Oregon Ducks

Twinning with Sabrina Ionescu Pt. 3: "Morale is high" in Tampa Bay

Twinning with Sabrina Ionescu Pt. 3: "Morale is high" in Tampa Bay

Eddy Ionescu, Sabrina's twin brother, takes fans along in his journey to Oregon’s first Women’s Final Four in Tampa Bay, Florida through videos and photos on NBC Sports Northwest’s Instagram and Twitter.

"There are Duck fans literally everywhere," Eddy said. "On the plane with me, all around here! Morale is super high."

Eddy booked his return flight to Eugene, Oregon on Monday, in confidence in his sister and the Ducks. 

After transferring from City College of San Francisco,  Eddy is now Sabrina’s roommate in Eugene. Eddy stands at 6-foot-5, six inches taller than his sister and 18 minutes younger. The shooting guard hopes to walk on the Ducks men’s basketball team, loves Oregon already and thought it would rain more in Eugene. Of course, the two hoopers live a stone’s throw away from Matthew Knight Arena.

Eddy’s unique perspective gives incredible insight into Sabrina’s past as a first-generation Romanian and future, as she weighs the decision to go professional or not.

In part one of this series, we get to know Sabrina through her twin’s eyes via rapid fire questions.

In part two, Eddy helps answer the question "what's next for Sabrina?"

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

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

Speculation is oozing that the Tennessee Titans will look to secure a top quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. Some mock drafts have the Titans selecting another passer from Oregon football: Justin Herbert as the replacement for Marcus Mariota in Nashville. 

The 2-4 Tennessee Titans have sent Mariota to the bench in favor of Ryan Tannehill. It’s a could-be sad ending to a Nashville story that began with much promise. Drafted No. 2 overall in 2015, Mariota brought high hopes to the Titans, becoming the face of the franchise in his humble, nice and unassuming way.

On the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, Mariota will likely be a free agent come the end of the season and headed elsewhere for 2020 to hopefully reach his full NFL potential. The Titans look to also move on to find a new answer at quarterback.

In the preseason, USA Today had Herbert slotted to Tennessee in the first round. This week, The Draft Wire released their 2020 NFL Mock Draft and also predicted the Titans to select Herbert in the first round. CBS Sports’ Mock Draft forecasts the Titans picking Herbert with the No. 9 overall selection.

Important to note, of the many NFL scouts present in Eugene for Oregon’s most recent win over Colorado, two Titans scouts were present. Herbert, the 6-foot-6, 235-pound passer, is highly regarded as a projected top-10 2020 NFL Draft pick.

It’s too early for mock drafts, considering a lot can transpire between now and April with Herbert and with the Titans franchise. These scenarios assume that Tennessee misses the playoffs by a large margin with one of the worst records in the NFL.

But depending on draft position, another Oregon quarterback to Tennessee is not out of the question.

#FreeMarcus to the Patriots? Ducks fans react to Mariota era ending in Tennessee

#FreeMarcus to the Patriots? Ducks fans react to Mariota era ending in Tennessee

The 2-4 Tennessee Titans have sent quarterback Marcus Mariota to the bench in favor of Ryan Tannehill.

It’s a could-be sad ending to a Nashville story that began with much promise. Drafted No. 2 overall in 2015, Mariota brought high hopes to the Titans, becoming the face of the franchise in his humble, nice and unassuming way.

The Honolulu, Hawaii- native was pulled in the third quarter of Sunday’s 16-0 loss to Denver after the Titans failed to pass midfield in nine drives.

During his five seasons with Tennessee, Mariota has had two general managers, three head coaches and five different offensive play-callers.

On the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, Mariota will likely be a free agent come the end of the season and headed elsewhere for 2020 to hopefully reach his full NFL potential.

Now that the Mariota era in Nashville could be coming to an end, I was curious what Oregon fans thought of the Ducks’ only Heisman Trophy winner that lead the team to the College Football Playoff national championship game.

I found out that Oregon fans are a little bit salty, very hopeful and created a hashtag in support of the former Duck star. They also want him to end up in the New England Patriots’ winning culture.

 

 

 

 

 

Numbers to know: Oregon Ducks vs. Washington Huskies

Numbers to know: Oregon Ducks vs. Washington Huskies

No. 12 Oregon is flying into Seattle, WA on a five game winning streak to face rival No. 25 Washington. The Ducks (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) look to stay atop the Pac-12 North Division, while the Huskies (5-2, 2-2) are in the hunt to stay in the mix for the division title. It’s the 112th meeting between the Northwest foes and a ranked pivotal division matchup.

Here are 10 stats and numbers you need to know to be the fan dropping knowledge at the tailgate:

BETTING LINE

Oregon is a road favorite. The Ducks opened as 3.5-point favorites against the Huskies. The line has since moved to 2.5-points. The over/under is 55 total points.

