Typical Early-Season Inconsistencies Plague Ducks in Spring's First Football Scrimmage
April 12, 2003
EUGENE - The lack of consistency and intensity were foremost on the mind of head football coach Mike Bellotti after he sent Oregon through its first major scrimmage of the spring to culminate the first week of off-season workouts Saturday in Autzen Stadium.
Sophomore-to-be quarterback Kellen Clemens completed eight of 13 passes for 102 yards and one touchdown while a quartet of defenders accumulated five quarterback sacks on a day that was not void of individual highlights but lacked for the team cohesiveness not uncommon after one week of practice.
'I thought we were a little sluggish,' Bellotti said of the one-hour controlled scrimmage that followed a 75-minute practice. 'I was disappointed in the intensity and the enthusiasm. We had a great practice on Thursday in the Moshofsky Center. I think sometimes the kids expect Autzen Stadium to make a lot of noise and I tell them a lot of times we come out in this situation we've got to make our own noise.
'Part of it is enthusiasm, part of it is intensity and part of it is execution. I thought our first time really full go, in full gear, I didn't see the stuff I want to see. I saw some individual efforts and performances but not enough team things. We made some mistakes on both sides of the ball that would have cost us in a game situation.'
Clemens capped his first drive of the afternoon by completing a 44-yard pass and run to Kellen Taylor. The former junior college wide receiver who redshirted last season grabbed five receptions for 78 yards in addition to adding a 20-yard run on a reverse. Tight end Tim Day contributed three catches for 33 yards while wide receiver Keith Allen caught three passes for 28 yards.
'I was pretty satisfied but there are a couple of little things I didn't do well such as adjustments on routes and stuff like that, but I think that will just come with time,' Taylor said. 'A couple more days out here at practice and getting into the playbook a little bit more, I think I'll be all right. Last year I was sitting watching everything from the sidelines and that made me so hungry for this year. So now when I'm out here, I'm trying to make the most of any opportunity I have.'
Quarterback Jason Fife led the Ducks on a 60-yard scoring drive late in the scrimmage, capped by Jared Siegel's 32-yard field goal, while Roseburg walk-on quarterback Adam Hazel was at the helm for a four-play drive that was capped by a one-yard scoring plunge from tailback Chris Vincent.
Fife finished the day completing five of 11 passes for 57 yards while Vincent led all rushers with 41 yards and one score on eight carries.
'I didn't see the consistency of passing the football that I had seen and I thought our quarterbacks were too anxious,' Bellotti admitted. 'They had some people open and they really got excited and didn't throw a calm, comfortable pass early that would have resulted in a completion. These guys (Fife and Clemens) are both veteran enough and they have to handle their demeanor about a game situation and a game opportunity.
'I liked the way Chris Vincent showed up, I liked the way Kellen Taylor showed up. Keith Lewis made some plays on defense to stop two apparent touchdowns. Jerry Matson made a couple of plays with his speed that stood out to me. Junior Siavii gave great effort the entire day. But I didn't see enough push or pressure from our defensive line. We're down numbers right now but that's no excuse. I'm looking for kids to step up when they have this opportunity and make a name for themselves and make an impression.'
Defensively, redshirt freshman J.D. Nelson led all tacklers with seven stops and one pass broken up while Lewis and defensive back Justin Phinisee each pulled down four tackles. Defensive end Quinn Dorsey, who also sat out last season, recorded a pair of quarterback sacks among his three tackles for losses, with Siavii, Victor Filipe and Darius Sanders also earning quarterback sacks.
Oregon will continue spring football workouts with practices on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.
Clemens 8-13, 102 yards, 1TD; Fife 5-11, 57 yards; Durocher 1-2, 28 yards; Hazel 0-1, 0 yards.
Vincent 8-41-1TD; Allen 1-31; Washington 4-19; Whitehead 3-16; Taylor 2-10; Shaw 2-3; Fife 4- -3;Clemens 3- -7; Durocher 1- -9.
Taylor 5-78-1TD; Day 3-33; Allen 3-28; Whitehead 1-23; Salazar 1- -8; Shaw 1- -3.