Ducks 101

Anybody who has been watching college football over the past decade knows the Oregon Ducks. They have been one of the game’s most entertaining teams to watch, from the high powered offenses to those quirky uniforms (more on that at the end of this post). By their visibility you would think their program has been in the upper echelon for a long time.

Oregon Duck uniforms

Oregon has finished in the top 10 of the final polls (Coaches and AP) only four times: 1948, 2000, 2001, and 2008. No national titles, and only two consensus All-Americans. ‘Big-time’ bowl games have been rare: 1948 Cotton, 1957 Rose, 1994 Rose, 1995 Cotton, 2001 Fiesta, and 2009 Rose (years are the season, not the game).

They’ve had to live in the long, dark shadow of Southern Cal and to a lesser extent UCLA and Washington over the years. The school’s athletic successes have been in cross country and track and field, not on the gridiron.

*****

One thing that stands out for me about the program is the patience exerted by the athletic department in Eugene. It’s been a long, hard slog to get to be one of the premier programs in the college game. Rich Brooks, better known to Vol fans as the recently-departed coach at Kentucky, was the head coach of the Ducks for 17 seasons (1977-94), compiling a less-than-stellar 91-109-4 record. Brooks took over a rather pathetic football program that had finished a season as a ranked team only twice before (1948 and 1957). The program continued to struggle under Brooks, including a nationwide recruiting scandal in the early 1980s when the program was placed on probation. Regardless, the school hung with Brooks (I’m sure part of it was his 14-3-1 record against bitter rival Oregon State) until the Ducks surprised the college world by finishing the 1994 season atop the Pac-10 with an 11th-place national ranking, and playing in their first Rose Bowl in 37 years.

Brooks took the opportunity afforded by that 1994 season to leave for the NFL, and the future of Duck football arrived in the form of Mike Bellotti who had been serving Brooks as his offensive coordinator for six seasons. All Bellotti did was lead Oregon to their first 10-plus win seasons (4 times: 2000, 2001, 2005, and 2008) and a 116-55 record in his 14 seasons at the helm. Belotti’s Ducks only had one losing season (2004), but could win the Pac-10 outright only once (they tied in 2000).

Bellotti left the head coaching position after the 2008 season to become the Oregon AD. But after only 9 months in his new job, having to deal with multiple disciplinary issues, he resigned on March 19 this year to join ESPN as an analyst.

*****

Enter Chip Kelly.

Like his predecessor, he cut his teeth in the Oregon program as the offensive coordinator (2007-08). Prior to moving to Eugene, Kelly had been head assistant coach and offensive coordinator at New Hampshire where he became known for his explosive offensive teams. Last season, Kelly began his new post as head coach by losing to Boise State (bringing a little bit of the past to Neyland Stadium this Saturday), but followed that with winning 10 of next 11 toward the Pac-10 championship, the first outright Pac-10 crown by a first-year head coach, and the Ducks’ first Rose Bowl appearance in 15 years.

Running the football is the hallmark of Chip Kelly’s teams. His philosophy is to attack, attack, attack in order to stretch the opponent’s defense. That’s why Oregon football is so much fun to watch. In a strange way, they are reminiscent of the Oklahoma teams of the early 1980s that never let up offensively with multiple running threats covering the expanse of the gridiron, completely exhausting opponent defenses.

There will be no surprises Saturday in the way that Kelly’s Oregon Ducks will approach the contest. Let’s just hope that Justin Wilcox can out-scheme the Duck offense as the Vols defensive coordinator, just as he did as Boise State’s DC last season.

*****

The only unknown is what uniform the Ducks will unveil for their first trip to SEC-land since 2003 (a win at Mississippi State, 42-34).

Last season, Oregon played in 13 different uniform combinations (see them here). Apparently, coach Kelly leaves left the uniform decisions to Casey Martin (read an interview with him here), Oregon’s golf coach and former PGA tour pro (Martin was the golfer who became famous when he successfully sued the PGA for the right to use a golf cart during competitions – Martin suffers from Klippel Trenaunay Weber syndrome, a rare congenital condition).

Whatever combination Martin comes the players come up with to complement the orange and white on the green expanse of Shields-Watkins field, it should be entertaining college football on Saturday night. [The players have choosen the combinations for this season — thanks to a commenter for the correction]

Let’s hope we give the Duck Nation something to talk about on their long flight home. Remember Cal’s visit in 2006? That’s what I’m talking about.

