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Chaos ensues as Top Twenty is given a bloody nose


The agony of the feet: UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn and holder Jerry Neuheisel collapse in frustration after Fairbairn’s 50-yard field goal attempt sails wide on the last play of the Bruin’s 30-28 loss to Utah (Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports photo).

Anything can happen. Anything always does.

This is where sanity leaves you. Yesterday college football fans got a collective shock to the system as they sat Shiva over the wildest ride in history and the death of the status quo. Over the long televised weekend the #2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19 teams all lost.

On Thursday night the Ducks started it off by slipping on the ice in Autzen, manhandled by a confident, physical Arizona team 31-24. For Oregon it was their first loss at home to an unranked team in 28 games.

Nationally, it was the first time in history that half of the Top Ten had lost in a single weekend.

#3 Alabama fell 23-17 at Ole Miss. #4 Oklahoma lost 37-33 to TCU. #12 Mississippi State tipped over the sports car in Starksville, defeating #6 Texas A&M 48-31. PAC-12 favorite #8 UCLA stunned their home crowd by dropping a 30-28 decision to Utah, who had lost the previous week at home to Washington State, who tasted ashes after losing 60-59 to Cal in Pullman by missing a 19-yard field goal with 19 seconds to play.

Stanford lost to Notre Dame 17-14, and USC collapsed on the game’s final play, six Trojan defenders watching in confusion as Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong pulled down a 46-yard Hail Mary from backup quarterback Mike Bercovici for a shocking 38-34 victory in the Coliseum. Bercovici struck for 73 and 46-yard touchdown passes in the game’s final three minutes for the win. USC falls to 3-2, and already Steve Sarkisian’s honeymoon in Hollywood is over.

In the UCLA-Utah game the Utes punched the Bruins in the mouth early by intercepting Brett Hundley and returning it for a touchdown, then pounding them with a physical running game and a dogged defense. The Utes sacked Hundley 10 times. Devontae Booker led all rushers with 156 yards and backup quarterback Kendal Thompson chipped in 83,  another 95 on 10-13 passing.

The game amped up the crazy in the fourth quarter. Brett Hundley hit Eldridge Massington with a 40-yard touchdown pass for a 28-27 lead, then Utah ground out a 10-play, 63-yard drive for a go-ahead field goal, with Kyle Whittingham craftily lining up the ball between the hash marks on third and three, Andy Phillips nailing the 29-yard kick with 34 seconds to play.

Out of timeouts, Hundley drove UCLA quickly past midfield, where the legendary PAC-12 refs took over. With 8 seconds to play the official spotting the ball fumbled it, giving the Bruins a full stop and a reset of the clock to spike the ball. A field goal try from 55 yards fluttered short and left, but the officials flagged a Utah player lying on the ground for “running into the kicker.” Replays showed the Bruins Ka’imi Fairbairn had executed an Raspberrry-worthy swan dive.

The C movie script got even weirder when Fairbairn missed again, this time from 50 yards, and the Utes had their upset.

The nightcap game between Washington State and Cal was weirdest of all. Jared Goff and Halliday combined for 1261 passing yards and 11 touchdowns. The host Cougars  built an 11-point lead in the second half but kept kicking off to Trevor Davis, who returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, 100 and 98 yards.

Connor Halliday set an NCAA passing record with 736 yards (he threw 7 touchdowns) but had to watch helplessly from the bench as Quinten Brashears’ kick hooked wide right from the right hash.

The improbable victory means Cal, who lost last week to Arizona on a Hail Mary to Austin Hill on the last play of the game, moves into first place in the PAC-12 North at 2-1, 4-1 overall with wins over Northwestern, Portland State, Colorado and the Cougars.

After another weekend of brain-damaged hilarity, the race for the PAC-12 Championship and the College Football Playoff remain wide open. Florida State, Auburn, Baylor, Notre Dame,  and the Mississippi schools are still undefeated. #10 Michigan State, which fell to Oregon in week two, will move up after outlasting Nebraska in East Lansing 27-22. Oddly, the Spartans will be ranked ahead of the Ducks, who will be ranked ahead of Arizona. It’s just the way it works.

In week 7, Oregon travels to UCLA, Ole Miss is at Texas A&M, Mississippi State hosts Auburn, and TCU squares off with Baylor. No longer invincible, Alabama has to trek to Fayetteville to face 3-2 Arkansas.

In the PAC-12, Washington State and Stanford continue the Thursday night madness in Palo Alto while PAC-12 North leader California hosts Washington. Undefeated Arizona meets dangerous, physical, enigmatic USC in Tucson.

