jevon holland

The magic number for Oregon vs. Arizona

The magic number for Oregon vs. Arizona

Oregon (8-1, 6-0 Pac-12) is on track to the Pac-12 Conference Title game and in the running as a College Football Playoff contender. The Ducks have three conference games left and Arizona (4-5, 2-4 Pac-12) is the next opponent they must beat. The Ducks are coming off a bye with a lot on line… Here are 10 numbers you need to know about the 7:30 p.m. kickoff in Autzen Stadium.

CROWN ON THE LINE

A Duck win against the Wildcats in the Pac-12-After-Dark game would clinch the North Division title and a spot in the Pac-12 championship. It would be Oregon’s third Pac-12 North crown.

AMONG THE NATION’S ELITE

Oregon is one of five FBS teams (Baylor, Clemson, Minnesota, Ohio State) off to a 6-0 start in conference play. 

BETTING LINE

Oregon opened as 26.5 point favorites over Arizona, which marks the Ducks’ sixth straight home game as a double-digit favorite.

BALL HAWKS

Oregon leads the nation with 17 interceptions, which is the program's most through nine games since 1988. The Ducks' 11.78 points off turnovers per game ranks second in the country and is a major contributing factor in the Ducks’ eight-game winning streak. Jevon Holland and Verone McKinley III each have four picks, leading the team. Eleven different Ducks have recorded an interception.

DON’T MESS WITH HOLLAND

Holland, a sophomore, leads active Pac-12 players in career interceptions with nine. The Jim Thorpe semifinalist is tied for the most career interceptions among sophomores in the nation.

UPSET HISTORY

Arizona has beaten Oregon each of the past three matchups where the Wildcats enter unranked and the Ducks enter ranked. The Wildcats topped No. 19 Oregon, 44-15 last year that featured Arizona running back J.J. Taylor rushing for 212 yards and two scores.

THE MAGIC NUMBER, 40

In the last 12 games between Oregon and Arizona, the Ducks are 7-0 when scoring more than 40 points per game and 0-5 when scoring less than 40.

GOOD INJURY UPDATE

Oregon’s top two running backs, backs CJ Verdell (groin) and Cyrus Habibi-Likio (quad) are expected to play against Arizona. Starting right guard Dallas Warmack (hip flexor) is also good to go.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE TAYLOR

Arizona’s rushing attack ranks second in the Pac-12, led by JJ Taylor who is ninth in the Pac-12 in rushing with 566 yards. The Wildcats’ total offense (495.8 yards per game) ranks 12th in the country and second in the conference.

EXPLOSION PLAY ALERT

Arizona has had five plays go for 70 or more yards this season. Across the country, only Oklahoma State, Alabama, Colorado State and UCF have more.

MORE DUCKS

Mario Cristobal’s ear catching comments on expanding Mykael Wright’s role

Three notable changes to Oregon’s depth chart ahead of Arizona

Sabrina Ionescu jerseys are here but already sold out

10 numbers to know: Oregon Ducks vs. USC Trojans

10 numbers to know: Oregon Ducks vs. USC Trojans

Oregon takes a seven-game win streak to USC for a 5 p.m. Saturday showdown at LA Memorial Coliseum.

The crucial matchup is the first meeting between Oregon and USC since 2016. The No. 7 Ducks (7-1, 5-0 Pac-12) look to stay atop the Pac-12 North Division. A win for the Trojans (5-3, 4-1 Pac-12) would keep them on the path to the Pac-12 Championship game and eligible for a bowl game, after not qualifying last season.

Here are 10 stats and numbers you need to know about perhaps the hardest game remaining on Oregon's regular-season schedule.

THE MAGIC NUMBER

Under head coach Mario Cristobal, Oregon is 9-0 when it rushes for 200 yards in a game.

[Positive Oregon injury updates: The Dye Brothers vs. USC]

VERDELL JOINS THE GREATS

CJ Verdell set the Autzen Stadium rushing record on Saturday against WSU. Also, his 257-yard rushing performance is the most since Kenjon Barner’s 321 yards at USC in 2012, the first and only Duck to rush for over 300 yards.