FIVE-GAME DUCK DOMINANCE

Oregon has outscored its last five opponents 195-25. The Ducks have scored 27 touchdowns while giving up just one touchdown. UO has held all five opponents to under 10 points, the first time they’ve done so since 1958.

RED ZONE STOPS

Opponents haven't scored a touchdown against Oregon in nine red zone trips. On the season, the Ducks have only allowed two touchdowns of opponents’ 14 red zone trips, a rate of 14.3 percent that leads the nation.

FAST WASHINGTON STARTS

Through seven games, UW has outscored opponents 90-6 in the first quarter.

HUSKIES STOUT PUNT GAME

Washington is 13th in the nation in net punting (42.78 yards). The Huskies have allowed only one touchback and seven punt return yards this season.

HISTORY

In games played in Seattle, the Huskies are 32-21-4 vs. Oregon. In games played in Eugene, the Ducks hold the edge over UW, 18-13. Oregon has won 18 of the last 24 games against Washington, including last season’s 30-27 overtime win in Eugene.

PENEI SEWELL, BLIND SIDE BODYGUARD

Oregon sophomore left tackle Penei Sewell has been racking up the honors this season. Sewell has been named to Pro Football Focus’ National Team of the Week three times, received Outland Trophy's Offensive Lineman of the Month award in September and earned Pac-12 honors four times. His PFF running grade (94.1) leads the nation and has only committed one penalty in 846 career snaps. Oregon is 11-2 in two seasons with the 6-foot-6, 325-pound lineman starting.

BIG REDD

Junior wide receiver Jaylon Redd has scored a receiving touchdown in five consecutive games, tied for the longest streak in the nation and the first Duck to do so since Josh Huff (2013).  Against Colorado, he scored a rushing and receiving touchdown for first time in his career and the first Duck wide receiver to do so since Bralon Addison (2015).

TO DYE FOR

Senior linebacker Troy Dye left the Colorado game with an injury but is cleared to play at Washington. Saturday will be his 40th consecutive start. His career statistics are among the best in the nation: 3rd in tackles, 4th in solo tackles, 7th in tackles/per game and 11th in tackles per loss/game.

A WIN WOULD...

Improve Oregon to 4-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2013 and become the first Pac-12 team since Stanford in 2017 to start 4-0 in conference play.

BONUS: Good and bad injury updates

[READ: How Oregon's offense changes without Jacob Breeland]

Former Oregon Duck Alex Balducci selected in 2019-2020 XFL Draft

Former Oregon Duck Alex Balducci selected in 2019-2020 XFL Draft

It's day one of the XFL Draft! 
Each of the eight teams will fill its 71-man roster by selecting players from a set of positional groupings in the five-phased draft, with the exception of the quarterback position, which will be assigned to each team.

The draft will move quickly and is designed to be social. Teams will be given 90 seconds to make a selection and declare their picks through a video conference, which will be announced on social media.

[RELATED: Seven former Ducks with chance to revitalize career in XFL]

Let’s recap day one of the 2019 XFL Draft:

ALEX BALDUCCI 

Defensive lineman - Oregon, 2012-15

Balducci finished his senior season with the Ducks with a single-season high of 40 tackles and six tackles-for-loss to earn Pac-12 honorable mention All-Conference honors.

Also of note, looks like Balducci will move to the offensive side of the ball after playing on the d-line throughout his collegiate career.

More to come tomorrow in the second and final of the XFL Draft with more Ducks that could be selected. 

[MORE ON THE DUCKS]:

How Oregon's offense changes without Jacob Breeland

Good and bad injury updates for Oregon vs. Washington

Pro Ducks: How did they do in NFL Week 6 action

The good news and the bad news about N’Faly Dante

The good news and the bad news about N’Faly Dante

Tough blow for the Oregon men’s basketball squad to open up the 2019 season. N’faly Dante, the five-star prospect from Kansas, will miss the start of the season due to an NCAA clearance issue.

The 6-foot-11, 230-pound freshman center from Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas) reclassified from the class of 2020 to the class of 2019. 

Dante says: ”On December 14, 2019, I plan to enroll and play college basketball with the University of Oregon. I have completed my academic requirements and am currently waiting for the NCAA eligibility process to finalize. We are hopeful this will conclude soon and have asked the NCAA to keep my goal of a December 14, 2019 enrollment date in mind…”

So what does this all mean?

First, here’s the bad news. Dante will miss the first nine games of the season, and Oregon’s non-conference schedule is no easy feat with games against Memphis, Houston, Seton Hall, and tough opponents throughout the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament at the end of November.

Now, the good news. If Dante is cleared by the NCAA by his proposed date of December 14 (the same day the Ducks will face Michigan), he will be back suited up for the remaining four non-conference games and be eligible for Pac-12 conference play. 

