Oregon Ducks

Troy Dye named to Bednarik Award watch list for the College Defensive Player of the Year

Troy Dye named to Bednarik Award watch list for the College Defensive Player of the Year

The Oregon football faithful let out a deep sigh of relief the day news broke of Troy Dye forgoing the 2019 NFL Draft and returning for one more season in green and yellow. 

The senior linebacker, who has lead the Ducks in tackles for the third consecutive year, has been named to the Bednarik Award watch list for the College Defensive Player of the Year, and rightfully so. 

Dye became the first Oregon player with 100 tackles in back-to-back seasons since Michael Clay (2011-12) and the 15th player in program history to reach 300 career tackles. Dye will be one of just two FBS players, and the only Power 5 player, returning in 2019 to lead his team in tackles each of the last three seasons (91 in 2016, 107 in 2017 and 115 in 2018).

Our Oregon Insider Bri Amarathus says, "In 2019, I predict Oregon inside linebacker Troy Dye’s reign of terror on Pac-12 offenses will continue and the senior will take down the Oregon record for career tackles, set in 1971." 

Fun Fact: In three career season openers, Dye has totaled 29 tackles, including 6.5 for loss, two sacks and two interceptions.

Career Notables:
- Enters senior season third among current FBS players with 313 tackles.
- Needs 121 tackles to become Oregon’s all-time career leader.
- Has led the team in tackles 19 of 37 career games.
- Ranks second in program history with double-digit tackles in 17 games.
- One of three FBS players with at least 100 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 2017.

Preseason Honors: 
- Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List
- Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List 
- Athlon Sports All-America second team
- Phil Steele All-America second team 
- Athlon Sports Pac-12 first team
- Phil Steele Pac-12 first team 
- No. 85 on Sports Illustrated Top 100 Players 

Penei Sewell wins Outland Trophy for nation’s best interior lineman

Penei Sewell wins Outland Trophy for nation’s best interior lineman

What a week it has been for Penei Sewell.

It started off last Friday winning the Pac-12 Championship to Pac-12 first team All-Conference honors to now winning the 74th Outland Trophy, which recognizes the nation’s best interior lineman on offense or defense. 

Sewell beat out other nominees Wisconsin junior center Tyler Biadasz and Auburn senior defensive tackle Derrick Brown.

Winning this award is impressive; winning this award as a sophomore is even more impressive. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound lineman has played 19 games in his collegiate career. Sewell had to overcome an injury during his freshman year.

Sewell is named alongside Wisconsin junior center Tyler Biadasz and Auburn senior defensive tackle Derrick Brown.

To put this into even more perspective, Sewell and senior offensive lineman Calvin Throckmorton allowed zero sacks through a combined 1,557 snaps.

Senior offensive lineman Shane Lemieux also chimed in on Sewell’s play:

If you’re a corner or something, you should definitely fear him especially in screens because he’s willing to come… I’ve never seen a guy his size be able to move in space like that. It’s really impressive.

There’s no denying Sewell’s production. The numbers are there to back it along, plus his leadership is undeniable. The Ducks are in good hands for the future with Sewell on the line. 

Chip Kelly’s vertical hops, hang time highlights one of best moments in 2011-12 Rose Bowl

Chip Kelly’s vertical hops, hang time highlights one of best moments in 2011-12 Rose Bowl

Let’s rewind the clock.

It’s the 2011-12 Oregon football season and the No. 5 Ducks are headed to the Rose Bowl to take on opponent No. 10 Wisconsin. The Badgers' run-heavy play, led by quarterback Russell Wilson and Heisman candidate running back Montee Ball along with that stout offensive line, clashed against the Ducks’ speed led by quarterback Darron Thomas, and running backs LaMichael James and De’Anthony Thomas. 

This season wasn’t just all about the speed and new style from the Oregon offense, but something that would also change the game of football forever… the birth of the winged, full chrome helmets. It has changed the game at a sponsorship, business level down to recruiting. 

In an article posted by the Salt Lake Tribune, UCLA Coach Chip Kelly reflects on how other teams have changed due to the Oregon influence.

