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Football Practice Report: Oct. 26

Oct 26, 2021

Venue: Moshofsky Center
Format: Full pads

Oregon's coaching staff wants the UO offensive line to be prepared for any eventuality, but there are only so many reps available in practice each week.

So when the Ducks played much of the second half at UCLA last week with a line featuring George Moore, T.J. Bass, Ryan Walk, Dawson Jaramillo and Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, left to right, it was the first time all week those five had taken reps together at those positions.

"At the end of the day, you've got to go out there and be a football player," Walk said. "That's what the five of us did."

The Ducks went into the game expecting to field a starting group of, from left to right, Bass, Walk, Forsyth, Steven Jones and Aumavae-Laulu. When Forsyth was pulled from warmups due to a lingering injury, Walk moved to center and Jackson Powers-Johnson started at guard. But Powers-Johnson was injured in the first half, and later Jones had to be pulled as well.

As a unit, the line didn't miss a beat. All five UO touchdowns at UCLA were on run plays, and quarterback Anthony Brown was sacked just once.

"We had one sack and one negative play in 63 snaps, which is a pretty good ratio," UO coach Mario Cristobal said. "We'd like to have even less, but to do that while mixing and matching parts … that's the part you're excited about, and bodes well for the future."

A major key to handling all the personnel changes at UCLA was the versatility of Jaramillo. Cristobal referred to the sophomore from Portland as a "Swiss Army knife," a role previously played by current New Orleans Saints guard Calvin Throckmorton – who started games at four of the five offensive line positions while at Oregon, and whom Jaramillo looked to as a role model.

"He was able to play any position the coaches asked him to play," Jaramillo said. "I've tried to emulate him, and be ready."

Jaramillo ended up replacing Powers-Johnson at left guard after the freshman went down. Then, after Jones was hurt, Jaramillo moved over to his spot at right guard.

In either spot, he played next to Walk, the former walk-on from Eugene who has become a mainstay on the UO offensive line. Walk not only seamlessly moved over to Forsyth's spot, he also recovered a fumble by the Ducks in the first half at UCLA, and hustled downfield to make the tackle after UCLA recovered a UO fumble in the second half.

Walk said the last time he did a tackling drill was "probably circa 2015, at Sheldon High School." But he deftly brought down the UCLA defender returning the UO fumble in the third quarter.

"I treated it like a cut block," Walk said. "I've cut blocked a few people this year. So I was out in space and was like, go through his front-side thigh. And that's what I did. Got the job done."

In all sorts of ways, and from all sorts of personnel, the UO offensive line got the job done against the Bruins.

Practice highlights: Brown completed both of his attempts in the final "good-on-good" period of Tuesday's practice, although one of them resulted in only a short gain after the catch. That was due to a tackle by Jeffrey Bassa, who is really coming into his own at linebacker the last couple weeks. … Ty Thompson had one of the nicest balls of the day in 1-on-1 drills, dropping a long pass over a defender and into the arms of Spencer Webb. That drill featured a couple really nice plays on the ball by Isaah Crocker, and a pass breakup on which Bryan Addison used his impressive length to swat away a ball. …

Edge defender Jaden Navarrette had a couple of eye-popping reps in 1-on-1 pass-rush drills. On the first he drove a blocker straight back into the quarterback, and on the next he used an explosive spin move to penetrate the backfield. Oregon's depth on the edge is impressive right now, a tough group for another player to play his way into. But more moments like those would help Navarrette's bid to do so. … Camden Lewis continues to practice like he plays; he made his longest attempt of field-goal drills Tuesday, from 45 yards out.

Other observations: Powers-Johnson remains sidelined by the injury he suffered at UCLA. But the likes of Forsyth, Jones, Jaylon Redd, Mase Funa and Dontae Manning all were suited up and participating in practice Tuesday despite being banged up in the game. … Powers-Johnson was diagnosed with an ankle sprain, after X-rays showed he avoided a more serious injury, Cristobal said. … Cristobal said Forsyth is "day to day" after experiencing an injury setback during warmups at UCLA. The Ducks remain hopeful he can play against Colorado on Saturday (12:30 p.m., FOX).

Post-practice interviews:

Senior quarterback Anthony Brown

Junior running back Travis Dye

Sophomore offensive lineman Dawson Jaramillo

Sophomore receiver Mycah Pittman