Ducks on alert as UCLA speeds to measuring-stick victory over ASU


Analyze this: Despite a heavily-braced left elbow Brett Hundley passed the Sun Devils silly in Tempe, leading the Bruins to a 62-27 victory. After a 4th quarter touchdown he makes a triumphant gesture you’d never see from Marcus Mariota (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports photo).

Last night UCLA hung 62 on #15 Arizona State, exploding for 28 straight points after trailing early 17-6. Brett Hundley threw a pair of 80-yard touchdown passes, and defensive back Ishmael Adams (all 5′-8″ of him) returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown near the end of the first half, and a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter as UCLA rolled, 62-27.

Despite the blowout, the starters went the whole way for the Bruins, who are now 4-0, the clear frontrunners in the PAC-12 South.

Oregon, which presently has a beat-up offensive line and suspect, inconsistent defense, may have to beat the Bruins twice to earn a league championship and a shot at the college football playoff.

Doubtful leading up to the game because of an injured elbow, Hundley did his best Marcus Mariota impression. The senior Heisman Trophy candidate was 18-23 passing for 355 yards and 4 touchdowns, while running 8 times for 72 yards and a 22-yard touchdown.

Sophomore sensation Miles Jack, the Bruins’ “runnerbacker,” was injured and left the game in the 3rd quarter. UCLA’s Paul Perkins led all rushers with 14 carries for 137 yards, including an 81-yard run.

The Sun Devils started out hot behind emergency starter at quarterback Mike Bercovici but faded horribly before the home crowd. Their defense was plagued by the same missed assignments, sloppy football, missed tackles and substandard effort that have resulted in the Ducks giving up 5.72 yards per play through four games.

Oregon travels to Pasadena to clash with Jim Mora’s undefeated squad on October 11th. Unless the Duck coaches can get everybody healthy and shore up up the offensive line and defense, that game looms as potential landmine to a once-promising season.

Oregon’s defense, so far, are the Not-Ready-for-Primetime Players


Picking for points: Washington State shredded #2 Oregon’s defense with the Air Raid, the fourth week in a row Don Pellum’s unit has been leaky and inconsistent (James Snook-USA TODAY Sports photo.)

After four games, the 4-0, #2-ranked Ducks rank 103rd in the country in total defense, giving up 443.5 yards per game and 5.72 yards per play.

The Ducks face Arizona in 10 days, a team that beat them 42-16 last year in Tucson. The Wildcats score 42 points a game, led by a redshirt freshman quarterback Anu Solomon, who has racked up 1454 yards passing and 13 tds in the young season.

Oregon’s defense is a continuing misery. Every opponent has moved the ball at will. The Ducks are allowing just 21.3 points per game, good for 43rd in the country, but Michigan State and the Cougars gashed them for 27 and 31.

It helps that the Ducks have 8 takeaways (26th in the nation) and rank 7th in tackles for loss with 31. Opponents are converting 43% on third down, 40% on fourth down, 4-10, which means the defense has produced 6 4th down stops. A couple of those were key, notably a stuff of Jeremy Langford in the MSU game, and a first quarter denial against Washington State.

They’ve also allowed just 20 points in the second half, after looking terribly beatable in the first two quarters. So it’s clear there’s some pride and resilience.

Unless Marcus Mariota and the offense continue to work miracles with a patchwork offensive line, the Quack Attack is destined to lose a couple of games in the PAC-12.

Even Ifo Ekpre-Olomu got burned twice in Pullman.

Oregon needs better tackling, and more pressure on the quarterback.

Blitzing every down isn’t a panacea. If opponents anticipate and pick up a blitz, it’s deep trouble for a secondary that’s struggling to get everybody covered. The trick is to vary the attack and keep the quarterback guessing. The front three or front four have to be more resourceful in getting around blocks, or overpower them the way Tony Washington did on a crucial sack at the end of the narrow escape in Pullman. Oregon rushed 7 on one of WSU’s touchdowns on Saturday; it’s a high risk/reward strategy to blitz. At the same time, whenever the Ducks did get pressure on Halliday he threw hurriedly and poorly.

They recovered two Washington State fumbles to win another turnover battle, one of those coming on special teams. They had three chances at interceptions and muffed all three, and two of those would have resulted in long returns.

Watching back the replay, if you played a missed-tackle drinking game, your wife or roommate would be throwing a blanket over your head by the middle of the second quarter.

The Ducks plan to use the bye week to work on assignment football and getting healthy. They need a transformation on defense, in execution and intensity. The cornerbacks have to get better. The linebackers have to understand what they’re doing and wrap up better. There are far too many extra yards after contact.

