champs to their name.

Oregon Ducks jump into Top 10 in latest AP Poll

Oregon Ducks jump into Top 10 in latest AP Poll

After an extended absence, the Oregon Ducks (7-2) have ascended into the Top 10 of the latest Associated Press poll, coming in at No. 10. 

It’s the first time the program has been inside the top 10 since the 2016-2017 season when they were ranked No. 9 going into the NCAA tournament and eventually advanced to the Final Four. 

The Ducks’ only losses this season have come to No. 6 Gonzaga and No. 17 North Carolina in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Both games came down to the final possessions with the Ducks taking the Bulldogs to overtime. 

Oregon has ranked wins over No. 13 Memphis at the Phil Knight Invitational and No. 22 Seton Hall in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. In the later game, the Ducks finished the game on a 14-2 run to steal the victory.  

This Friday, Oregon travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan to play No. 5 Michigan at 9:00am PST in a potential NCAA tournament preview. Freshman center N’Faly Dante will be officially on the team for the game but it’s unlikely he will play since he cannot practice with the team until he officially enrolls in the University that morning. 

Oregon will finish out their nonconference schedule hosting Montana, Texas Southern and Alabama State.

Two years ago, Cristobal was named head coach, now the Ducks are headed to the Rose Bowl

Two years ago, Cristobal was named head coach, now the Ducks are headed to the Rose Bowl

The No. 6 Oregon Ducks (11-2, 8-1 Pac-12) punched their ticket to their eighth Rose Bowl by handedly beating Utah in the Pac-12 Championship game. Ironically, on his two-year anniversary of being promoted to head coach, Mario Cristobal officially learned that the 106th Rose Bowl will be a classic physical battle between Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin.

From a 7-6 record topped with Las Vegas Bowl loss in 2017 to an 11-2 record with a chance to win the “Granddaddy of them all” in 2019, the improvement is substantial and Cristobal is only getting started on this trajectory. Cristobal’s comments when he was reminded of his anniversary:

Just indebted and gratitude beyond what words can describe for that day, the opportunity from Rob Mullens and the administration and, of course, the players who really -- you know, they fought and spoke strongly about it. So it's been -- it's been everything and more that one could ever ask for, and I do feel like we're just kind of getting started and going on a trajectory. The program is what we want it to be. So it's hard to stop and think about it, right, with all the stuff we've got to do, especially in the middle of recruiting. But, again, it's all of those things and more and just looking forward to playing in the Rose Bowl.

The senior class (quarterback Justin Herbert, linebacker Troy Dye, offensive lineman Shane Lemieux, etc) and Cristobal have a special bond and connection. As freshmen in 2016, they played on a team that finished 4-8 and left out of a bowl game. In 2017, Cristobal joined the coaching staff and brought discipline with him. Later that season, more than 70 Duck players signed a petition to UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens, lobbying for Cristobal to take over the program when former coach Taggart departed for Florida State. Oregon’s current seniors and a few juniors are the only remaining players who signed that petition.

For that, Cristobal is deeply thankful.

In his two seasons, Cristobal has coached Oregon to 20 wins, including: four victories (undefeated) against rivals Washington and Oregon State, a RedBox Bowl win and Oregon's first conference title since 2014. The Ducks have gone from unranked to No. 6 and have landed the program's best two recruiting classes in history. Not bad. 

The Ducks have 23 days to prepare for the Badgers, who have an impressive resume with three top-25 wins. What will Oregon’s bowl game prep consist of?

We'll use every day allotted to us… We have final exams now. So those guys will take a deep dive in academics and handle all their business now. And then while we have some strength and conditioning sessions and some rehabilitation, mobility sessions, get the bodies back. But we came out of the game healthy, and we really want to take advantage of these practices, not only from a preparations standpoint, which is the most important part, but also from a player development standpoint. We still have some guys that haven't used their four games. They haven't red shirted and we feel that could help us a little bit. So, it will be business as usual. It really will. After a week off, we feel that we can go back to our regular routine and not really off too much.

So, the Ducks have three weeks to tune up their already healthy roster, develop underclassmen, ace their finals and get back to routine practice for Wisconsin.

With Cristobal’s stamp so deeply engraved on the Oregon program, it’s hard to believe that just two years ago he got the call to be at the top.