Of the forwards on Oregon’s roster, there is just one player who was on the team last season: Francis Okoro.

The 6-foot-9 sophomore stood out last season as that big man presence for the Ducks and will need to once again step up in Dante’s absence. Other forwards include senior Eugene Omoruyi, redshirt senior Shakur Juiston, junior Eric Williams Jr., freshman Chandler Lawson, freshman C.J. Walker, and freshman Lok Wur.

Lots of fresh faces and fresh young talent for Oregon Coach Dana Altman to have to put together.

MORE ON THE DUCKS:

How Oregon's offense changes without Jacob Breeland

Good and bad injury updates for Oregon vs. Washington

Seven former Ducks with a chance to revitalize their careers in the XFL

How Oregon's offense changes without Jacob Breeland

How Oregon's offense changes without Jacob Breeland

The Ducks have lost their fifth player for the season due to injury. Senior tight end Jacob Breeland’s injury suffered in No. 12 Oregon’s victory over Colorado will sideline him the remainder of the season and leave a gaping hole in the Duck offense.

Without Breeland, the Ducks are without their leading receiver and quarterback Justin Herbert’s go-to guy.

Breeland was off to his best season as a Duck. His reliability has proven to be an asset for Herbert, catching 26 of his 32 targets this season. Breeland has been one of Oregon’s main sources for explosive plays: totaling 24 receptions of 20-plus yards in his career, seven this season already. His 403 receiving yards leads FBS tight ends and his six touchdowns is tied for the lead.

Will the offense change without Breeland?

After Breeland went down in the first quarter, no tight ends caught a pass in UO's win over Colorado. Herbert targeted junior Hunter Kampmoyer in the third quarter but the would-be touchdown pass went through his hands. Oregon coach Mario Cristobal acknowledged that Kampmoyer would "like to have back" that incompletion in the end zone.

Would Oregon consider shifting towards playing more wide receivers? No. Cristobal added that there is no plan to eliminate the tight end position from the offense because that would negatively impact the running game and conflict with the team’s “personality”.

Is depth at tight end going to be an issue?

Next up at tight end is senior Ryan Bay and Kampmoyer, who are both listed as starters. The upperclassmen received a lot of reps leading up to the season when Breeland was rehabbing a previous injury but don’t have much in-game production:

-Kampmoyer has two career catches for 25 yards and a touchdown

-Bay scored his first career touchdown vs. Nevada and has 14 career catches for 129 yards

Redshirt freshman Spencer Webb will move back to tight end from slot receiver, where he moved in August when the wide receiver unit experienced multiple injuries. Remember: Webb delivered as the big-bodied target Herbert desperately needed against Auburn.

[READ: Spencer Webb: a "natural" offensive weapon ready to be cut loose]

Also, Patrick Herbert, who has been with the developmental squad, will get more time with the travel squad.

Oregon previously lost tight end Cam McCormick for the remainder of the season.

“The way we develop, the way we train, we have confidence in the next man up,” Cristobal said. “It showed up Saturday again on both sides of the ball. Complete confidence and trust in our guys and we have to continue to prepare and continue to elevate the way that we prepare.”

How does this impact Saturday’s pivotal game?

Oregon (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) will face a tough defense in rival No. 25 Washington (5-2, 2-2) on Saturday (12:30 p.m., ABC). The Huskies are coming off of a win at Arizona in which the Huskies' defense tallied a season-high four takeaways. UW is currently riding a streak of 63 games of holding opponents to less than 35 points.

The loss of Breeland is significant in the critical Pac-12 North Division show down.

Pro Ducks: How did they do in NFL Week 6?

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USATI

Pro Ducks: How did they do in NFL Week 6?

Another NFL Sunday is in the books and with it, another chance for the former Oregon Ducks in the NFL to take center stage.

Here is how our Pro Ducks did:

Royce Freeman, Broncos: 

Royce Freeman had another solid outing to help the Broncos pick up their second win of the season, as he continues to be a two-headed monster in the Denver backfield with Phillip Lindsay. Freeman rushed the ball 11 times for 34 yards and caught five passes for 42 yards. 

Pharaoh Brown/Terrance Mitchell, Cleveland Browns:

The Browns may have lost to the Seahawks, but Terrance Mitchell did everything he could to make things come out the other way. Mitchell had six tackles, five solo. On the other side of the ball, tight end Pharaoh Brown was targeted just once, but hauled it in for a nine-yard gain.

Kenjon Barner, Atlanta Falcons:

Barner continues to be one of the more reliable returners in the NFL. He hasn't been used much on offense this season but on special teams, he's at home. Barner had three punt returns for 17 yards and one kick return for 24 yards. He didn't break one this weekend, but he is always a threat. 