OH, BROTHER

The Pittman and Winston brothers will each be on opposite sidelines. USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and Oregon wide receiver Mycah Pittman are brothers, as are USC outside linebacker Eli'jah Winston and Oregon outside linebacker La'Mar Winston Jr.

COMING HOME?

USC has four players from Oregon on its roster (S Talanoa Hufanga, DL Brandon Pili, DL Marlon Tuipulotu and OLB Eli'jah Winston). Compared to the 48 Californians on Oregon’s roster.

A WIN WOULD…

Give Oregon its first 6-0 start to Pac-12 play since 2012 and make them the first Pac-12 team to accomplish the feat since Washington in 2016.

IS THAT GOOD?

Oregon has outscored its opponents 267-91, including 142-34 in the second half, during its seven-game win streak.

INSANE RATIO

Quarterback Justin Herbert has just one interception over his last 360 pass attempts in Pac- 12 road games with 24 touchdowns over that span.

RUNNING BERSERK

CJ Verdell leads the Pac-12 in rushing (753) following his 257-yard performance last week against Washington State. His 313 all-purpose yards against the Cougars are the most by an FBS player this season.

BALL HAWKS

Oregon leads the nation with 14 interceptions and is one of five FBS teams with two players (Jevon Holland has four, Verone McKinley III has three) with three or more picks.

HOME SWEET, COLISEUM

USC is 4-0 at home in 2019, beating: Fresno State, Stanford, Utah and Arizona.

[RELATED: Oregon Ducks' mindset inspired by Tiger Woods]

Injuries mounting for Oregon Ducks

Injuries mounting for Oregon Ducks

Late in the first quarter, senior tight end Jacob Breeland went down with an injury and did not return to the game.

The tight end caught a 22-yard pass from Justin Herbert, 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.

Breeland, the Ducks’ leading receiver, had a strong start to the game before the injury: three receptions for 53 yards and Oregon’s first touchdown of the game. He leads the nation among tight ends with six touchdowns this season.

This season, Breeland has become Mr. Dependable, with 26 receptions and 405 receiving yards, averaging of 15.6 yards per reception.

Late in the second quarter, senior linebacker Troy Dye and sophomore safety Jevon Holland experienced an unfortunate collision. It appeared Holland's calf hit Dye's helmet as both players dove for the runner. Both Ducks were slow to get up and attended to by medical staff.

Dye walked off the field to the injury tent and returned to the game a few plays later.

Holland was helped to a chair on the sideline before leaving the stadium on a cart. Holland returned to the sideline in the third quarter in a boot. 

Holland is Oregon’s second leading tackler, behind Dye, with 24 tackles and three interceptions this season. He has eight career interceptions, the most by an active Oregon player. Holland is also averaging 24.4 yards per punt return, the highest in the nation.

The only good news is, Oregon responded with a touchdown, a red zone stand and then another touchdown before halftime to extend the lead to 24-3.

10 numbers to know: Oregon vs. Colorado

10 numbers to know: Oregon vs. Colorado

The Ducks have redemption on the mind in their upcoming game against Colorado on Friday night in Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal’s 20th game as head coach. No. 13 Oregon (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) is looking to win its seventh of the last eight matchups against Colorado (3-2,1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday October 11 at Autzen Stadium.

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

REDEMPTION ON THE MIND

The last time the two teams met on the field, Colorado came into Autzen and shocked the Ducks with a 41-38 victory in 2016. The Ducks haven’t forgotten that defeat. It was the first-career start for Colorado quarterback Steven Montez, who is still the Buffalo’s starting quarterback. Montez had a record-setting day in the game, throwing for 333 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 135 yards and another score to become the first player in CU history to have 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing in the same game.

DOMINATING DUCK DEFENSE

Oregon's defense is yielding just 9.8 points per game, best in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation. UO has held its last four opponents to single digits, the first Power 5 team to do so since Michigan in 2015. Oregon has allowed just one touchdown over its opponents' last 51 drives and has forced 17 three-and-outs over that span.  