Oregon vs. Wisconsin in the 106th Rose Bowl: 3 things that jump out about the Badgers

Oregon vs. Wisconsin in the 106th Rose Bowl: 3 things that jump out about the Badgers

There wasn’t a whole lot of drama surrounding the College Football Playoff and bowl game reveal this year. No. 1 LSU will play No. 4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl Semifinal and No. 2 Ohio State will play No. 3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl Semifinal. However, Oregon fans were reeling to see who Ducks would face in the Rose Bowl: Penn State or Wisconsin. It’d be easy to make a case for each but…

Oregon’s eighth Rose Bowl appearance will be versus Big Ten opponent Wisconsin.

In the final College Football Playoff rankings, the Pac-12 Conference champion Ducks (11-2, 8-1 Pac-12) are No. 6, while Wisconsin (10-3, 7-2 Big Ten) is No. 8.

The Ducks will play in the “Granddaddy of them all” in Pasadena, California at 2 p.m. (PT) on January 1, 2020. After winning the Pac-12 Championship game against Utah, the Ducks are tied with Stanford for the most conference title game wins with three. Also, the impressive win against the Utes marked the first time the Ducks have beaten a top-5 team since dismantling Florida State in the 2015 Rose Bowl.

Oregon’s 11-win season has been highlighted by some incredible defensive play. The Duck defense has help 12 of it 13 opponents under their season average with the lowest point allowed per game (15.7) in school history since 1966.

[READ:Budding Oregon football star Kayvon Thibodeaux already breaking records with no ceiling in sight]

Oregon offense peaked at the perfect time against the Utah’s nation-leading rushing defense. The Ducks finished with 432 yards of total offense with 239 yards on the ground. Entering the game, Utah was allowing just 241.6 yards per game and 56.2 yards on the ground.

The Ducks will need another complete game against Wisconsin. A sneak peak into the New Year’s six matchup reveals three important things about the Badgers:

1. It’s Wisconsin’s 10th Rose Bowl appearance, losing each of the last three matchups, which includes the 2012 Rose Bowl when the Ducks deafeated a Russell Wilson led Badgers team, 45-38.

2. The Badgers have an impressive 2019 resume, with three top-25 wins (Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota). Maybe the most intriguing? Wisconsin roared into the Big Ten Championship Game with a dominating first-half lead, but Ohio State rallied back to claim the Big Ten title, 34-21.Their biggest blemish is a one-point road loss to Illinois.

3. Wisconsin’s leading rusher, Jonathan Taylor, plans to play in the Bowl Game. Against Ohio State, Taylor rushed for 148 yards and one touchdown, becoming the seventh player in FBS history to reach 6,000 yards rushing in his career. The junior is considered a likely candidate to enter the 2020 NFL draft. Last month, he was listed as the No. 27 overall prospect by ESPN's Todd McShay and the No. 2 running back by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.

Get your popcorn ready, this is going to be a fun matchup!

Oregon Ducks set to take on Wisconsin Badgers in 106th Rose Bowl

Oregon Ducks set to take on Wisconsin Badgers in 106th Rose Bowl

The Oregon Ducks have an opponent in the “Granddaddy of them all.”

Coming off a competitive game vs. the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes, the University of Wisconsin has punched their ticket into the 106th Rose Bowl to take on Oregon on New Year’s Day. 

It's a re-match!

The two teams last met in the 98th edition of the Rose Bowl in 2012. Oregon inched out Wisconsin 45-38, giving the Ducks their first Rose Bowl win since 1917. 

Another piece of housekeeping with the reveal of the Rose Bowl matchup was where the Ducks would sit in the CFB rankings. 

The College Football Playoff semifinal games were determined Sunday morning with No. 1 LSU facing No. 4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl and the No. 2 Ohio State facing No. 3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. 

With the Oregon Ducks set to face Wisconsin in the 106th Rose Bowl on New Years Day, they will come in ranked No. 6 in the nation, one spot from the College Football Playoff. It's their highest ranking since 2014.

More to come! 

Oregon running backs coach Jim Mastro linked to head coaching job

Oregon running backs coach Jim Mastro linked to head coaching job

Oregon's running back coach and run game coordinator Jim Mastro has been linked as a leading candidate for the open Cal Poly head coaching position, according to Football Scoop.

Mastro played at and began his coaching career at Cal Poly. After coaching from 1989-96 at Cal Poly, he moved on to Idaho, Nevada, UCLA, Washington State and currently Oregon.

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal is very aware of the coaching carousel and said this of his staff last Monday.


The coaching carousel, that’s never going to go away and it’s always going to be what it is. We have really good relationships here and opportunities are going to come up for coaches. I’m always in favor of helping guys if they have a better situation and a better opportunity to better their careers, as it relates to their goals and their families. I can’t agree with their being any better opportunity than being here at Oregon, right, so I’ll always be very honest.

