Ducks Look to Fine-Tune Attack in Preparation for Next Week's Season Opener
Aug. 24, 2001
EUGENE - Oregon's offense exploded for four touchdowns on its first six possessions before the defense settled in to limit a pair of field goals on the final eight drives to leave head coach Mike Bellotti feeling better on both sides of the football heading into the final week before its Sept. 1 season opener vs. Wisconsin.
Quarterback Joey Harrington again played only the first two series of the afternoon before giving way to backups Scott Vossmeyer, Kellen Clemens and Chris Lombardo. Harrington finished his work completing three of six passes for 34 yards and one interception against the first-string defense.
But it was a halfback option pass from Onterrio Smith on the first play from scrimmage which led to a 70-yard touchdown reception by Keenan Howry.
Following a pair of stalled drives, Vossmeyer hooked up with Samie Parker for a 10-yard completion on an out pattern, who promptly evaded Jason Jenkins and quickly turned it into a 70-yard scoring strike. He returned later for a second scoring catch from Vossmeyer of 20 yards, ending the scrimmage with five catches for 134 yards.
Vossmeyer, subbing for backup quarterback Jason Fife, who was nursing a sore hamstring, completed his day connecting on eight of 14 passes for 127 yards and two scores. Fife is anticipated to return to workouts Monday.
'I thought we'd improved this week overall as a team, I thought we'd improved on defense, although during the first half I wasn't sure,' Bellotti said. 'I thought our offense dominated and I think that's somewhat to be expected. But I was tremendously excited about the way the defense came back, especially some of those young defensive linemen in the second half. They pressured the quarterback and made some plays.
'Gary McGraw stepped up in the secondary and made a couple of nice plays. Ramone Reed also caught my eye - a freshman linebacker - I think he's going to find a way to get onto the field, either special teams or defense this year. Robbie Valenzuela made a lot of plays, he made some things happen for some other people. Kevin Mack blocked the field goal and also he's pretty tough to block off the edge.'
McGraw, who filled in for the slightly injured Rasuli Webster, came up with a pair of interceptions in addition to timing a hit on Howry to knock the ball loose for an incompletion. In addition, the defense unofficially came up with no fewer than six quarterback sacks, with defensive end Kevin Mack and freshman defensive tackle Robby Valenzuela each coming up with two tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
'On the other side of the ball I think you've got to give credit to Parker, who turned a hitch into a touchdown. Samie has a lot of untapped potential because he hasn't played that much. He has speed and he can not only go for the deep pass, but he can turn the short pass into a deep play. Overall, Onterrio had some moments where he looked pretty good. He made some plays on special teams in the initial part that were pretty good, but he made some mistakes too. Obviously, I think he's a quality back and he gives us great depth there, which we need. And Allan Amundson looked good again.'
Smith rushed for 25 yards on six carries while Amundson dashed three times for 14 yards.
Starting tailback Maurice Morris was held out of the scrimmage due to a sinus infection but is expected to return to practice the first of next week.
The Ducks will hold a light workout Saturday afternoon following a 10:30 a.m. autograph session in the indoor Moshofsky Center. They will then take Sunday off before resuming work for next week's home opener Monday.
Rushing: Clemens 2-29, Smith 6-25, Amundson 3-14, Shaw 4-4, Washington 1-4, Line 1-1, Vossmeyer 4-(minus)22, Lombardo 3-(minus)26.
Passing: Vossmeyer 8-14-127-1, 2 TD, Clemens 5-6-48-0, 1 TD, Harrington 3-6-34-1, 0 TD, O. Smith 1-1-70-1, 1 TD, Lombardo 2-3-0, 4 yds, Siegel 0-1-0.
Receiving: Parker 5-134-2 TD, Howry 1-70-1 TD, Warren 4-26-1TD, Walden 2-17, Aleman 1-13, Daniels 1-13, J. Wilis 1-9, Allen 1-0. Williams 1-(minus 1).
FG: Siegel 1-2 (42 good, 34-blocked), Rosenberg 1-1 (38 good).
PAT: Rosenberg 2-2, Siegel 2-2.
Interceptions: McGraw (2 - 30, 23 yards).
Sacks: Mack (2), Wright, Valenzuela (2), Olshansky.
70-yard TD pass from Smith to Howry (Siegel PAT good)
70-yard TD pass from Vossmeyer to Parker (Rosenberg PAT good)
3-yard TD pass from Clemens to Warren (Siegel PAT good)
20-yard TD pass from Vossmeyer to Parker (Rosenberg PAT good)
65-yard TD return by Moore off blocked 34-yard FG attempt by Siegel (block by Mack)
38-yard FG Rosenberg (good)
42-yard FG Siegel (good)