BETTING LINE

The Ducks opened as 20.5-point favorites over Colorado. The over/under has been set at 57 total points.

[READ: Is Oregon's offense boring? Maybe. But here's why it doesn't matter]
THIBODEAUX TIME

Gus Cumberlander will miss the remainder of the season, according to Coach Mario Cristobal. True freshman Kayvon Thibodeaux is being called into the starting role. Thibodeaux is coming off his best performance yet as a Duck, which earned him Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week honors. Against Cal he provided major highlights, recording his first sack and finishing the game with two. It’s time for the 6-foot-5, 242-pound defensive end to unleash his ability.

BUFFALOS VS. RANKED FOES

The No. 13 Ducks will be Colorado's third ranked opponent this season. The Buffaloes are 2-0 in those games, beating both No. 25 Nebraska and No. 24 Arizona State in September.

A WIN WOULD…

Improve Oregon to 3-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2013.

HOLLAND DOES IT ALL

Safety Jevon Holland is Oregon’s second leading tackler, behind Troy Dye, with 24 tackles and three interceptions this season. He has eight career interceptions, the most by an active Oregon player. Holland is also averaging 24.4 yards per punt return, the highest in the nation.

DEPENDABLE, EXPLOSIVE BREELAND

Senior Jacob Breeland has caught 23 of his 28 targets this season. His five touchdown catches rank second in the nation among tight ends. Breeland has been one of Oregon’s main sources for explosive plays: Five of Oregon’s 34 plays of 20-plus yards were to Breeland, two of which were touchdowns. Currently, Breeland has 22 receptions of 20-plus yards in his career.

BURNED REDSHIRTS IN 2019 CLASS

Now that Oregon has played five games, there are eight Ducks from the 2019 class that have burned their redshirt eligibility. If you aren’t familiar with the new redshirt rule established in 2018 by the NCAA, college football players can play up to four games in a season and still redshirt without burning a year of eligibility.

True freshman who have played in all five games and can no longer redshirt: wide receiver Josh Delgado, linebacker Mase Funa, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, cornerback Mykael Wright, defensive back DJ James, defensive back Jamal Hill, linebacker Ge’Mon Eaford and kicker Camden Lewis.

HERBERT MAKING HISTORY

In Oregon’s most recent win over Cal, quarterback Justin Herbert moved into second at Oregon in career passing yards with 8,411, behind only Marcus Mariota.
 The senior’s 15 touchdown passes in the last five games are the most over that span in school history.


Oregon vs. California: 10 numbers to know

Oregon vs. California: 10 numbers to know

The well-rested Oregon Ducks will will face California in their Pac-12 Conference home opener on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Oregon (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) is the only remaining team in the North Division without a loss and looking to stay atop of the North standings. The No. 13 Ducks have won nine of their last 10 games against Cal (4-1, 1-1) and scored 40 or more points in the last eight matchups vs. the Golden Bears.

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

BAD NEWS FOR THE BEARS

Cal’s first defeat of the season came with a major blow. Starting quarterback Chase Garbers suffered a right shoulder injury during Cal’s 27-17 loss to Arizona State Friday night. Bears coach Justin Wilcox announced Monday night that the sophomore is out indefinitely.

BETTING LINE

The Ducks opened as 14-point favorites over the Bears. The line has since shifted to -18 with a 46 total points over/under.

[READ: Oregon football's depth chart has exciting additions]

NEXT MAN UP

Bears backup quarterback Devon Modster will likely be in command vs. Oregon. Modster transferred to Cal this past offseason after leaving the UCLA program in 2018. Last Friday in relief, he completed just five of his 12 passes for 23 yards with one interception in the Arizona State end zone. “Honest, I think I played terrible. I could have played a lot better,” Modster told reporters.

DUCK DEFENSE IS DOMINATING

For the first time since 1933, Oregon hasn’t allowed a touchdown in three consecutive games. The Duck defense has kept opponents out of the end zone for 38 consecutive drives.