When I first came in the league we were the only ones that ran a spread offense and had shiny helmets. Now everybody runs the same offense and has shiny helmets.

It was cute when Adidas released a special helmet for Wisconsin prior to the Rose Bowl that featured a rose pattern inside the “W”.

Here is our list of the best moments from the 2011-12 Rose Bowl:

DAT TD run

With time expiring in the first quarter, freshman De’Anthony Thomas busted up the middle and exploded for a 91-yard touchdown. The ever-dangerous, elusive, Thomas wreaked havoc and literally turned heads in opposing secondaries throughout his entire career at Oregon. 

DAT TD run (again)

So nice he did it twice. On a jet sweep up the left sideline, Thomas goes untouched all the way to the end zone. If you watch the video above closely, DAT was so fast he actually slows down to wait for his block the last 10 yards to get into the end zone. 

This score gave Oregon the first lead of the Rose Bowl, 34-28 with 14:22 in the third quarter.

Kiko Alonso INT in third quarter

A huge moment swing with less than a minute to go in the third quarter. With Wisconsin riding a 10-0 run, linebacker Kiko Alonso jumps a route and lays out his whole body for a diving interception. 

The Badgers would not score again after this play.

Terrance Mitchell punches ball out, Chip Kelly gets air

Arguably one of Chip Kelly’s best moments as Oregon’s head coach. With 4:17 left in the game, Wilson completed a deep ball to wide receiver Jared Abbrederis and turned upfield. Ducks DB Terrance Mitchell perfectly punched the ball out and it dropped absolutely still mere inches from the Oregon sideline. As the ball laid there for what seemed like hours, linebacker Michael Clay dove on top of it in bounds. Oregon ball. Kelly shows his enthusiasm with rapid jumping getting at least six inches of air off the ground.

The spike that never was

Word to the wise: you need more than two seconds to spike the ball. This was a tough pill to swallow for Wilson. With Wisconsin marching down the field, down by a touchdown and with less than a minute of game time remaining, Wilson tried to spike the football on the 25-yard-line with two second left on the clock. Wilson still had possession of the ball as he tried to ground it when the clock reached 00:00. 

Game over. Ducks win, 45-38.

Fast forward to today, and the No. 6 Oregon Ducks will face No. 8 Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl once again. Only one can hope for a similar result or at least Mario Cristobal jumping for joy at some point during the game.

Jay Butterfield, Nation's No. 3 Pro Style QB, to enroll early at Oregon

Jay Butterfield, Nation's No. 3 Pro Style QB, to enroll early at Oregon

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, question looking ahead to next season of Oregon football, is who will replace the departing Justin Herbert at quarterback?

If Herbert’s heir isn’t already on campus in Tyler Shough, he will be soon when 2020 QB commit Jay Butterfield steps foot in Eugene on January 4th. 

The 6-foot-6, 202 pound signal caller out of Brentwood, CA is rated as the third best pro style passer in this upcoming high school class according to 247Sports. Rivals’ Recruiting Director Mike farrell has claimed he could be a future first day NFL Draft selection. 

Butterfield is a tall quarterback with a great frame to fill out who has a strong arm but can also move around a bit. He’s raw, but his talents are evident and he could be a first-rounder down the line if he develops.

Following the official departure of offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo, the Ducks commit tweeted out his commitment to UO still stood. Arroyo was among his main recruiters to come to Eugene, but clearly wasn’t the only determining factor. 

Butterfield will join Bradley Yaffe and Cale Millen (coming off shoulder injury) at the quarterback position on the Ducks' roster next season.

When Butterfield starts practicing with the team, expect him to push Shough for the starting job this fall.

His high school highlights are below.

FAU is a dream job... Willie Taggart, probably

FAU is a dream job... Willie Taggart, probably

Florida Atlantic did something. 

On Wednesday, it was announced that Willie Taggart will be the next head coach to replace the departed Lane Kiffin. 

Kiffin will be the next head coach at Ole Miss.

