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Quack Fix: Practice Notes, Jackson Rice, Pac-12 Championship Game and Academic Progress

We got no food, no jobs... our PETS' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!

  • Couple of updates to discuss out of practice yesterday as noted by Oregon Live. Darron Thomas said that he's 100 percent and expects to start against Washington State. LaMichael James could play on Saturday if necessary, and Ricki Heimuli walked out of practice in a boot. Also, there are some good quotes from Chip Kelly regarding the proposed increase in student-athlete "pay". We also have another report from the Register Guard.
  • One of the unsung heroes of the Oregon Football Team has to be Punter Jackson Rice. I remember when he was recruited and was pretty excited about the fancy stars that were next to his name. In previous years, I've been very nervous about our special teams in all senses of the word. Although I may still be nervous when we receive, I'm far less nervous now when we are giving up the ball and Rice is a good reason for that.
  • I don't like to link to Bleacher Report articles very often but I thought this one brought up a good point (even if the argument was kind of dumb). The basic premise... Oregon Quarterback Bryan Bennett is not ready to be a starter and while I agree that there certainly needs to be some polish, I think he managed the games well when he has played. One thing I know for sure. Whenever we run a play that looks like a zone read, people behind me will complain that we should have passed when we ran and vice versa. I look forward to these same people wanting Bennett in the game as soon as we lose yards on a handoff.
  • We don't want to count our ducks before they're hatched, but there are some things to be mindful of if Autzen Stadium is hosting the first ever Pac-12 Championship Game.
  • Basketball season is nearly upon us and the team is going to look VERY different this year. The men's team will have 8 new players on the court and expectations are high. I'm not ready to give this team a pass to the top half of the Pac-12 with so many new players but I am excited to see what this new group can do.
  • Good news on the academic front as the football team saw a 14 point jump over the last two years and the men's basketball team continues to be impressive academic force.
  • Finally, we have some Pac-12 picks for this weekend. Vegas must know something I don't know because I can't figure out for the life of me why Utah is favored over Oregon State. Both of these teams aren't that great but at least the Beavers have somewhat of an offense.

That's it for the quack. For a fun fact of the day, Oregon leads the nation in the number of Opponent Kickoff Returns with allowing 8.1 returns per game. Yeah, we're scoring a lot.