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Stars Shine Bright On Opening Night

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The center of the track and field universe this weekend is Hayward Field, and the stars were shining brilliantly on the first night of the Prefontaine Classic.

Friday’s program featured four races at the reimagined home of Oregon track and field. Prior to the last event of the night, an official opening ceremony was held to celebrate the first year of competition at the venue, and to honor the world-class athletes both collegiate and professional who helped Eugene earn the designation of TrackTown USA.

The ceremony included all three living alums featured on the stadium’s iconic tower, including two-time 1960 Olympic gold medalist Otis Davis, who kicked off the ceremony alongside recently crowned Olympic bronze medalist Raevyn Rogers.

After dozens of Tokyo Olympians on hand for the event were introduced, along with a group of UO track and field alumni, the ceremony ended with Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton offering a formal welcome to the fans and athletes on hand celebrating the new home of track and field in the United States, and the host venue for the 2022 World Championships.

Oregon Alumni Hayward Opening Ceremony

On the track, three-time Tokyo Olympic medalist Sifan Hassan capped the evening by taking a shot at the world record at 5,000 meters. With newly implemented Wavelight technology setting the pace along the rail, Hassan crossed the line in 14 minutes, 27.89 seconds, shy of the record but faster than her gold medal-winning time from Tokyo of 14:36.79.

The evening began with Rebecca Mehra winning the women’s 1,500 meters in 4:06.75. In the international men’s mile, crowd favorite Craig Engels took the lead coming off the final turn and waved his arm in the air to call for more noise out of the fans, but he was caught in the final few meters by Geordie Beamish, who won in 3:54.86; Oregon alum Sam Prakel was fourth in 3:55.49.

Francine Niyonsaba then won the women’s 2-mile race in 9:00.75, the third-fastest time in history. Then, the venue lights went dark, the Hayward Field tower lit up in green and yellow and the opening ceremony began.

The program featured a tribute to all five icons featured on the tower, including Davis, Eaton, Rogers, Bill Bowerman and Steve Prefontaine. Then a who’s who of recent Olympians was introduced, including gold medalists such as Eliud Kipchoge and Katie Nageotte, and the new generation of American stars including Rai Benjamin, Noah Lyles, Raven Saunders and Gabby Thomas.

The meet concludes Saturday with races featuring Rogers and fellow UO alums who also raced in the Tokyo Games including Jessica Hull, Cravon Gillespie, Jenna Prandini and Matthew Centrowitz. It will be a world-class program hosted by a world-class venue, which got an opening ceremony befitting its past, present and future on Friday night.


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Pre Classic is Back in Eugene This Weekend

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EUGENE, Ore. – For the first time since 2018, the Nike Prefontaine Classic is back in Eugene at Hayward Field beginning Friday. Eight past Oregon standouts are scheduled to compete including recent Olympic medalists Jenna Prandini and Raevyn Rogers.
 
Prandini won silver in Tokyo with the United States’ 4×100-meter relay and Rogers kicked her way to a bronze medal in the 800 meters. Both will run—Prandini in the 200, Rogers in the 800—Saturday.
 
Ducks at the 2021 Pre Classic:
Friday, August 20
9:12 p.m. – men’s international mile – Sam Prakel
Saturday, August 21
1:33 p.m. – men’s 200 meters – Kyree King
1:48 p.m. – women’s 800 meters – Raevyn Rogers, Sabrina Southerland
2:12 p.m. – women’s 1500 meters – Jessica Hull
2:37 p.m. – men’s 100 meters – Cravon Gillespie
2:45 p.m. – women’s 200 meters – Jenna Prandini
2:52 p.m. – men’s Bowerman mile – Matthew Centrowitz
 
In addition to Prandini and Rogers, the list of UO Olympians competing this weekend includes Hull, Gillespie and Centrowitz.
 