HERBERT VS. CAL

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert has nine career touchdown passes vs. Cal, tied for his most against one opponent. The senior looks to extend two nation leading streaks on Saturday: 32 consecutive games with a touchdown pass and 174 attempts without an interception.

QUICK STARTS

Oregon is one of two FBS teams (Wisconsin) that hasn't allowed a first half touchdown this season, while outscoring its opponents 84-15 in the first half through the first four games.

A WIN WOULD…

Improve Oregon to 2-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2013.

BREELAND ALL BUSINESS

Senior Jacob Breeland is the national leader among tight ends with five touchdowns this season. He is fourth in career receiving yards among Oregon tight ends all-time with 1,085. Breeland’s reliability has been crucial, catching 18 of his 21 targets this season.

WATCH OUT FOR HOLLAND

Safety Jevon Holland is coming off a career-high eight tackles and recorded his second interception of the season against Stanford. His seven career interceptions rank second most career interceptions among sophomores in the nation (Syracuse’s Andre Cisco has 9).

CRISTOBAL ON FIRE AT HOME

Oregon looking to improve to 9-1 at home under coach Cristobal against Cal. 

Mario Cristobal's ear-catching comments about Jevon Holland

Mario Cristobal's ear-catching comments about Jevon Holland

Week two feels simultaneously like a breath of fresh air, an opportunity and a burden for Oregon football. After the Ducks’ last minute 27-21 loss to Auburn, coach Mario Cristobal had a lot of topics to cover in his weekly Monday press conference, including one comment that caught me off guard.

Ducks Fly South

Cristobal's opening statement began by thanking fans who traveled to Dallas for the season opener.

“It was awesome coming out of the tunnel and seeing every one out there,” Cristobal said. “Looking forward to the opportunity to get back to Autzen Stadium.”

Injury Update

Cristobal detailed the current injuries, including two Ducks that will miss the entire 2019 football season. Sophomore linebacker Adrian Jackson and true freshman wide receiver J.R. Waters both suffered season ending foot injuries.

The loss of Waters is another hit to Oregon’s wide receiving corps.  The Ducks are coping with injuries to Brenden Schooler (right foot)Mycah Pittman (shoulder) and most recently, Juwan Johnson who is day-to-day with a foot injury.

Depth chart changes

As a result of the depleted wide receiving unit, Oregon has switched up its week two depth chart, which Cristobal confirmed.

-Redshirt freshman Spencer Webb has been moved from tight end to wide receiver.

According to Cristobal, Webb’s role will be “expanded.” Webb saved quarterback Justin Herbert with an absolute stunner play vs. Auburn. Herbert got rushed and hit while throwing the ball into the end zone. Webb went over the top of an Auburn defensive back and came down with the touchdown, then channeled his inner Allen Iverson step-over. The 20-yard score was Webb’s first career catch. 

With Juwan Johnson out, the 6-foot-6 246-pound Webb was the large target that Herbert desperately needed. 

-Sophomore Daewood Davis has been moved from cornerback to wide receiver.

As a redshirt freshman, Davis played receiver in seven games and had a 13-yard reception against San Jose State. He moved from wide receiver to cornerback after the season.

Freshman standouts

Eight true freshmen made their collegiate debuts for Oregon: wide receiver Josh Delgado (start), linebacker Ge’Mon Eaford, linebacker Mase Funa, safety Jamal Hill, cornerback DJ James, kicker Camden Lewis, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, cornerback Mykael Wright.

Cristobal named Funa and Thibodeaux as two new Ducks that had impressive performances.

With Jackson’s injury, Funa, who had a few major stops vs. Auburn, is the backup at SAM and at the STUD position this week.

Comment of the day

The most ear catching comments were Cristobal’s compliments of safety Jevon Holland. "I won’t kid you that he’s actually a better wide receiver than he is a DB but we’re not going to make that move anytime soon," said Cristobal.  