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52 responses to “Ducks 101”

  1. DuckThis says :

    Hiring JW was a smart move by the Vol’s first year head coach. But JW had the defensive personnel at Boise to stop the Ducks. I know the Ducks will be aware of the cheap shot mentality that JW coaches.

  2. Phil says :

    Just an FYI, the uniform combinations for this year were picked by the players before the start of the season. Casey picked combinations last season.

  3. Ooley77 says :

    Just a small error to fix. I’m pretty sure Coach Kelly was never a head coach anywhere before the U of O.

    • norcalvol says :

      Ooley:
      Yes, you are correct – Kelly was RB and OL coach and the OC at New Hampshire. Thanks.
      Love it that your name rhymes with Dooley…

  4. HutchDuck1 says :

    Wilcox is good, no doubt. Sirmon knows his stuff, no doubt. The thing is with true “smash mouth” football as “y’all” know…………is you can know all our schemes that is fine. Just try and stop us!! Won’t happen!!! Ducks 42 – Vols 17 (if Wilcox is lucky).

    • norcalvol says :

      Hutch:
      My prediction for the Vols this season is 5-7, so I think you probably know what I think will happen Saturday. Even after coming off a 50-0 win Saturday (which means very little), we may be looking into the abyss. The question is: how long will the bottom last? The more important question is how much time will the Vol fans provide Dooley to rebuild our program. That’s my biggest long-term fear. We have an AD that probably knows Dooley is his last HC hire, one way or another. The pressure is immense. Johnny Majors came here in 1977 to rebuild – the year before he lead Pitt to a national championship (so he was a proven commodity). It took majors several seasons before we were able to win the SEC. Would the fan base put up with that in today’s time? I don’t know. These are unusually interesting times for our program.
      Thanks for reading…

      • HutchDuck1 says :

        Norcalvol~
        Very good point. I don’t think Saturday will be all bad for the Vols. Also, J.W. does NOT teach cheap shot football (he was a Duck and that was never nor will ever be tolerated). I just see Oregon looking crisp, DEEP and crisp. I know N.M. was not a tough team, but 720 yds and 72-0? Kelly was making a point to the Rose Bowl rep. who was visiting the game. I don’t anticipate O putting up those numbers against the Vols. . I just think our speed, skill and depth will be too much over four quarters for J.W. to contend with.

        • norcalvol says :

          Hutch – we are a very shallow team this season, the shallowest I can remember since the ’77 squad (4-7 – the 4th worst record in the long history of Vol football). So, as far as we’re concerned, “depthchart” is rather ironic…

  5. HutchDuck1 says :

    That is correct, Chip Kelly was not the head coach at N.H.. He was the O-Coord. where is 7 of 8 seasons his offense put up HUGE numbers each season!

  6. Flyduckfly says :

    I’m listening to your local Knoxville sports program as I type and find it interesting that a lot of football “traditionalists” like to poke fun at Oregon’s uniforms, but several callers have called to complain about UT’s uniforms and the “crappy” merchandise provided by Addidas.

    • norcalvol says :

      FDF:
      I’m seriously interested in some specifics – what do our fans have against our uni’s?
      For me, I like Nike better than Adidas. They have a better looking fit and aesthetic that I can’t describe properly.
      Our home uniform – I like the traditional look and hope we never change it. After the Boise St-VaTech game, a few players apparently tweeted and approached Dooley to get some stuff like those designer duds we all saw Monday night. The report is that Dooley laughed and said the players have the right to ask… You aren’t going to see that kind of thing in Knoxville – and I say that, knowing that we trotted out in Black jerseys last season on halloween night against South Carolina. The debate about that is still raging. Last season was a different can of worms.
      I would change our road uniforms by taking the black off the jerseys (names and number outlines). I don’t like it and never have – our colors are orange and white – there is no black in the school colors – we are not Oregon State or Oklahoma State. [does this subject rile me up?] But I do like the orange pants we occasionally wear on the road.
      I would also narrow the orange strip on the helmets and make the helmet T and strip the correct shade or orange – it is too dark – the jerseys are correct.