How to Watch:
Friday, August 20
8:40 p.m. – USATF.tv / RunnerSpace PLUS
Saturday, August 21
1:00 p.m. – Peacock Premium
1:30 p.m. – NBC
*all times Pacific
 
Friday’s program will also feature an opening celebration for Hayward Field. After a two-year hiatus from Eugene due to stadium renovation in 2019 and the meet’s cancellation in 2020, this year’s Pre Classic represents the first opportunity since May 2018 for international athletes to compete in front of the Hayward Field faithful.
 
In less than one year’s time, Hayward Field will host the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 (July 15-24) to mark the first time the event will be held in the United States.
 
The Prefontaine Classic is the ninth stop on the Wanda Diamond League tour.
 
For more news and information about Oregon Track and Field, follow @OregonTF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Explosive Opener For Ducks

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Year one of Graeme Abel‘s tenure at Oregon ended with the Ducks’ first winning record in 15 years. Year two began with the UO women’s highest scoring season opener in nearly 25 years.

What else could be in store during this new era for the program? Based on Thursday, the sky could be the limit.

Oregon exploded for five goals Thursday and posted a clean sheet defensively to beat visiting Fresno State at Papé Field, 5-0. The five goals were the most for the program in a single game since 2010, and the most by the Ducks in a season opener since 1997.

The Oregon Ducks take on the Fresno State Bulldogs at Papé Field in Eugene,Oregon on August 18, 2021. (Eric Evans Photography)

“It’s a great feeling,” said Mia Palmer, a fifth-year defender from Portland who scored the Ducks’ first goal of the season. “It’s been a while since we’ve scored five goals like this, and also to have a clean slate, it is a great feeling.”

How It Happened: Palmer got the scoring started in the 15th minute when she received a pass from Chai Cortez perhaps 30 yards away from the goal, near the Oregon bench. Palmer blasted a shot to the far post for a 1-0 lead.

The Oregon Ducks take on the Fresno State Bulldogs at Papé Field in Eugene,Oregon on August 18, 2021. (Eric Evans Photography)

Ally Cook, who led the Ducks with four goals in the spring, is already halfway to that total this fall. She slid in front of the goal to poke home a pass from Zoe Hasenauer in the 23rd minute, and nine minutes later Cook made it 3-0 when she collected a throw-in from Cortez on the left side and tucked it inside the near post.

“We came out super fast with Mia and Chai linking up and scoring an amazing goal, and that definitely just broke the ice for us,” Cook said. “Having a non-forward score was amazing, and it put the pressure on us (forwards), like, ‘Oh, now we have to figure it out.’ And our mentality was like, no matter what the score is we keep going. We’ve got to show who we are.”


 

Eden Hardy made it 4-0 eight minutes into the second half, making a brilliant run to slice through Fresno State’s back line before putting it away.

With the Ducks using every available player in the match, it was freshman Kaitlyn Paculba stuffing home a pass that Lara Kirkby chipped between two defenders for Oregon’s final goal of the night.


 

Who Stood Out: Cook scored on each of her two shots and now has 11 career goals, one shy of entering the UO career top 10. Palmer’s goal was the third of her career and her first game-winner, and Hasenauer moved into a tie for fourth in UO history with her 12th career assist. Leah Freeman made two saves in goal for the shutout, the sixth of her career.

What It Means: The Ducks scored the most goals by the program since a 6-1 victory over Butler on Sept. 19, 2010. It was Oregon’s highest-scoring season opener and largest margin of victory in an opener since a 7-2 win over San Francisco State in 1997.

Up Next: The Ducks play at San Francisco on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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Weekly Pairings Set For 2021-22 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Season

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SAN FRANCISCO — The weekly matchups and site designations for the Oregon men’s basketball team’s 2021-22 Pac-12 Conference schedule were announced on Thursday by the league office.
 
The announcement reflects the games being played and the home/away designations each week of the Pac-12 regular season. Specific dates and times for each game within a week will be announced later this summer after selections by the league’s television partners are finalized. All Pac-12 Conference men’s basketball games will be televised by either Pac-12 Network, ESPN/2/U, FOX/FS1 or CBS.
 