The sophomore could arguably be Oregon's MVP from the season opener. His performance made him the first FBS player since 2007 with 130 punt return yards and an interception in the same game. His electrifying 81-yard punt return in the second quarter was the longest punt return in a college game at AT&T Stadium. The ball-hawk intercepted his sixth career interception when he picked off Auburn quarterback Bo Nix in the second quarter. Holland looked like the best player on Oregon’s defense on Saturday. 

"If he plays to that level all year, he'll be one of the better players in college football," Cristobal said. 

Cristobal’s comment and piling injuries at the receiver position beg the questions… Should he switch? Could he play on both sides of the ball?

At Bishop O’Dowd High school in California, Holland was a star in all three phases of the game as a receiver, a defensive back and returner. Holland totaled 1,012 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 22 yards per return and took five to the house.

While Cristobal noted there isn't a plan to move Holland currently, there is no doubt Holland’s hands and athleticism make him a dangerous player and potential star for the Ducks.

Five electrifying options for Oregon's return roles

Five electrifying options for Oregon's return roles

Oregon’s special team battles are waging through fall camp. Starting role decisions have not been made for kicker, punter and both return duties. The return game is wide open and the group of contenders is impressive and potentially electrifying.

Who on the roster is best fitted to replace Ugochukwu Amadi and Tony Brooks-James? Is this the season that Oregon’s special teams thrill once again like the days of Cliff Harris and De’Anthony Thomas?

“It’s up for grabs right now,” said Oregon safety Jevon Holland. The sophomore named running back Travis Dye, wide receivers Jaylon Redd and Mycah Pittman as top return competitors. Then, he couldn’t help but throw his name in the hat.

“You can throw me in the mix too,” Holland said. “I had 10 returns in high school, I’m just putting that out there.”

Return duties have become such a coveted job that leading rusher CJ Verdell also made a case for himself to be considered.
After all the running the receivers, running backs and defensive backs do, you’d think the last thing they’d want is to add an extra duty. However, the Ducks see it as a bonus- as an extra opportunity to touch the ball and effect the game.

Injury is always a concern. Oregon has history with injuries to returners: Thomas Tyner suffered a season-ending shoulder injury versus Washington in 2014 and Devon Allen suffered two season-ending knee injuries as a specialist.

Wide receiver Brenden Schooler is already out, at least for four to six weeks, after suffering a foot injury during practice. Currently, it appears the shifty Dye is leading return man, as he’s been taking the first reps. The sophomore’s breakaway speed and agility make him a solid selection. Four other realistic options for the depth chart are: Redd, Pittman, Holland and cornerback Deommodoire Lenoir.

Redd is dynamic and flashed his deadly speed while true freshman Pittman may be the most hyped new UO receiver and his sure hands make him an interesting option. Defensive playmakers, Holland lead the team last season with five picks and Lenoir totaled three.

“Jevon (Holland) looks really good at catching punts,” said Oregon wide receiver Juwan Johnson. “Jaylon Redd is also a guy who’s very critical in our special teams.”

Last season, the Ducks topped the Pac-12 Conference in punt returns and ranked sixth in kickoff returns. Oregon’s 2018 averages in kick and punt coverage and returns slipped a bit from 2017.

Oregon hopes to better sort the depth chart after scrimmaging this week. With five potentially electrifying options, it appears the Ducks have a good problem on their hands.

Oregon Ducks' surprising hobbies: Can you guess who is the best at video games?

Oregon Ducks' surprising hobbies: Can you guess who is the best at video games?

Have you ever wondered which Oregon Duck football player is the best at video games? Did you know that UO’s leading rusher lived in Japan for three years of his life? Would you guess that an incoming freshman is a huge Star Wars fan?

At Oregon football media day, players’ personalities shined through, and we discovered divulging hobbies and facts that fans might be surprised to find out.

At this point, you’ve seen Oregon football’s strength and conditioning coordinator Aaron Feld and his mustache. You’ve heard of Flex Friday. Today we are trading in Flex Friday for Fun Friday, so you can learn more about the Ducks off the field.