      • Flyduckfly says :

        Not too sure…I think the gist of it is that they are concerned it could hurt recruiting. A lot of players today don’t care so much about the ‘traditional’ look and are actually conscious of such things. One caller remarked about a lot of young players infatuated with the Virginia Tech and BSU uniforms. And, I think there is something to that.

        Oregon has had to be unconventional in the way it attracts recruits and national attention. They’ve done that by their relationship with Nike which results in world class facilities and cutting edge uniforms (materials and design, not just colors). Plus, at Oregon the uniforms are tweeked every 3 or 4 years with input from the players so each recruiting class will have an opportunity to put their own mark on the program so to speak. That appeals to a lot of kids. Plus, Oregon gets the goods 1-2 years before they are made available to other universities, so they get the “exclusivity”.

        Lastly, one caller just remarked that the Adidas gear he could buy was just inferior to Nike; something to the effect that “Nike knows football, Addias is soccer”.

        • norcalvol says :

          Thanks, fdf.
          Innovative, and focused on the kids.
          Your assessment really raises some interesting issues regarding convention born from tradition. Perhaps we in the South (at least the SEC) can’t be quite as bold as UO with respect to the aspects you mention. The question for us is: will we need to change to an approach like UO’s?
          It’s obviously working for UO. In the business marketing world (at least my business), it is the differentiators that matter.
          UO has that nailed. The future is very bright in Eugene – you better wear shades :-)

          • Flyduckfly says :

            I agree: I don’t think UO’s approach would suit everyone. I don’t think it would fly in a lot of traditional schools. It always amuses me when a traditional school “tweeks” their uniforms by “adding a stripe” or making it wider and fans freak out!

            It was also interesting to hear a caller “calling out” the older, “down low” crowd. Seems the old guard doesn’t like the young fans standing and cheering the whole game? Is there a culture clash within Vols fandom?

            I liked the callers point: “get your blue hair out of here and give your seats to real fans..we’re trying to help win a game here!”

            And yes, I wear shades even when it rains.

            • norcalvol says :

              The West grandstand (the one in the shade on a hot afternoon) is sometimes referred to as the “bluehair seats”.
              There is a bit of a culture clash going on. The comment about standing – I hear about it a lot.
              My view – it’s a football game, not a classical music concert (and I go to both – each mode of behavior have their place).
              There is a lot of buzz about the fans. There have been games where it is stone quiet, and there have been games where it sounds like a jet engine.
              The first quarter on Saturday – at least the Vols’ performance – will have a lot to say about the volume that will emanate from the old place. We are going to need to provide a very, very loud environment for the Ducks.
              I hope we’re not saving our voice for Florida the following week – we don’t need to for that one – the hate in that rivalry will be enough of a motivator.

  7. Mike says :

    norcalvol,

    Good write up. I’m so excited to watch this matchup, I’ve always had the utmost respect for the UT program. And now that Kiffin is at USC, I can enjoy your program even more. I only wish I could have made the trip to Knoxville.

    Anyway, DuckThis was most likely referring to the 2008 game when Boise came to Autzen. BSU had numerous defensive cheap shots that irked UO fans. Although all of that was overshadowed by the infamous LGB cheapshot to start off last year. No matter, I expect a clean and hard fought game on Saturday. I can’t wait!

    Good luck Vols…

  8. Bisonducks says :

    That is pretty good analysis of our the Duck’s tradition, which is admittedly shallow. However, I will say that we were robbed of a BCS bowl in ’05 because of the contract with ND (we were much more deserving). Likewise, we were in route to a NC game with Dixon in ’07 when he went dow. Lastly, NU had no business going to the NC over us. That year when we went to the Fiesta – it was the equivalent of the Rosebowl since that was the NC game was there that year. In any case, it’s been a fabulous decade and the trajectory of the program is in a upward trend.

    I will say this too: don’t sleep on the Oregon defense. The aggression on that side of the ball equals that of our offense.

    • norcalvol says :

      No disrespect at all to the history of Oregon football program. The trajectory is up, and it is a hot program. I’ve noticed the marketing aspect – Oregon really has a noticeable brand. I’m sure that has a lot to do with the sports marketing/business school you have at UO – the legacy of Mr. Warsaw casts long shadows – and the fact that Nike has a long history in Oregon, much of that directly linked with your school.
      I was thrilled that UO got to the Rose Bowl.
      And, I like the thrilling style of football that UO plays – attack, attack, attack. Love it.
      I’m very much looking forward to making the trip to Eugene in 2011.

