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Quack Fix: Previewing USC, Thomas named Davey O'Brien semifinalist and basketball adds a walk-on

Saturday night can't get here quick enough.  With a highly anticipated game against USC in LA still more than four days away, I've rounded up the following quack to help take the edge off.

  • Rob Moseley takes a look at USC's talent on offense in this morning's Register-Guard.  Nick Aliotti, who repeatedly refers to them as a "challenge," has the unenviable task of trying to limit the effectiveness of Matt Barkley and his receivers without weakening the run defense.  
  • Moseley's notebook also mentions that Darron Thomas was named a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, joining fellow conference QBs Barkley and Andrew Luck.
  • Bob Clark's weekly look around the conference focuses on the importance of quality QB depth after Arizona backup Matt Scott capably filled in for the injured Nick Foles.  But, as Clark notes, Arizona isn't the only conference team that has had a backup QB play a significant role thus far.  
  • John Hunt has a blog entry about Coach Kelly's pre-game inspirational tactics, which included a visit from retired boxer Micky Ward (described as an old New England buddy of Kelly's) prior to the UCLA game. 
  • Ted Miller has a long blog post up previewing the USC game.  The post includes this nugget about the matchup (which I actually went back to verify): "It's a role reversal. But perhaps not as much as you would think. The Ducks have won seven of 12 -- and two of the last three -- from USC, and this is the seventh straight USC-Oregon contest in which both teams have been ranked."  Oregon also earns several mentions in Miller's "Rewind and Look Ahead" post.
  • Both Chris Courtney and Moseley have practice reports up from yesterday.  They both hit on many of the same things, notably that players were in shells after having their first weekend off during the season and both reports mentioned coaches praising Dion Jordan who earned the start at UCLA with Terrell Turner being dinged up. 
  • In basketball news, the men's team has officially added walk-on Nicholas Lucenti to the roster.  Lucentiy is a 6-3 guard from LA and is also the grandson of women's coach Paul Westhead.
  • Finally, in volleyball news, the team is at #18 in the latest poll after losing on the road to #8 USC and #11 UCLA this past weekend.  This weekend, the Ducks return home to take on #4 Stanford and #3 Cal.

Also, don't forget to check out several video interviews after the jump.

Go Ducks!