A few highlights from the video above:

- Starting cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. loves video games and is the self-proclaimed “best player at Madden on the team". The only person that can challenge him is fellow junior cornerback Deommodore Lenoir.

- Freshman tight end Patrick Herbert, quarterback Justin Herbert’s younger brother, is a huge Star Wars fan.

- Safety Jevon Holland is from Vancouver, British Columbia. In his spare time, he loves to paint.

- Defensive tackle Jordon Scott can throw down in the kitchen.

Meet Mycah Pittman, the Oregon freshman with "fire in his belly"

Meet Mycah Pittman, the Oregon freshman with "fire in his belly"

How can Oregon make the most of quarterback Justin Herbert’s final season as a Duck? One fresh-faced Duck receiver is working on going from starstruck to filling big shoes. As one of the highest rated receivers to sign with Oregon, freshman Mycah Pittman has made his presence felt and is already impacting the Duck offense.

The battle to replace former leading receiver Dillon Mitchell’s production (75 receptions for 1,184 yards) will be on full display Saturday in Eugene at the Oregon football spring game.

Pittman, a consensus four-star recruit and top three wide receiver from California, has been playing in the slot during spring practices with his eye on expanding his role. His speed is a major asset but his strong hands have impressed teammates and coaches.

“He’s got that swagger, he knows who he is, his potential, but he can ball too,” Jevon Holland said. “He’s resilient and he’s got fire in his belly. He’s got a lot of what we need in the receiver position and on the team, period. Especially from a young guy to push the older guys.”

Dropped passes aren’t an issue for Pittman. “Yea, you will rarely see me drop a pass,” Pittman said before correcting himself. “You wont see that. Let’s leave it at that.

“I never double catch the ball, I’ll make sure I stay after practice if I need to get it right,” Pittman said after Tuesday’s practice.  

Every day for two months, Pittman spent his hands deep in a bucket of rice, an “old school workout” exercising his hands to increase strength and grip.

Pittman already has a grasp on more than 90 percent of Oregon’s playbook. He enrolled early to get a head start on executing alignments, routes and developing a connection with Herbert. March 29 was his first day, but his Oregon career started long before that. Before and after high school, Pittman hit the books to study Oregon’s offense for a total of three hours a day. He took to the whiteboard to work on the X’s and O’s and used up five dry erase markers.

“I didn’t see any type of transition from him,” La’Mar Winston Jr. said. “He was ready to go from the first practice, first play, first catch. Strong hands, nice route runner.”

Pittman was in awe when describing catching passes from Herbert. “I caught my first pass on a little out route from Justin Herbert and I was like, ‘Yo, Justin Herbert just threw me the ball!’” Pittman said. “This is the No. 1 pick, I’ve seen this guy on TV, and he’s bigger in person. It’s pretty cool. He’s a very humble guy.”

His preparation and attention to detail has paid off. Within three weeks, Pittman has turned heads with flashy grabs from Herbert and backup quarterback Tyler Shough, elevated the play of the position group as a whole and developed a friendship with another newcomer who has already climbed the depth chart, Juwan Johnson.

Although new to the Oregon roster, Johnson has experience on his side, playing in 16 more games than the Ducks’ most veteran wide receiver, Brenden Schooler (21 games).

“He’s a great kid ultimately. He just wants to learn," said Johnson on his first impression of Pittman. “I sort of took him under my wing when he got here. He was sort of lost and eager to learn the plays. So we kind of picked up the plays together and did it that way. It was great for both of us, very beneficial. I had no idea his dad was Michael Pittman until last week.”

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound athlete from Calabasas High School has football in his blood. His father Michael Pittman was a productive NFL running back for a decade and won a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mycah lived in Florida for 10 years.

When it comes to drawbacks of the freshman, the Ducks don’t have much to say. Although, Pittman says cherry jelly beans are a junk food weakness. Totally relatable.

The depth chart is open and Pittman is ready to fight for a starting spot.  He doesn’t feel pressure for Saturday, to play in Autzen Stadium with fans watching for the first time, “I am more excited when there are more people to see me."