The league previously announced a pair of early December matchups for the Ducks, who will host Arizona State on December 5 before traveling to Stanford on December 12.
 
Following the early conference contests, the remainder of league play will resume the week of December 29 and conclude March 5 ahead of the 2022 Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (March 9-12).
 
Oregon Men’s Basketball 2021-22 Pac-12 Weekly Conference Matchups
Dec. 5
vs. Arizona State
 
Dec. 12
at Stanford
 
Week of Dec. 29 – Jan. 2
vs. Colorado/Utah
 
Week of Jan. 5-9
at Oregon State
 
Week of Jan. 12-16
at UCLA/USC
 
Week of Jan. 19-23
vs. Washington/Washington State
 
Week of Jan. 26-30
vs. Oregon State
 
Week of Feb. 2-6
at Colorado/Utah
 
Week of Feb. 9-13
vs. California/Stanford
 
Week of Feb. 16-20
at Arizona/Arizona State
 
Week of Feb. 23-27
vs. UCLA/USC
 
Week of March 2-5
at Washington/Washington State

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Four Ducks On Polynesian College Football Player Of The Year Watch List

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Ducks Spring Forward Into 2021 Season

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The first time Graeme Abel prepared to lead Oregon soccer onto the pitch, it was after a layoff of 15 months for the program.

As Abel and the Ducks prepare to open their second season together, Thursday at 7 p.m. against Fresno State at Pape Field, it’s under markedly different conditions. The turnaround time since Oregon’s last match isn’t 15 months, but closer to 15 weeks.

Just a few months after wrapping up an unusual spring season due to the COVID pandemic, by beating Oregon State on April 16, the UO women’s soccer program is again preparing to kick off another season, and at a more traditional time of year. For Abel, it’s been the first “normal” collegiate preseason he’s experienced since being an assistant at Oklahoma back in 2014.

“It feels different,” the second-year UO coach said. “But it’s been very enjoyable.”

After having the 2020 fall season delayed until this past spring, the Ducks demonstrated remarkable resiliency in crafting a 6-5-5 campaign that included five wins by a single goal. Among those five wins was the program’s first-ever victory over Stanford, at the time the defending NCAA champions.

Now the Ducks are preparing for their first fall season since 2019, but also their second season of this calendar year. The pandemic has upended the concept time for so many of us in so many ways, and the women of Oregon soccer are no different.

Chai Cortez

Senior defender Chai Cortez plays the ball in last week’s exhibition win over Corban.

“It definitely feels a lot quicker,” senior Jordan Wormdahl said of this offseason. “But it also feels like we haven’t been here in a while. It’s a weird time thing, mind-wise, for sure.”

Coming out of last winter, Abel and his staff consulted heavily with the sports science staff from UO athletics to craft practice plans for the spring. During the winter of 2020, it hadn’t been clear the Ducks would play a season at all last year. That uncertainty had the staff wary of jumping into training too quickly, and risking injuries.

The UO soccer staff was again on guard this offseason. This time the concern was not a layoff that was unusually long, but one that was unusually short, and how training plans might need to be adjusted to compensate for the quick turnaround.

“We got with our sports science guys, looked with our medical team, looked at where people were at in terms of injuries they picked up last season,” Abel said. “Everyone was on an individualized plan with the idea to bring them back and peaking for this game that we’ve got coming up (against Fresno State). Our medical team, our performance team, did an outstanding job setting us up for success.”

The Ducks spent much of the buildup to their spring season doing an array of new drills that allowed the team to practice under strict pandemic protocols. Abel said at the time some of those drills might become part of the program’s routine going forward, and that has proven to be the case this preseason.

“Some of the different exercises, how we spaced players out, that really helped us when we got into games last year,” he said. “So we’ve continued with some of those exercises.”

Ally Cook

Junior forward Ally Cook scored both goals in Oregon’s exhibition win last week over Corban.

Preparing to play a fall season means doing so prior to the start of fall classes at the university, a luxury the Ducks enjoy due to the UO’s quarter system. Wormdahl said that has helped the players absorb even more fully the teaching concepts being imparted by the staff.