      • Bisonducks says :

        2011 will include a trip to Arlington to face LSU and then UT two weeks later. We can dismiss any notions of the Pac-10 being USC and the 9 dwarves with a couple of wins.

  9. Bisonducks says :

    Yikes…I should proofread.

  10. norcalvol says :

    “And now that Kiffin is at USC, I can enjoy your program even more.”

    And now that Kiffin is at USC, we can enjoy our own program even more!

    Mike, I’ve been looking forward to this one ever since the series was announced. I think it’s a great intersectional series. I wish you could have made it to Knoxville – you would have had a good time, win or lose. In 2006, Cal got clobbered in Neyland, but the Bear fans I have talked to over the years that were in attendance say they thoroughly enjoyed themselves (the highest compliment wasn’t about our stadium, or cooking, or girls, but that we were the polar opposite USC fans, who apparently are a disrespectful bunch).
    Thanks for reading – enjoy the game on the telly…

  11. HutchDuck1 says :

    Speaking of USC……………….Hawaii hung 36 on them as we all know! Kiffin riding the “coat tails” of his Dad. He will never be the coach his pop is. USC is in for a longggggggg season. Speaking of a cheapshot, anyone who watched that game had to see the forearm smash to the Hawaii Q.B. on a late drive that could have changed the outcome of that game. Just my thoughts on USC.

  12. DuckThis says :

    LGB was suspended, whatever happened to the Boise State players? After 6 incidents and 3 coaches writing to the WAC, the Boise State players finally got a slap on the hand.

  13. Ken says :

    We are not the “Duck Nation”! You must have us confused with that other Oregon school…..let’s see….oh yea….”Beaver Nation”….
    WE ARE JUST “THE DUCKS!”.
    Tennessee fans must be asking about their history….”What have you done lately?”

    • norcalvol says :

      Ken:
      Thanks for informing me about that hot button. I’m learning!

      And, yes, beginning with the 2005 season (known as the season we don’t talk about), with the exception of a flukey SEC championship game appearance in ’06, there has been alot of navel watching in Big Orange Country (or VolNation, take your pick).

  14. Cliff says :

    D.T.’s already got 3 TDs on Wilcox’s defense (in just a little over a qtr of football).

  15. tk says :

    hello fans
    i must say that after more than a year of this blog the most comments i can remember has been 10. this oregon bunch is a vocal crowd…..and thanks. its fun to hear from the other side of the ball. i really like hearing about your program without bashing from both sides going on. just a fun way to learn about college football from other programs that arent orange. welcome ducks to neyland stadium. ill be there and i hope we all have fun …..win, lose or OT!!!!!!

  16. duck says :

    We probably are a little vocal (we’re all real proud of our ducks) and thanks for allowing us to talk football and tradition (normal for us is being trolled by beavers, and huskies, and bears, and wildcats, and sun devils, and trojans,…).

    Regardless of what happens Saturday, you Volunteers have a first class fan base and it has been a pleasure.

    • norcalvol says :

      duck:
      Nothing better than (1) football and (2) tradition.
      Thanks for the kind words – same to you and your fellow Ducks. I live on the West Coast and run into Ducks out here (Bay Area California) all the time – great folks.

  17. ProudDuck says :

    I just found this site and have really enjoyed the exchanges here. TK I agree with you that to have a civil discourse about our schools is educational and fun. I’m not against a little trash talk but lighten up on the hate. Now that’s only if it isn’t SC, Wash, OSU etc…. lol
    On Wilcox, he grew up with my son and has spent many a night over at my house. He is one bright kid and a great person. You will be very happy with him. Especially in your conference.
    Now everyone is talking about our offense but I’m telling you our D is extremely deep and talented as has ever been. Beware of the bear, Brandon Bair that is. Going to be a great game. Good luck Vols!

    • norcalvol says :

      PD:
      Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting. It’s good to host a classy opponent – team and fans…
      We’re greatful to have Wilcox. I think he also had a brother (Josh) who was a TE at UO, and their dad was the great Dave Wilcox, a Duck LB and HOF’amer with the 49’ers. Did you know them?