They desperately need an impact player to emerge the way Devon Allen has on offense. Danny Mattingly? Chris Seisay? Austin Maloata? Jimmie Swain? Charles Nelson? Tyson Coleman? Joe Walker? This is a defense without an identity or a clear leader, although several of the players, veterans like Derrick Malone, Ifo, Buckner and Washington have leadership ability. Thus far it lacks the swagger and discipline Don Pellum pledged to bring to the unit.

They’ve played better in second halves, but somehow they need to bring some of that preparation, cohesiveness and recognition to the start of games.

Oregon can’t continue to rely on Marcus Mariota playing near-perfect football, although if anyone is capable of that, it’s him.

Helfrich finds plenty of humor in win

Mark Helfrich was certainly in a jovial mood following Saturday’s 46-27 win over No. 7 Michigan State and cracked a few jokes in his postgame presser that had the dozen or so boosters in attendance cracking up.

Here’s a sample of Helfrich’s wise cracks.

On Marcus Mariota

“I should pay to watch that guy play.”

A reporter asked about how Mariota makes plays out of nothing at times.

“Genetics. You will have to ask Toa and Alana Mariota the answer to that.”

Radio announcer Mike Jorgensen asked Helfrich for clarification when officials ruled UO’s Charles Nelson hit a punt returner early.

“I can’t. Every rule interpretation I have is obviously not correct.”

What did Helfrich say to fire up the Ducks at halftime?

“It was Gettysburg Address-like, esque.”

A reporter confused names when he asked Helfrich about senior wide receiver “Keanon Allen”.

“Keanon Lowe, Keanon Allen’s cousin, Keanon Lowe, has done a great job.”

ESPN’s Ted Miller asked if Helfrich felt vindicated after Oregon defeated a physical team.

“The only thing that matters to me is if Ted Miller thinks we vindicated ourselves.”

In case you were wondering, Helfrich hears the crowd sing “Shout” between the third and fourth quarters and hoped to use that moment to build momentum.

“My goal there when we had things slipping in the third quarter, I wanted to get the punt return before ‘Shout’ came on. I said, I want a punt return for a touchdown and  ‘Shout’ to come up and then the place would explode.”

Helfrich was asked what the game plan was on offense and a reporter noted that the Ducks ran for just 13 yards in the first half.

“That was not the game plan. We wanted 15 (rushing yards)!!!.”

Helfrich pounded his fist to emphasize the point and did a little damage to the table in front of him.

“That’s right. You guys can’t see that but I knocked a substantial panel down back here. Have to lift that up and show my girth.”

Needless to say, there were smiles spreading throughout the Oregon coaches, administrators, and boosters following the big win for the Ducks on a national stage.

Oregon football tickets drop 3 spots in the TiqIQ Top 25

The Oregon Ducks rank third in the nation according to the Associated Press, and are one of the favorites to make the College Football Playoffs. While they’re one of the best teams on the field, Oregon football tickets are ranked 11th on the secondary market, according to TiqIQ’s Top 25. The No. 11 ranking is a drop of three spots in the past week, with a current average price of $146 on the secondary market. The actual ticket average has dropped 3% over the past week.

The Ducks opened their season this past weekend against South Dakota destroying the Coyotes in a 62-13 blow out. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota was in top form for the season opener, throwing for 267 yards and three touchdowns and adding a touchdown run with 43 yards on the ground setting the school record for total touchdowns. Mariota now has 81 touchdowns, breaking the previous record of 77 held by Joey Harrington.

Oregon’s run game produced 293 yards, led by 90 yards from Byron Marshall on eight carries along with 75 yards and two touchdown from freshman Royce Freeman and another 64 yards rushing from Thomas Tyner.

The next opponent on the Oregon Ducks football schedule is a matchup with the Michigan State Spartans at Autzen Stadium taking place this weekend on September 6. The game has an average price of $222.05, the second most expensive game at Autzen Stadium this season.

Ducks kick off fall practice, face South Dakota in 26 days

USATSI_7474791_168380293_lowresToday is Oregon Media Day. Mark Helfrich takes the podium in a few minutes, followed by interviews with the players, then Oregon’s first practice starts at 1:45 this afternoon.

The Ducks host South Dakota in 26 days.

Better Duck: The Duck has a big challenge in fall camp also. He has to get ready for a season of 6000 pushups (Ron Chenoy, USA Today Sports Images).

During fall camp the coaches have to identify which wide receivers are ready to become contributors in the offense. They have to test out whether T.J. Daniel and Sam Kamp have solidified the strength and size improvements they made in the off season are ready to make plays on the defensive line. The team lost four linebackers to attrition, so the learning curves of Torrodney Prevot, Danny Mattingly, and Jimmie Swain are crucial. John Neal must identify a top eight in the secondary, but he is an old hand at that.