[RELATED]: Oregon State adds home-and-home series with Ole Miss, New Mexico

Taggart spent one season as Oregon’s head football coach before departing for his “dream job” at Florida State. Taggart coached the Ducks to a 7-5 record, but quickly left Eugene before the Las Vegas Bowl for Tallahassee. Taggart lead the team to a 5-7 record in his first season (2018-19). Nine games into his second season, Florida State fired Taggart following a 27-10 loss to the Miami Hurricanes. FSU paid Taggart $18 million to leave.

Now, he's on to yet another position, his fourth team in four years. The Florida Atlantic Owls did something and took a chance on the head coach. They will have to live with that decision, but maybe not for more than a year or two. 

At Oregon, it's a very good time for making an offensive change

At Oregon, it's a very good time for making an offensive change

Marcus Arroyo is leaving the University of Oregon football program at just the right time.

I can’t think of a better time for this to happen to the Ducks. I have no idea how much they will miss him on the recruiting side of the game – time will tell about that.

But I’m pretty confident they can find an offensive coordinator who can move the ball and score points as well as Arroyo did.

And remember, Arroyo has had a quarterback, Justin Herbert, who is expected to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft.

I’ve never been sure that the Ducks got as much out of Herbert as they should have gotten. They always seemed to be torn between wanting to be a power-running team and being a pass-first team. Either would have been OK, but they often didn’t hit on the right balance. And to be fair to them, it was incumbent upon them to play a style most suitable to Herbert's talents, even if it was counter to their long-term philosophy.

And that could have been attributed to the head coach, too. All I know is that, quite often, the offense did not live up to expectations, considering the line and the quarterback behind it.

Now, though, Mario Cristobal has his chance to shape the offense just the way he wants to, with the hiring of a new offensive coordinator.

I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Oregon go to a more option-oriented attack with a quarterback who is more of a running threat than pure passer. It would seem to fit with Cristobal's perceived vision of a physical offensive line being able to control games with ball control to benefit a stingy defense.

And with Herbert gone, the way is cleared now to recruit toward that style of play -- or any other style he wishes. I think, too, he will have the resources to hire a big name and/or a proven commodity.

That’s why the time is right for a change. A change in coaches, in philosophy and perhaps even personnel.

Hey NCAA, stop ruining people’s lives please

Hey NCAA, stop ruining people’s lives please

Dear NCAA,

We get it. It’s your way or the highway and no one is going to change your mind. Your constant power-driven moves are getting old. Please stop denying not just athletes but people the freedom to advance their lives. Please reconsider your decision-making process for the better of the athlete and not yourself.

Love,

Everybody.

_______________

Here’s what is going on. Redshirt freshman Sedona Prince announced that she would transfer from the University of Texas to join the Oregon women’s basketball team on July 5, 2019. She had sat out her freshman season with the Longhorns after suffering a broken right leg. Her injury occurred while playing for the USA U18 team at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City in August 2018. 

Prince applied for an NCAA waiver for immediate eligibility and suit up for this Ducks this 2019-2020 season. The NCAA denied her claim on Wednesday. Prince appealed the decision and was denied again.

She will sit on the bench for another year.

The first time Duck fans will see the 6-foot-7, No. 8 rated recruit, and 2018 McDonald’s All-American take the court at Matthew Knight Arena will be the 2020-2021 season.

She never took the court in Texas. She sat on the bench and waited. If the NCAA was going to approve any case in particular, this would be a great situation to do so. Alas, they did not. The NCAA once again showed its true colors.

Oregon Coach Kelly Graves weighed in:

I just feel bad for her and she’s already sat out a year. She got hurt playing for USA basketball for crying out loud, giving up herself for playing something bigger. They deny it. I think she had a pretty good case, I won’t go into the particulars of that. If she doesn’t get it, than who does? Just the arbitrary nature of which they makes decisions is what I think frustrates most people. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason…. Either do it for everybody or you don’t do it for anybody.

Graves makes a valid point. There is no standard for these decisions. It seems like each case is a different way of thinking.

Teammates also took to Twitter to support their Prince and hopefully bring more light to the situation and take a stand to the NCAA.

HERE’S WHY IT SUCKS

Let’s put the mess that is the upper hand power of the NCAA to rest for a moment. 

