EUGENE, Oregon — The Ducks participated in their first full scrimmage of the fall training camp on Saturday from the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex. The practice was closed to the media except for Rob Moseley via @DuckFootball on Twitter.
After 10 days of fall practice, Day 11 brought Oregon football their first full scrimmage. The Saturday showcase saw the first team defense and offense opposing the second team offense and defense.
Head coach Willie Taggart said the offense won by a score of 54-45. They were led by quarterback Justin Herbert, as he finished the scrimmage 17-of-20 for approximately 270+ yards and four touchdowns.
Scrimmage is over. Herbert unofficially 17-of-20 for 259 yards and four TDs. One of the incompletions was nearly an INT by Winston. #GoDucks— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) August 12, 2017
Not only did Herbert and his receivers look good, but the supremely deep Oregon backfield benefitted from an outstanding effort by the offensive line. Minus some mental errors, the line has been impressing all fall camp.
After battling some injuries, running back Kani Benoit may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. He has been showing signs of life since spring. Benoit recorded a 95-yard score in the 2017 Spring Game, then scampered 64 yards to the house on Saturday.
Kani Benoit just ripped off a 64-yard touchdown run. No. 1 offensive line has looked really good this morning. #GoDucks— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) August 12, 2017
Once again, Duck defenders continued to make plays. Jonah Moi intercepted a pass and took it the distance for a score. Meanwhile, Justin Hollins had a ferocious day with four sacks, including a safety. The defensive intensity has not relented this camp.
“The energy out there is fantastic,” said linebacker Troy Dye. “Hopefully we go out there today with the same energy we had last week and continue to get better as a unit. Guys just seem like they really enjoy playing.”
Discipline was a cause for concern on Saturday, as both sides were committing illegal procedures or jumping offsides. Dye and his defensive teammates know they must communicate to succeed. You can’t guess what your teammates are thinking.
More communication this year. We have to talk in order for this defense to work. That’s probably the biggest factor that I've seen so far. We have to talk, it’s not an option. We have to go out there and talk to each other.
The Most Outstanding Player on Oregon’s 2016 defense was the true freshman. However, Dye is not satisfied by stats and awards. The sophomore leader knows there is plenty to work on and it all starts with him.
“My fundamentals,” said Dye. “My hand usage, where I place them. Reading my keys and continuing to get stronger in the weight room. To just build and continue to break myself down through the finer points of my game.”
After 11 days and two weeks of fall training camp, the Ducks will enjoy some downtime on Sunday. Oregon will return to work next week, as we are just 21 days away from opening day vs Southern Utah.
We'll continue to post interviews with Coach T and his coaches/players on a daily basis.