Mastro and the Ducks are coming off a spectacular rushing performance against Utah, the nation’s top running defense in the Pac-12 Championship game. Running back CJ Verdell has totaled 1,171 yards this season, rushing for 208 yards against the Utes, who were allowing just 58 yards on the ground per game on average.

So far in 2019, Oregon's running backs have rushed for 2,441 yards with Verdell reaching 1,000 yards for the second straight season.

Mastro came to Oregon after spending the six seasons (2012-17) coaching running backs at Washington State. During the 2017 season, WSU's running backs combined to surpass the 1,000-yard mark in both rushing (1,096) and receiving (1,073) for the second consecutive season, finishing with a combined 2,169 yards. The year before (2016), the Cougars were just one of four teams in the country to have their running backs eclipse 1,000 yards in both rushing (1,660) and receiving (1,034).

Oregon Ducks use big second half to blow out Hawaii Rainbow Warriors


Oregon Ducks use big second half to blow out Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

A day after the Oregon Ducks football team clinched a berth to the Rose Bowl, the men’s basketball team was in a action 

After lackluster first half, the Oregon Ducks used a big second half to capture an 89-64 win over Hawaii Saturday night at Matthew Night Arena. 

Oregon's win snapped Hawaii's five-game winning streak in the series. The Ducks last defeated the Rainbow Warriors on Feb. 1, 1975. 

The Ducks were fueled by freshman C.J. Walker, who scored 18 points in place of an injured Shakur Juiston and a double-double performance from Payton Pritchard. 

Prtichard finished with 20 points and 11 assists in the win.

Tied at halftime, Oregon opened the second half on a 20-1 run and then a 12-0 run late to pull away from Hawaii. 

Walker's 18 points gave him a season-high for the third time in the last four games.

The Ducks will play at No. 4 Michigan next Saturday.

Who will be Oregon's opponent in the Rose Bowl? Here's the scenarios...

Who will be Oregon's opponent in the Rose Bowl? Here's the scenarios...

The Oregon Ducks are Rose Bowl bound. That much is clear. 

Ticket punched. Boom. 

Now, who will Oregon play? Minnesota? Penn State? Wisconsin? A team not in the Big 10?

The answer to that is a little more complicated.

Here’s a quick explanation and possible scenarios… 

The Rose Bowl Game is contractually obligated to feature the Pac-12 Conference Champion and the Big Ten Conference Champion.

However, the Ohio State Buckeyes, a Big 10 team, is currently undefeated, sits atop the College Football Playoff rankings and a 16-point favorite to win Saturday night’s Big 10 Championship vs. No. 8 Wisconsin (10-2).

Unless the Badgers pull off a colossal upset, the Buckeyes will be headed to the College Football semifinals, leaving the Big 10’s spot in the Rose Bowl open.

The Tournament of Roses website explains what happens in a scenario like this:

Should a team from the Big Ten or Pac-12 be selected to go to the College Football Playoff, the Tournament of Roses will traditionally select the next-highest CFP-ranked team from that conference.

The Tournament of Roses may only select a team from its partner conferences.

This rules out anyone from a different conference facing the Ducks on New Years Day. During the BCS era, an at-large team was able to play in the Rose Bowl. That is no longer an option. 

So, that leaves Penn State, Wisconsin and even Minnesota as possible candidates.

If Ohio State does as expected, they will not only advance to the CFB playoff, but hand Wisconsin its third loss of the season. 

The No. 8 Badgers’ ranking would drop and Penn State, current No. 10 in the CFB ranking, would slide up and surpass Wisconsin. 

There is, however, a caveat to that clause in the Rose Bowl contract.

“If the next-highest ranked team is in a ‘cluster’ of teams, meaning there is another team or teams from the same conference ranked within several spots of each other, the Tournament of Roses will select the team from that cluster that will result in the best possible matchup for the Rose Bowl Game,” said Rose Bowl Management Committee Chair Scott Jenkins.

So, even in a loss, Wisconsin could go to the Rose Bowl. Penn State appears to be in an ideal spot, having lost just two games this season, one of which was to Ohio State. Minnesota, whose last appearance in Pasadena came in 1962, is on the outside looking in. The Golden Gophers lost to Wisconsin 38-17 on November 30th and currently rank 18th. There’s a path, it just seems as if it’s a steep and rocky terrain to get there. 

We’ll see how the Big 10 Championship shakes out, but Oregon fans should be prepared for an Oregon-Penn State Rose Bowl match-up on New Year’s Day. 

One person who is probably looking forward to that possibility: Ducks wide receiver Juwan Johnson, who transferred to Oregon from Penn State this season.