  18. Ed says :

    The repeated references (here and elsewhere) to the Cal visit in 2006 are a real eye-roller for Oregon fans as it obviously has nothing whatsoever even remotely to do with Oregon. But I understand the glimmer-of-hope (just kidding…sort of) angle for Vols fans.

    From the UO perspective, a more apt comparison would be the last time Oregon went on the road to face a hostile 100,000+ crowd: 2007 at Michigan. Some current seniors at least played in that game. That was right after the App. St. debacle, and the national commentators and the message boards were filled with “I wouldn’t want to be Oregon” coming in now, Michigan will be wanting to make a smash-mouth statement, etc. etc.
    If you’ve got 2.5 minutes to spare you can watch some entertaining highlights here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Qgy540sPnk&feature=related . Apparently a world record for the least amount of noise that 100,000 can possibly make.
    Ok, that has nothing to do with the current UT players or Neyland, and most of Oregon’s current players weren’t there. And no reasonable Oregon fan is expecting that kind of repeat performance. Just don’t think Oregon will be intimidated by the setting is all I’m saying.

    • norcalvol says :

      Ed,
      Thanks for stopping by.
      The only thing similar between Michigan’s stadium and Neyland is the capacity. Big difference: Michigan is a single-deck stadium with very flat grandstands. Neyland is double decked all the way around with VERY steep grandstands. At Michigan, the noise goes up and out. At Neyland, it all stays in and swirls around with big echoes.
      Also, Saturday’s game is at night – the Neyland atmosphere is even more electric at night games.
      Thanks for the video – I love the two quasi statue of liberty plays. Pretty fancy (and effective).
      However, I wouldn’t let your players bring that metal hammer and come to midfield to pound on our T. NOT a good idea (I’m not kidding).

  19. kiser says :

    Truly a great video. That game is also known as the day the “Ducks let the air out of the big house.” It was a surreal game to watch.

    This site is civil. Interesting. We’re stuck with Zona thowing bottles at our cheerleaders, and Beavs getting over 50 public indecencies ( 9 at Autzen all year before the Civil War) last year and they say Duck fans are smug.

    We’re fortunate to not be Washington (Defeated 0-12 in 2008), WSU, U$C, CAL, or any number of teams that won’t have an opportunity to make a statement this weekend. The Ducks do. I hope they rise to the challenge, take care of biz and win. Tennessee will be tough. Thanks for the
    opportunity.

    Recent survey of High School students by a major college news service found that 55% of boy students rated Duck uniforms as the best in the country. Second was Penn St at 6 %, followed by USC, tOSU, Michigan and so on. The original poster didn’t really dog the uni’s at all but for years Oregon has taken potshots from pundits with a mic or pen. Survey shows marketing genius by Nike/Knight. Uniforms are a recruiting edge where before no edge, or only a slight edge existed.

    • norcalvol says :

      Odd that Penn State’s uni’s were second – couldn’t be more different than Oregon’s wardrobe.
      Thanks for stopping by the site.

    • rockytop78 says :

      Kiser —

      Yes, this site is a civil one, thanks to our moderator/blogmaster, norcalvol, who sets the tone here. It’s sort of a “thinking man’s” website for Vol fans.

      If you want a Vol website where they eat red meat and do not think before they blog, let me know.

  20. Scopa says :

    Nice write up about the Ducks! We’ve had some excellent teams over the past 10 years, it’s really surprising how little we have to show for it. Our fiesta bowl team in 2001 was the closest to a NC, and I think the year dixon blew out his knee was another missed NC. Maybe the stars will align this year? Who knows.

    As for this saturday, I’m super nervous. I don’t care if the Vols are supposed to be bad this year. The fact is, this is an out of conference game and anything can happen. The fans are going to be nuts and we have a brand new QB.

    Oregon has been known to stumble out of the gate and have a tough time recovering (See: BSU last year). If they can remain focused and build a lead early I think we will be ok. But I worry about the young QB if the game stays close for any period of time and the crowd stays active.

    • norcalvol says :

      Yes, good point about your new QB, Darren Thomas. I read where he threw an INT in the first possession against N Mex last week. Yikes! Apparently he was a bit erratic in his passing to some extent – tending to overthrow his receivers. That probably means the butterflies never really left the whole day. Interesting that our QB, Simms, is new as well (although he was in JUCO last season). He had a very good game, although he missed several receivers by overthrowing as well.
      Thanks, Scopa, for reading and commenting.

