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Football Practice Report: Oct. 23

Oct 23, 2020

Venue: Autzen Stadium
Format: Helmets and shorts

This wasn't quite a "Fast Friday" workout like the Ducks would hold in a normal game week. But it was close, as Oregon took the field in Autzen Stadium one day before holding a scrimmage Saturday.

There was work to be done Friday, for sure. But also, one eye was on the scrimmage to come.

"Hey," strength and conditioning coach Aaron Feld hollered as the Ducks went through their stretch lines Friday, "tomorrow's game day!"

Oregon held its first preseason scrimmage of this camp last Saturday, and the defense generally had an edge. This time out, offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead said, he's looking to see "a higher level of precision and execution."

So far, sophomore Tyler Shough has taken most of the reps in camp with the No. 1 offense, and transfer Anthony Brown has quarterbacked the No. 2 offense. Moorhead said the UO coaching staff would meet later Friday to determine how reps would be distributed in Saturday's scrimmage.

Defensive coordinator Andy Avalos is coming off a debut season at Oregon in which the defense took a huge step forward. The Ducks had to contend this offseason with the loss of Troy Dye, Thomas Graham Jr., Jevon Holland and Brady Breeze, among others, and yet the defense looks like it hasn't missed a beat.

There's no doubting the talent level back on defense for the Ducks. Success could come down to cohesiveness, a product of communication, which will be a point of emphasis Saturday.

"It's a big day," Avalos said. "It's one of our last opportunities for these guys to be out there, all 11, and prep themselves and get used to playing together like it's gonna be on game day."

Practice highlights: One day after the No. 2 offense won an overtime situation, the No. 1 offense responded in the 2-minute drill that closed Friday's practice. Shough completed passes to Hunter Kampmoyer, Johnny Johnson III and Mycah Pittman to get the ball across midfield, with Cyrus Habibi-Likio moving the chains on third down amid that sequence. Moments later, JJ Greenfield broke up a pass at the line to put the offense in third-and-long. But Jaylon Redd moved the chains again with a nifty catch-and-run, and two players later Shough centered the ball for a field-goal attempt. Camden Lewis continued his strong camp by drilling a 38-yard "game-winning" kick, despite being iced with a timeout by head coach Mario Cristobal. …

There was also a red-zone period earlier in practice. The defense had an early edge, getting a pass breakup by Jamal Hill and a ball tipped at the line by Jordon Scott. Jordan Happle leaped high in the end zone to tip away a pass by Brown that seemed destined for the arms of a receiver, and Nate Heaukulani had an interception with the threes. But then the passing offense got going, with touchdowns from Shough to Redd and Pittman, Brown to Kris Hutson, Jay Butterfield to Tevin Jeannis and Bradley Yaffe to Justin Collins. … Brown had to buy time with his legs a couple of times under impressive pressure from freshmen Kristian Williams, Keyon Ware-Hudson and Bradyn Swinson. … Steve Stephens IV intercepted a pass that had been tipped by a fellow defender.

Other observations: During the team situations, artificial crowd noise was piped into Autzen Stadium. That's normal for practice, but of course in this strangest of years, it also could be the case on game days as well. … During the 2-minute drill, quarterbacks had the option of checking the game clock and down-and-distance on the new video board now operational in the east end of the stadium.

Post-practice interviews:

Defensive coordinator Andy Avalos

Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead

Linebackers coach Ken Wilson (from Thursday evening)