It has also provided time and space outside of practice for players to bond. After a year of team meetings via Zoom and meals eaten individually, the Ducks are enjoying the chance to build their team culture more organically.

“I’m not a big fan of forced team-building activities,” Abel said. “They’ve done a good job with it.”

Entering Thursday’s season opener, the UO soccer program is confident in the progress it made during its first year under Abel. Now, the Ducks are looking for more.

“We took full advantage, I thought, of our COVID year,” junior forward Ally Cook said. “So this year, we’re just going to build on that.”

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Nuneviller Named to Pac-12 Preseason Team

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EUGENE, Ore. – For the fourth time in the past six years, the Oregon volleyball team has been picked to finish third in the Pac-12 preseason poll as voted on by the league’s head coaches. Individually, returning All-American Brooke Nuneviller earned a spot on the 14-player preseason all-conference team.
 
The Ducks collected 100 points in the Pac-12 preseason poll, just one tally behind UCLA in second place. Defending conference champion Washington sits atop the preseason release.
 
The Pac-12 poll comes one day after Oregon checked in at No. 14 in the AVCA preseason top 25.
 
Oregon is coming off a standout 2021 spring campaign that saw the program finish second in the Pac-12, tying its highest-ever conference finish. The Ducks were 15-5 overall and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the second time under head coach Matt Ulmer, and seventh time overall.
 
Nuneviller was a member of the AVCA All-America Second Team on the strength of an impressive spring season that also included AVCA All-Pacific North Region and All-Pac-12 accolades. She became the first Pac-12 player in the rally scoring era (since 2001) to average at least 4.00 digs and 3.00 kills per set, and just one of four players nationally to reach those figures in 2021.
 
The Chandler, Ariz., native finished third in the Pac-12 with 4.04 digs per set and eighth with 3.46 kills per set. Nuneviller led the Pac-12 with 16 double-doubles, four more than the next player on the list. Among the highlights was her 35-kill performance against Washington (March 7) where she committed just one attack error on 65 swings, good for a .523 hitting percentage, to go along with 19 digs.
 
The 2021 regular season begins Aug. 27-28 with the Oregon Invitational. The Ducks’ season opener is Friday, Aug. 27 at 1 p.m. (PT) against Portland State. Oregon will also host Santa Clara and San Jose State during the opening weekend.
 
2021 Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Washington (11) – 121
2. UCLA – 101
3. Oregon – 100
4. Stanford (1) – 95
5. Washington State – 77
6. USC – 74
7. Utah – 66
8. Arizona – 44
9. Colorado – 39
10. California – 33
11. Arizona State – 30
12. Oregon State – 12
 
Preseason All-Pac-12 Team
Brooke Botkin, USC
Samantha Drechsel, Washington
Dani Drews, Utah
Zoe Fleck, UCLA
Claire Hoffman, Washington
Magda Jehlarova, Washington State
Kendall Kipp, Stanford
Mac May, UCLA
élan McCall, UCLA
Mima Mirkovic, California 
Brooke Nuneviller, Oregon
Ella May Powell, Washington
Hannah Pukis, Washington State
Pia Timmer, Washington State
 
For more news and information about the Ducks, follow @OregonVB on Instagram and Twitter, and @OregonVolleyball on Facebook.

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#ProDucks Guide: Week of Aug. 16

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All times Pacific

This is a good-faith effort to provide chances to watch our alums, but please keep in mind particularly as it relates to those competing overseas that language barriers, time changes and availability of streams can make it tricky! We’ve only listed schedules for leagues with a record of providing live streams, but if there’s anything we’ve missed, email [email protected]

NFL PRESEASON

Friday
Kansas City Chiefs (Evan Baylis/Kyle Long) at Arizona Cardinals, 5 p.m., ESPN
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Football Team (Joe Walker), 5 p.m., NFL Network