  21. Ooley77 says :

    Not trying to be Mr. Nitpicker, but I think The Vols come to Eugene in 2013. It will be a lot of fun, especially for those who have never been to Autzen. It really is loud for a “small” stadium.
    About DT, he did had an INT early last week, however it has been stated by the coaches that there were some badly missed assignments which lead to that pick. DT did also have some horribly overthrown balls that should make any Duck fan nervous. I think Kelly and Helfrich will be cognizant of DT’s tendancies to start the game and will keep the throwing game limited to short outs and screens early on.
    I’m more interested in the matchups in the trenches. From what I’ve read most of your OL is young and inexperienced, but huge. Our D front is considerably smaller, but quick. Bair, 6’7″ 280ish, showed all last season that he can hang with the big lines by finding a way to get leverage. Rowe, the devensive MVP of the Rosebowl will put some pressure on your tackles, along with another DE that moved from TE this spring in Dion Jordan.
    A lot of bandwagon Duck fans are calling for a blowout, and the spread is something like 2 TDs, but I’m thinking it will be tight until the 4th quarter when the depth and pace of play of the Ducks proves to be too much for the Vols. Something like 31-21 is my guess.

    • NorCalVol says :

      Ooley:
      2013 – your right (should have checked my own schedule page).
      Same season we are slated to play OU in Norman.
      Join us for game predictions on Friday. Today’s post, I’m having a little fun with the Oregon Factor, the Wilcox factor, and even poking a little fun at our battle captain.

  22. Duckfever says :

    First of all I gotta say it’s great to find a civil conversation leading up to a game. I had planned on being there this weekend to 1. cheer on the Ducks and 2. appreciate the history and tradition of Vol football. As it was mentioned before, we have to put up with a lot of mudslinging from the sheep lovers to the north of us and talking football always takes a backseat.

    The UO players will certainly appreciate how loud it can get in Neyland. Oregon fans are vocal and relentless. Check out the quote by Adrian Peterson (http://www.oregongridiron.com/facilities_pages/autzen_quotes.html). It will be interesting to see how we react when the tables are turned.

    So my question is, what Tennessee players would you consider to be the game changers. What X-Factors are for this game? I’d have to say, for the UO, LaMichael James getting back on the field after a LONG offseason. He had to watch as Barner tore it up last week agains NM and you can bet he has something to prove to himself. Anyways, hoping for no injuries on either side… And of course the one thing we all have in common is our general distaste for Kiffen.

    • NorCalVol says :

      DF:
      Thanks for the kind words.
      For the Vols’ offense, the skilled positions will be key. David Oku and Tauren Poole had decent games Saturday against a poor defense – the OL opened some pretty good holes. We’ll learn alot Saturday. The key will be time of possession for us and will be Dooley’s strategy. I have a feeling that we’ll try to slog this one out.
      We lost all of our OL from last season, so as big as they might be, they are learning to play with each other. Graduate school begins Saturday.
      Our best WR (Gerald Jones) is injured – broke his hand last week. But here is where we have some depth (probably the only position). So, we’ll be depending on Denarius Moore, who tweeked an ankle last week but will play this week. Watch for the young’ins: Da’Rick Rogers (5-star out of Ga) and Justin Hunter (a high jumper). They could make some big plays. Zach Rogers could surprise, too. Our real ‘star’ for receiving is our TE, Luke Stocker – a big ol farm boy with good hands, although at least 3 passes went right through those hands Saturday. Hopefully, his mojo will be back Saturday.
      On defense, we have playmakers and game changers. Watch for DE Chris Walker (a captain) and Montori Hughes. Gerald Williams and Malik Jackson are pretty good too. We have some depth here, too.
      LBs are interesting. Nick Reveiz (son our our famous FG kicker from years ago) is tops but coming back from knee surgery last season (ACL). Austin Johnson, last year a RB, was my player of the game last week – looks like a great LB in the making in the tradition of great Vol LBs. Safety Prentiss Waggner had a big game last week. But the guy with the real gamechanging potential is safety Janzen Jackson – he’s our Eric Berry stand-in. Tremendous hitter.
      I’ll have a game preview tomorrow.
      Thanks for commenting.