In his first year on the Oregon staff Matt Lubick made a dramatic difference in the output of Oregon’s two best receivers:

2012, before Lubick:


Josh Huff
39 (TD)

De’Anthony Thomas

Colt Lyerla

Kenjon Barner

Keanon Lowe

Bralon Addison
55 (TD)

2013, Lubick’s first year:


Josh Huff
65 (TD)

Bralon Addison
75 (TD)

Daryle Hawkins
45 (TD)

Johnny Mundt

De’Anthony Thomas

Addison and Huff blossomed under their new coach, who is a stickler for details and specific receiving techniques, precise routes and driving off the ball, etc. Lubick did the same thing at Duke. In all the worry about Oregon’s receiving corps, this is overlooked. The man has a track record of success. Huff set a school record for receiving yards, with 1140, breaking a record that had stood for 43 years. Certainly the player deserves great credit for the hard work and improvement he made, but Lubick made him a decidedly better receiver, a third round NFL draft choice.

It’s reasonable to believe that the Oregon passing game coordinator with have the same success with his current group, which include two of his own recruiting classes and several four-star players.

It’s college football. Every team has issues replacing key players. The Ducks clash with Michigan State in game two, and the Spartans have to replace two-time All Big Ten middle linebacker Max Bullough and starting defensive tackle Damon Knox, who was lost to an injury.

Video from goducks.com.

Tri-City score five unanswered runs to beat Emeralds 5-1

For the second night in a row, errors cost the Eugene Emeralds against the Tri-City Dust Devils. In the third game of a five-game series, the Emeralds fell to the Dust Devils by a final score of 5-1.

Offensively, the game got off to a promising start for the visiting Emeralds.

In the top of the first, shortstop Franchy Cordero brought second baseman Jalen Goree home with an RBI single for the game’s first run. The RBI for Cordero was his third of the series against the Dust Devils.

Eugene’s lead didn’t last long. Against Emeralds starting pitcher Adrian De Horta, Tri-City bounced back for two runs in the bottom of the first. Felipe Blanco, who entered the game for Cordero at shortstop, had a missed catch error that advanced runners to second and third for the Dust Devils. Following the error, Michael Tauchman singled up the middle to score designated hitter Drew Weeks. Later in the inning, center fielder Francisco Sosa doubled to left field to score Tauchman to give Tri-City a 2-1 lead.

After two starts with the Emeralds, De Horta has given up five runs, three of which were earned, in just 6.2 innings pitched.

An error hurt the Emeralds again in the bottom of the third. After Tauchman grounded out to score Weeks for the second time in the game, Sosa reached base on Blanco’s second error of the game to score Sam Bumpers. The Dust Devils added a fifth run in the fourth inning to make the score 5-1.

The Emeralds had seven hits against Tri-City starting pitcher Helmis Rodriguez but couldn’t manufacture enough runs to mount a comeback against the Dust Devils. The Tri-City bullpen had only one walk in the final three innings and allowed no hits to close out the game.

The Emeralds and Dust Devils will square off in the final game of the series tomorrow. First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m.

Follow Joseph Hoyt on Twitter @jhoyt42

Eugene Man Arrested After Jumping Into Willamette River

A Eugene man wanted on a felony warrant was arrested by Oregon State Police (OSP) after he tried escaping by running and then jumping into the Willamette River near Valley River Center. His escape attempt came to an end when he realized he was going to drown if he stayed in the water, so he came back to shore where the trooper was waiting. 

On June 14, 2014 at approximately 12:25 p.m., an OSP Fish & Wildlife trooper was checking anglers along the Willamette River near the Beltline Bridge. The trooper contacted COTY WAYNE HARTMAN, age 25, from Eugene, who was committing an angling violation. After walking HARTMAN back to the OSP pickup to issue a citation, the trooper learned HARTMAN was wanted on a felony warrant out of Lane County for Burglary in the First Degree. 

After the trooper told HARTMAN he was under arrest, HARTMAN ran on the bike path with the trooper in foot pursuit. Running about a quarter mile, HARTMAN then jumped into the Willamette River to try and swim away. After a brief period in the water, HARTMAN said he was drowning and returned back to shore where he was taken into custody without further incident. 

HARTMAN was lodged in the Lane County Jail on the warrant and cited to appear for Escape in the Third Degree and an angling violation. 

             Coty Wayne Hartman


Photograph – Lane County Sheriff’s Office 

The post Eugene Man Arrested After Jumping Into Willamette River appeared first on Lane County Mugshots.

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