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Quack Fix: Baseball falls 1-0 to #1 ASU, "new" Aliotti continues to scheme with defensive versatility

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Another day, another large round of quack. Make sure to check out all the quack, including after the jump.

  • Oregon baseball had a tough loss last night against the top ranked ASU Sun Devils. Tyler Anderson, Oregon's starter, pitched a gem, giving up only 4 hits, striking out 10, and walking none while pitching the complete game. Unfortunately, one of those hits was a solo home run given up to ASU shortstop Drew Maggi. The Ducks offense could only muster 5 hits and a walk, and were not able to score the few times they got men into scoring position. If my team was guilty of anything, it was trying too hard with runners in scoring position," Horton said. The Ducks have two more games against the Sun Devils today and tomorrow, and it won't be getting any easier.
  • In spring practice, though all eyes are on the very close QB battle, the defense should be getting some attention. DC Nick Aliotti has already tried out 10 new schemes over two days as the Ducks try to continue the versatility and speed that created the top defense in the Pac-10 last year. The Ducks are experimenting with players in new positions, like Eddie Pleasant at Rover (interestingly, Pleasant admitting to feeling undersized at OLB). But with most of the defense back, Aliotti sounds like he's having some fun, and is giving his guys a steep learning curve. With probably the deepest and most talented linebacking corp, the defense can afford to be pushed like this, and I'm looking forward to the dividends it will pay this fall.
  • While Aliotti has taken a lot of flak from Duck fans, he seemed to convert many last year, benefiting from the fast and versatile group of linebackers. This helped the defense weather significant secondary issues as a number of young players were forced to play earlier than would have been expected. Well, those young guys (Boyett, Gildon, Lewis, Harris) are now experienced veterans, and the Ducks secondary is looking very good heading into 2010. John Neal says that this is the most talent he's had at the corner positions since he's been at Oregon, high praise for someone that coached Jairus Byrd and Walter Thurmond. Talmadge Jackson III is all but guaranteed a starting spot, while Anthony Gildon and Cliff Harris fight for the other. And in reserve will be Scott Grady, who was just starting to blossom at the end of last season. While Duck fans have been burned in the past by promises of great defense, I'm really excited to see what the talented group can do.

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