Saturday
Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears (Thomas Graham Jr.), 10 a.m., NFL Network
Detroit Lions (Tyrell Crosby/Penei Sewell) at Pittsburgh Steelers (Tony Brooks-James/Henry Mondeaux), 4:30 p.m., NFL Network
Las Vegas Raiders (Marcus Mariota) at Los Angeles Rams (Justin Hollins/Johnny Mundt), 7 p.m., NFL Network

Sunday
New York Giants (Shane Lemieux) at Cleveland Browns (Troy Hill), 10 a.m., NFL Network
San Francisco 49ers (Arik Armstead/Deommodore Lenoir) at Los Angeles Chargers (Justin Herbert/Hunter Kampmoyer), 4:30 p.m., NFL Network

Monday
Jacksonville Jaguars at New Orleans Saints (Juwan Johnson), 5 p.m., ESPN

NBA SUMMER LEAGUE

Monday
Indiana Pacers (Chris Duarte) vs. Washington Wizards (Joseph Young), noon, NBA TV
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Denver Nuggets (Bol Bol), 1 p.m., ESPNews
Atlanta Hawks (Jordan Bell) vs. New York Knicks, 4 p.m., NBA TV
Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic (Shakur Juiston), 5 p.m., ESPN2

NBA: Summer League-Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers

Tuesday
Dallas Mavericks (LJ Figueroa/Eugene Omoruyi) vs. Miami Heat, noon, ESPNU
Utah Jazz (Paul White) vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 12:30 p.m., NBA TV
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (Kenny Wooten), 4:30 p.m., NBA TV
Sacramento Kings (Louis King) vs. Boston Celtics (Payton Pritchard), 6 p.m., ESPN

WNBA BASKETBALL
Nationally televised/streamed games noted, others available via WNBA app

Ruthy Hebard, Chicago Sky
Tuesday: vs. Dallas Wings, 5 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Saturday: vs. Minnesota Lynx, 5 p.m., NBA TV

Sabrina Ionescu, New York Liberty
Wednesday: vs. Seattle Storm, 4 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Friday: vs. Seattle Storm, 4 p.m., Amazon Prime
Sunday: vs. Los Angeles Sparks, 11 a.m., ESPN3

Satou Sabally, Dallas Wings
Tuesday: at Chicago Sky, 5 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Friday: vs. Indiana Fever, 5 p.m., CBS Sports Network

MLB BASEBALL
Nationally and locally televised games and projected starts by pitchers noted, all others available via MLB.tv subscription

MLB: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners

Tyler Anderson, Seattle Mariners
at Texas Rangers: Tuesday, 5:05 p.m., ROOTNW (projected starter); Wednesday, 5:05 p.m., ROOTNW; Thursday, 11:05 a.m., ROOTNW
at Houston Astros: Friday, 5:10 p.m., ROOTNW; Saturday, 1:10 p.m., ROOTNW; Sunday, 11:10 a.m., ROOTNW (projected starter)

Cole Irvin, Oakland Athletics
at Chicago White Sox: Monday, 5:10 p.m., ESPN; Tuesday, 5:10 p.m.; Wednesday, 5:10 p.m. (projected starter); Thursday, 11:10 a.m., MLB Network
vs. San Francisco Giants: Friday, 6:40 p.m.; Saturday, 1:07 p.m.; Sunday, 1:07 p.m.

Jake Reed, New York Mets
at San Francisco Giants: Monday, 6:45 p.m.; Tuesday, 6:45 p.m.; Wednesday, 12:45 p.m., MLB Network
at Los Angeles Dodgers: Thursday, 7:10 p.m., MLB Network; Friday, 7:10 p.m., MLB Network; Saturday, 1:05 p.m., FS1; Sunday, 1:10 p.m.