    • rockytop78 says :

      Duckfever —

      In addition to norcalvol’s insights on Tennessee’s top players, I might add Eric Gordon, freshman DB, to the list. A hard-hitting kid, highly recruited out of high school, who looks to follow in the Eric Berry mold. There was talk of him doing some punt returning this week, since the PR who started last week’s game (Gerald Jones) not only muffed the first punt, but is out 2-3 weeks with a hand injury. If Gordon is in the game, keep your eyes on him.

  23. tk says :

    AND WE JUST KEEP COMMENTING AND COMMENTING DONT WE. I JUST LOVE THIS. CREDIT GOES TO THE BLOGMASTER FOR GETTING THIS THING GOING. I HAVE BEEN A CLOSE FRIEND TO HIM SINCE SEVENTH GRADE. HIS MIND IS SO FULL OF SPORTS…..NOT JUST VOLUNTEER FOOTBALL…….THAT HE CONTINUALLY AMAZES ME. AND IF HE DOESNT KNOW SOMETHING HE WILL MAKE IT UP AND IT SOUNDS SO FACTUAL THAT YOU WILL BELIEVE IT. JUST KIDDING FRED….BUT YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB. AND IN ANSWER TO A GAME TURNER FOR THE VOLS…….IF I HAD TO PICK ONE MAN ID SAY DENARIUS MOORE (NUMBER 6 FOR THOSE OF YOU WATCHING FOR HIM) GO VOLS AND THANKS TO ALL THE GOOD SPORTSMAN DUCKS OUT THERE. AND FOR THOSE OF YOU COMING ………STOP BY AND SEE ME—SECTION H ROW 63 SEAT 18

  24. ProudDuck says :

    Wow this thing just keeps growing. NorCalVol I do know all the Wilcox’s. I met Josh when he was 10yrs old. I was coaching a soccer game and he was on the other team. He plowed over all my guys, so without knowing who he was I yelled out “this ain’t football son”. This 10yr old came storming toward me with a look like he wanted to kill. I couldn’t believe it. Later I learned who’s son it was. I coached both boys in baseball and actually taught Josh how to catch and how to make his hands soft. I’m taking credit for him becoming a TE. lol Dave is one of the nicest men you will ever meet. Talked to him a couple of weeks ago. He said Justin liked it there but was still trying to make the transition. Dave never pushed his kids into sports and when he’d show up for a game would stand way off in the distance and just watch. As a coach I apreciated that! lol He’s huge!!

  25. ProudDuck says :

    Well gentlemen that was one heck of a ballgame. Absolute shock and horror for us Duck fans in the first half. Late in the 2nd period I started thinking of all of you, ya’ll, Vol fans here on this website and felt what you were going through. Flying high on your teams play but all the while wondering “when”. When will they adjust. The fantasy beginning turns to butterflies in the stomach and that sinking feeling really starts to overtake you. Been there done that! That had to be tough to take?
    My feeling is you’ve got to see and feel hope for your young team. They played galantly for a half. Recruiting and time will tell but I think you have a good coaching staff and are definitely headed in the right direction.
    I’ve really enjoyed your website and the exchanges on here. Will be rooting for you the rest of the season and who knows bump off a few big boys along the way. Would love to see that! You are great fans! You were right about your stadium too because we couldn’t hear the announcers over the loud crowd. Keep it up Vols!!!!!

    • NorCalVol says :

      PD-
      Good to hear from you again.
      The shanked punt and the penalty late in the first half had the smell of death about it. That was the killer for me. We’re so young that I think it made us apprehensive. Dooley was quoted as saying “we didn’t have a good look in our eye at halftime.”
      I’m glad you got to see Neyland Stadium in full voice. Of course I’m biased, but I can’t imagine there is a better place to watch a big college football game when the crowd is engaged and loud. However, it was rather heartbreaking to see the empty seats for most of the fourth quarter.
      Oregon is class, no doubt about it – the coaches, the players, the fans, and the program. I wish you the very best the rest of the season. Who knows, magic may happen and carry you all the way, combined with the ‘Bamas of the world dropping a game (I hope we can help you on that front in October). When we won the whole banana in 1998, it was magical the whole season, and it took some divine intervention. It’s something to experience. I hope it can happen for you guys.
      I live in the Bay Area and have tentative plans to go to the UO-Cal game. I would love to sit with the Ducks for that one.
      Good Luck!

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