Surprises and disappointments in Oregon's freshman class

Surprises and disappointments in Oregon's freshman class

Hopes were high for the 2018 Oregon football class ranked 13th in the nation with 12 four-star players. Through five games, there have been some pleasant surprises and disappointments. It is the first class that gets to utilize the new NCAA redshirt rule and it’s transformed how Duck freshmen develop.

If you are not familiar with the new rule passed in June, college football players can now play up to four games in a season and still redshirt without burning a year of eligibility. College football players are granted five years to complete four seasons of eligibility. This changes the game plan for Oregon and the rest of the nation.

 

Which Duck freshmen can no longer redshirt?

There are seven Oregon freshmen that have played all five games this season and can’t redshirt;

Starting left tackle Penei Sewell

Safety Jevon Holland

Running back Travis Dye

Punter Tom Snee

Long snapper Karsten Battles

Cornerback Kahlef Hailassie

Linebacker Adrian Jackson

 

Which Duck freshmen are making an impact?

Two freshmen have started; Sewell is the first true freshman offensive lineman to start a UO season opener since 1997. The left tackle was a top-5 graded offensive tackle in the Pac-12 each of the first two weeks.

Jackson started at outside linebacker against Portland State, when La’Mar Winston Jr. was out with an injury, and has made two solo tackles.

Dye had the best game of his career at Cal, leading the Ducks’ rushing attack with 18 carries for 115 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown. Dye is Oregon’s 2nd leading rusher, behind CJ Verdell, with 259 yards on 46 attempts.

Holland did a great job shutting down Cal’s passing attack last Saturday, finishing the game with two interceptions. He has three interceptions through five games, tying with senior Ugo Amadi for the second most in the nation.

Snee has been solid at punter, amassing 402 yards through 11 attempts, with the longest punt at 48 yards.

“Jevon has really played some good football for us and Penei has been outstanding for us as a starter,” UO coach Cristobal said. “Travis continues to get better. He has provided some explosive plays.”

 

What disappointments?

Former Oregon wide receiver Jalen Hall, who was rated the ninth-best player at his position for the 2018 class, could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of charges that he and a friend committed a home invasion robbery on Sept. 10. 

Hall enrolled early at Oregon for spring practices, participated in one practice before leaving for what were called "personal reasons". Cristobal expected him to return.

In September, before the arrest, Oregon coach Mario Cristobal officially said that Jalen Hall was no longer on the team

 

How has the rule impacted playing time for Duck freshmen?

12 true freshman have seen action through five games. More freshman could be potentially be added to this list as the season rolls on or as injuries occur. An interesting aspect of the new redshirt rule is how Oregon will take advantage of freshman gaining invaluable bowl game experience, plus the extra month of bowl game practice. The following have played in 2-3 games:

Wide receiver Bryan Addison; 3 games

Safety Steve Stephens; 3 games

Quarterback Tyler Shough; 2 games

Cornerback Verone McKinley III; 3 games

 

How does the redshirt rule impact Oregon’s backup quarterbacks?

The backup quarterback position remains a big question mark for Oregon. Both freshman Shough and sophomore Braxton Burmeister have played in two games.

Burmeister, who underwent a minor knee surgery, is close to done rehabbing and Cristobal expects him to fully return to practice for Washington prep week.

Because Burmeister has not used a redshirt season, it’s possible either him or Shough could be kept at four games or less to preserve a season of eligibility.

“We are going to let it play out and see where we are at once everyone is healthy,” Cristobal said. “It is hard to predict. You want to save a guy a year if you can, but the way football goes nowadays, a lot of guys are gone in three or four years so that fifth year is never used up.”

 

What does Oregon coach Mario Cristobal think of the rule so far?

The rule was unanimously agreed upon amongst college football coaches, including Oregon coach Mario Cristobal. Cristobal is excited for how it changes the developmental aspect of the sport.  Whether it be to injury or a player developing throughout a season, he plans to award playing opportunities to Ducks who he believes can help the team.