Garrett Cleavinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
Kyle Garlick, Minnesota Twins
Stephen Nogosek, New York Mets
David Peterson, New York Mets
Jimmie Sherfy, Los Angeles Dodgers

On injured list

NWSL SOCCER

Marissa Everett, Portland Thorns
Women’s International Champions Cup

Wednesday: vs. Houston Dash, 8 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday: vs. FC Barcelona or Olympique Lyonnais, TBA

ATHLETES UNLIMITED LACROSSE
Teams drafted each Monday

Brittany Reed
Friday: Team Purple vs. Team Gold, 2 p.m., CBS Sports Network/Team Blue vs. Team Orange, 5 p.m., FS2
Saturday: Team Gold vs. Team Blue, 9 a.m., FS2/Team Purple vs. Team Orange, noon, YouTube
Sunday: Team Blue vs. Team Purple, 11 a.m., FS1/Team Orange vs. Team Gold, 3 p.m., CBS Sports Network

PGA TOUR NORTHERN TRUST
Tee times will be available via this link

PGA: PGA Championship - Second Round

Wyndham Clark
Aaron Wise

Thursday: Golf Channel (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Friday: Golf Channel (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Saturday: Golf Channel (10 a.m.-noon.)/CBS (noon-3 p.m.)
Sunday: Golf Channel (9 a.m.-11 a.m.)/CBS (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)


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Paopao, Team USA Take Gold at FIBA U19 World Cup

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EUGENE, Ore. – Te-Hina Paopao and the USA Women’s U19 National Team finished off a dominant run to gold at the FIBA U19 World Cup with a 70-52 win over Australia in the title game Sunday in Hungary.
 
Paopao got the start in all seven games for Team USA, which won every game but the title game by at least 30 points winning the seven games by an average of 47 points. She finished the tournament averaging 9.1 points per game while adding 4.6 assists and 3.9 rebounds per contest. Paopao also added 1.6 steals per game and turned in a 3.6 assist-to-turnover ratio while shooting 40.7 percent from three-point range.
 
In the opening game of the tournament, Paopao filled up the stat sheet with eight points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals in a win over Italy. She followed that with 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists in a win over Chinese Taipei in the round of 16 before adding 11 points and seven assists in a quarterfinal victory against Spain.
 
The Oregon sophomore put in another strong all-around effort in the title match, finishing with 10 points, four rebounds and five assists with no turnovers while coming away with a pair of steals.
 
Paopao’s gold with the U19 National Team caps off a busy summer of play with Team USA for a number of Oregon players. The Ducks began the summer by sending Paopao, Sydney Parrish, Maddie Scherr and Kylee Watson to compete in the USA Basketball 3×3 National Tournament in June, before Sedona Prince won gold with the USA Basketball AmeriCup team later that month. Watson also represented Team USA at the 3×3 Nations League in France in earlier this month.

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5 Scrimmage Impressions

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The first full week of preseason camp for the Oregon football team came to a conclusion Saturday night, when the Ducks held a scrimmage in Autzen Stadium.

Season-ticket holders were on hand to take in the team’s eighth practice of this preseason, in which the Ducks scrimmaged ones vs. ones, two vs. twos, etc. The latter stages of the scrimmage were focused on situational work, at which point the offense began to even the scales following a hot start by the defense.

Some impressions of the scrimmage, based on observations from the sidelines and comments by UO head coach Mario Cristobal afterward …

1. The defense was getting after it from the start, particularly in the front seven.

Anthony Brown began the night at quarterback with the No. 1 offense, and he didn’t always have much time to throw. The first series of the scrimmage ended in a sack by defensive lineman Brandon Dorlus, and the first play of a period dedicated to third-down situations was a sack by Bradyn Swinson, who has had a very strong start to this preseason camp.

“I thought the defense came out fast, came out really, really strong,” Cristobal said.

Anthony Brown Scrimmage

It wasn’t just the No. 1 defense that started well. With the No. 2 offense on the field, freshman quarterback Ty Thompson completed a nice deep ball to Tevins Jeannis. But cornerback Darren Barkins stuck with the play and punched the ball out for a fumble, and Dontae Manning jumped on it to secure the turnover.