The hopes and dreams of seeing Prince take the floor this season and with this roster would have been nothing short of stellar. Imagine a scenario with both Prince and senior Ruthy Hebard on the floor together or Prince and Sabrina Ionescu run the pick and roll will remain just hopes and dreams. 

Looking to the future, Prince brings a lot to the table: that 6-foot-7 frame complimented by a killer jump shot. Prince was named the 2018 Texas Girls Association Basketball Athlete of the Year after averaging 22.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.8 steals and 4.7 blocks per game. Yes that was two years ago, however, Prince is a great match in Graves' system of constant ball movement and screens.

It is still a year away, but we can't wait to see Prince finally take the court.

There’s only one explanation for Oregon's Pac-12 conference awards… conspiracy theory!

There’s only one explanation for Oregon's Pac-12 conference awards… conspiracy theory!

This article from The Mercury News written by Jon Wilner is bizarre and accurate and is a real head-turner. But it definitely brings up several good points. 

On Tuesday, the Pac-12 Conference released its list of all-conference honors. To some surprise, the 2019 Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks were only on the entirety of the list four times. Four out of 46 players were Ducks. The fifth player to make all-conference was Brady Breeze for first team specialist.

The 2019 Pac-12 champions with 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, had just ONE player’s name recognized: Troy Dye, and he was second team all-conference. SECOND TEAM.

Plus, how does the coach who was four points shy of an undefeated season and handedly took down Utah Coach Kyle Wittingham (who won the award this season) by 22 points in the championship game did not win Pac-12 Coach of the Year?

Wilner says it may have something to do with slowing down all that is the Oregon freight train in terms of recruiting.

“Maybe not voting for more Ducks and not voting for Cristobal was an attempt to undermine his efforts on the recruiting trail.”

Dwight Jaynes chimes in:

It’s ridiculous. Wilner is correct. Either Cristobal is a fantastic coach and Coach of the Year or the players didn’t get the recognition they deserved. If it’s because the people don’t like Cristobal, it’s a shame for the kids.

Which brings up a valid point: how does the rest of the Pac-12 view Mario Cristobal and Oregon football? Is it his rough nature? His friendship with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? His coaching philosophies of physical play? Based on the votes and results, it has to be something…

The voting process happens within 48 hours after the championship game. No coach is allowed to vote for their own players.

The numbers don’t lie and The Mercury News did its research:

Presenting the first piece of evidence in our conspiracy theory: year, champion and total first/second-team selections (listed in order of selections):

2016 Washington: 12 (first/second-team honorees)
2012 Stanford: 10
2013 Stanford: 10
2014 Oregon: 9
2017 USC: 9
2015 Stanford: 8
2018 Washington: 8
2011 Oregon: 6
2019 Oregon: 4

Oh, but there’s more …

Number of first-team selections:

2016 Washington: 9
2015 Stanford: 6
2017 USC: 6
2018 Washington: 6
2012 Stanford: 5
2013 Stanford: 5
2014 Oregon: 5
2011 Oregon: 4
2019 Oregon: 1

Is there a conspiracy? Who knows. But the evidence from Wilner does support the claim. Not only has this season's Oregon team had a historically low amount of first team players, but whenever Oregon has won the conference they've had less first-team selections than when other teams have won the Pac-12.  

Whatever. Haters gonna hate. 

Social media reacts: Mixed feeling on Marcus Arroyo's departure

Social media reacts: Mixed feeling on Marcus Arroyo's departure

It has been confirmed: Oregon offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo is leaving Eugene and the Oregon football program to become the next head coach of the UNLV Rebels.

[RELATED]: Happy fans or not, Marcus Arroyo make large impact for Ducks

There are quite some mixed feelings about this move. 

On one hand, this is a big move for Arroyo who has aspired to become a head coach throughout his football career. 

On the other hand, many have questioned Arroyo’s play calling abilities and coaching tactics that may have stunted quarterback Justin Herbert’s potential.