Arik Armstead/DeForest Buckner, San Francisco 49ers:

Armstead and Buckner have been huge for the 49ers. San Francisco has surprised the entire NFL by going 5-0 to start the season, and a big part of that success is thanks to the defense. Armstead and Buckner are the anchors of the d-line, and they showed us why on Sunday. Buckner had four tackles, two solo, and one tackle for loss. While Armstead had six tackles, three solo, a half-sack, and one giant fumble recovery. 

De'Anthony Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs:

The Chiefs were upset by the Texans Sunday, and Thomas never really got it going. He had just one rush for four yards and was targeted in the passing game once but didn't register a catch. However, he did contribute three kick returns for 64 yards

Troy Hill, LA Rams:

The Rams fell victim to the undefeated 49ers, but Hill still had a solid game on defense. He had five tackles, four solo, and one pass deflection. 

Kiko Alonso, New Orleans Saints:

No one gave the Saints a chance after Drew Brees went down with an injury earlier this year. But in the four weeks since all they have done is go 4-0. In that time span, the defense has allowed an average of 16.75 points per game. On Sunday, the defense held Jacksonville to just six points, while Kiko Alonso had three tackles, two solo. 

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans:

Mariota had a rough afternoon Sunday going 7 of 18 passing for 63 yards, and two interceptions. He was also sacked three times. He watched much of the game from the sideline after he was pulled for backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The biggest question for Mariota is whether or not he will be the Titans starting quarterback come next week... 

  


 

Good and bad injury updates for Oregon vs. Washington

Good and bad injury updates for Oregon vs. Washington

Oregon’s victory over Colorado was bittersweet.

A balanced Duck offense and strong defense = sweet.

Injury to Oregon’s leading receiver = bitter.

Senior Jacob Breeland suffered a left knee injury Friday night against Colorado.

Late in the first quarter, after catching a 22-yard pass from quarterback Justin Herbert, Breeland was tackled out of bounds and immediately grabbed his leg. Breeland did not get up for a few plays and was immediately taken to the medical tent. He did not return to the game.

In No. 12 Oregon’s organization chart for the upcoming rivalry game against No. 25 Washington, Breeland is not listed. Oreogn coach Mario Cristobal announced Breeland will be out for the remainder for the season.

 

His 403 receiving yards leads FBS tight ends and his six touchdowns is tied for the lead.

Breeland was off to his best season as a Duck. His reliability has proven to be an asset for Herbert, catching 26 of his 32 targets this season. Breeland has been one of Oregon’s main sources for explosive plays: totaling 24 receptions of 20-plus yards in his career, seven this season already.

Entering the season, Breeland was projected to go undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft but his performance this season has changed that. Bleacher Report called Breeland one of their biggest risers in the NFL Draft and CBS Sports picked him to be a first round selection.

Next up at tight end is senior Ryan Bay, junior Hunter Kampmoyer, redshirt freshman Spencer Webb and true freshman Patrick Herbert. Oregon previously lost tight end Cam McCormick for the remainder of the season.

Sophomore safety Jevon Holland and senior linebacker Troy Dye, who also suffered injuries on Friday, are listed on the depth chart. After the game Cristobal said those injuries were “minor” and both are cleared to play at Washington. 
 

Seven former Ducks with chance to revitalize career in XFL

Seven former Ducks with chance to revitalize career in XFL

The return of the XFL creates an opportunity for 1,000 football players to revive their careers. The full list for the 2020 XFL player draft has been released and there are seven Ducks in the draft pool.

  • Quarterback Darron Thomas (Oregon, 2008-11)
  • Linebacker Josh Kaddu (Oregon, 2008-11)
  • Linebacker Christian French (Oregon, 2011-15)
  • Safety Erick Dargan (Oregon, 2010-14)
  • Offensive lineman Alex Balducci (Oregon, 2012-15)
  • Long snapper Tanner Carew (Oregon 2014-17)
  • Linebacker Johnny Ragin (Oregon 2014-16)

Thomas is one of the top star quarterback names on the list. The former Duck accounted for 74 touchdowns in two seasons as Oregon's starter from 2010-11. He led Oregon to two consecutive Pac-12 Championships, the national championship game after the 2010 season and won the Rose Bowl after 2011.

The 1,000 professional football players in the draft pool have accepted a Commissioner’s Invitation and passed a standard background check.
Each XFL team will fill its 71-man roster by selecting players from a set of positional groupings in the five-phased draft, with the exception of the quarterback position, which will be assigned to each team.

The draft will move quickly and is designed to be social. Teams will be given 90 seconds to make a selection and declare their picks through a video conference, which will be announced on social media.

Returning after a 19-year absence, the league promises rule innovations that will produce a faster-paced and more interesting games.

The eight-team league will draft players on Tuesday, October 15 and Wednesday, October 16. Training camp is scheduled for January and the season will begin Feb. 8, 2020.