As far as cleanliness of play, penalties were a bigger issue on the night than turnovers. But Justin Flowe jumped on a muffed exchange in the backfield during a goal-line drill and Verone McKinley III nearly had an interception two plays after Swinson’s sack in the third-down drill, though he was unable to secure the ball.

2. It’s clear that the Ducks have a wealth of young talent offensively.

Not only did Thompson excel late in the scrimmage when operating the No. 1 offense, but some of his freshman classmates stole the spotlight as well. Receiver Isaiah Brevard was the most productive skill player on the night, hauling in the first touchdown of the scrimmage – a 27-yard pass from Robby Ashford on which Brevard gained possession and then denied a cornerback who tried to wrestle the ball out as they fell into the end zone.

Brevard Scrimmage TD

Seven McGee had an electric sequence early in the scrimmage. The running back juked a safety on one rep to escape the backfield, and on the very next play he stepped out of an attempted tackle by a linebacker to again avoid a tackle for loss.

Cristobal said freshman offensive tackle Kingsley Suamataia “played really well,” and the Ducks also liked what they saw from tight ends Terrance Ferguson and Moliki Matavao. The duo packs a punch at the line of scrimmage and they also showed off their skills as receiving threats, particularly when Jay Butterfield was at quarterback.

“The young guys are showing up, and they’re showing up big,” Cristobal said.

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3. Nobody with more than 50 touches in the Pac-12 last season averaged more yards per play than Oregon’s Travis Dye, who racked up 9.3 yards every time he touched the ball. That average was helped by an outstanding 26.6 yards per reception by the multi-faceted back.

And it appears, based on Saturday, that Dye isn’t the only veteran running back on the roster with diverse skills. The first play of the scrimmage was a completion from Brown to CJ Verdell. Later, when a holding penalty put the offense in a first-and-20 situation, Verdell caught passes on consecutive plays, the second an explosion play to set up third-and-two.

The result of that play? Dye ran through a safety at the line to move the chains for a first down. We typically think of Dye as the all-purpose threat and Verdell as the physical runner between the tackles, but they showed Saturday they can each fill both roles.

4. From the looks of it, one of the most competitive positions on the team is at boundary cornerback.

Deommodore Lenoir started there last season but he’s now in the NFL, where he had an interception with the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. The top competitors to replace him based on the scrimmage are Manning and Trikweze Bridges, and each had his moments Saturday.

“Those two get after it,” Cristobal said. “They’re also good friends, but when they get out to practice, they get after it.”

Bridges Pittman Scrimmage

Early in the scrimmage, Mycah Pittman caught a pass and looked to hurdle safety Steve Stephens IV. But while he was in the air, Bridges swooped in and blasted Pittman out of bounds. Later, the 6-foot-3 Bridges used every inch of his exceptional length to lay out and break up a pass intended for equally lengthy wideout Troy Franklin.

Manning showed off his nose for the ball with the fumble recovery early in the scrimmage. Later in the evening during a “clutch” situation, Thompson escaped the pocket and his receivers did a scramble drill. But Manning stuck to Franklin like glue and broke up the pass Thompson tried to deliver.

5. All four of Oregon’s scholarship quarterbacks had their moments Saturday.

Brown began the night with the ones, and had to contend with a nasty first-string defense. Ashford had the first scoring play, completing three straight balls to Brevard including the touchdown.

The tables began to turn for the offense in the third-down period. Thompson entered with the twos and completed six straight passes to move the chains; he got some help via really athletic plays on the ball from Kris Hutson and Ferguson, but the efficiency in the drill was impressive regardless.

In a red-zone period, Thompson led the ones and completed a touchdown pass to Johnny Johnson III. Both Thompson and Butterfield led the offense to rushing and passing touchdowns in a goal-line situation, and Thompson capped the night by leading the offense to two different “clutch” victories.

First, Thompson drove the offense past midfield to set up a “game-winning” field goal of 45 yards by Henry Katleman. Then, he ended the scrimmage by completing a “game-winning” touchdown pass to tight end Cooper Shults on a fourth-down play with just 4 seconds left on the clock.

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