Below are the comments on our latest post on Instagram about the Arroyo move:

Regardless, big changes coming to the Oregon football staff as the search begins for its next offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Happy fans or not, losing Marcus Arroyo makes large impact for Ducks

Happy fans or not, losing Marcus Arroyo makes large impact for Ducks

After three seasons at Oregon, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo has agreed to become the new head coach at UNLV. 

Arroyo’s salary at Oregon was $825,000, the third highest Pac-12 Conference assistant salary. Arroyo's contract does have a buyout that would require the coach to pay 20% of his guaranteed salary remaining but that is waived because Arroyo took a head coaching position at the FBS level, which UNLV is a part of.

Why UNLV? Why now?

Arroyo’s head coaching aspirations are realized at UNLV in the Mountain West Conference. The 39-year-old has ties to the Mountain West, playing quarterback at San Jose State (1998-2002), coaching quarterbacks at San Jose State (2006-2008) and coaching quarterbacks/offensive coordinator at Wyoming (2009-10).

He’s raking over a Rebels program with some shiny new facilities and recruiting tools (something Arroyo is used to at Oregon). UNLV’s priority was to hire a head coach before early signing period for the 2020 class occurs from December 18-20. The Rebels have 10 players committed for what 247Sports ranks as the Mountain West’s No. 3 class.

The Rebels recently opened a $34.8 million, 73,000-square-foot Fertitta Football Complex, a likely recruiting highlight for his new staff.

Arroyo takes over a program with three winning seasons in 27 years. Tony Sanchez went 20-40 over five seasons before being officially fired Nov. 25.

Fan Un-favorite

Oregon fans developed a strong dislike towards Arroyo this season.

“Why did the Ducks throw downfield more against Auburn?”

“Where is the play-calling creativity?”

“Why are Arroyo’s play calls so predictable? One-dimensional?

“How come there aren’t many explosive plays?”

Some fans go as far to say that Arroyo didn’t develop senior quarterback Justin Herbert to his full potential.

In reality, Oregon’s offense has improved over Arroyo’s tenure and much of the “lackluster-ness” is due to UO coach Mario Cristobal’s strength and power offense designed to dominate the trenches and pound the ground.

Coming off possibly his best play calling performance in Oregon’s 37-15 win over Utah, Arroyo’s offense averaged 35.2 points per game this season. That ranked second in the Pac-12 Conference behind Washington State’s air raid. Arroyo coached Herbert to 3,333 yards passing with 32 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Running back CJ Verdell reached 1,000 yards rushing for his second-straight season. 2019 marked the second consecutive year and fourth time in program history that Oregon has had a 3,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rusher in the same season. The Ducks also lead the nation with number of players with a touchdown (19) and number of players with a receiving touchdown (12).

The proof is in the pudding... Oregon is 11-2, won the Pac-12 title and has a chance to win its first Rose Bowl since 2014.

What impact does this have?

With Justin Herbert NFL bound in April, Oregon’s offense will be likely run by quarterback Tyler Shough in 2020. Herbert’s heir, Shough, was recruited by Arroyo.

As evident with Herbert, who sustained three different head coaches throughout his Oregon career, coaching turnover can stunt growth and slow progress.
It’s expected that Cristobal will stick to his offensive philosophy but coaching turnover will undoubtably have an affect on Shough, who has spent two seasons with Arroyo. A big question mark is how much of an affect? Will Shough have to learn a new offense over the summer with a matchup against Ohio State looming in non-conference play?

[READ: Dana Shough's fight and win over breast cancer the "largest championship game" she's ever been in]
As with any coaching change, the 2020 recruiting class may be effected as recruiting sharks will emerge in attempt to steer prospects to other Pac-12 coaches. Oregon’s class currently ranks No. 1 in the Pac-12 and No. 11 in the nation. With Cristobal’s recruiting prowess, I wouldn’t expect UO to take too big of a hit.

Other notable current Ducks who were recruited by Arroyo: wide receivers Mycah Pittman, Josh Delgado and JR Waters.

Who could be replacement?

Oregon has a few candidates in house that could be promoted within, like running backs coach Jim Mastro. However, if I were a betting woman, I’d say the Ducks will open up a nation wide search.