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Football Practice Report: Nov. 5

Nov 5, 2021

Venue: Autzen Stadium
Format: Fast Friday

Oregon's scout-team offense made sure the UO defense didn't have to wait until Saturday to get the feel for a rivalry game.

Before the Ducks enter hostile territory at Washington on Saturday (4:30 p.m., ABC), they had to contend with the UO developmental squads this week in practice. On the defensive practice field in particular, this week's scout-team periods during practices in full pads Tuesday and Wednesday seemed even more energetic than usual.

"One thing coach Cristobal does a really good job of is making us all feel like, for us to play well, we all have a role in that," said Bradley Yaffe, who shares scout-team QB duties with Robby Ashford. "For big games, these rivalry games, we get up for those too."

Oregon's scout-team offense has the talent to give Oregon's defense a good look, from skill players like Cross Patton and Josh Delgado to a future contributor on the offensive line like Jonah Miller.

Miller got a late start to participation on the scout team this fall after recovering from an injury, but now he's in the thick of weekly preparations for the UO defense. Including helping set the tone for a rivalry game in Seattle this week.

"When we get into meetings for scouts, we're like, we've got to pretend we're the bad guys," Miller said. "We gotta find that chippiness, so when they see it in the game they don't lose their cool. We have to be able to give these guys a look that's comparable."

No less than defensive leader Verone McKinley III said this week he appreciated the look the UO defense was getting from the scout team in practice. The Ducks want practices to be tougher than games if possible, and the scout team did its best this week to try and make that a reality.

"They appreciate us going out there and throwing ourselves around, giving them a look," Miller said. "That's how we win games."

On an individual level, Miller is happy to be back in the mix for practices, and learning the ropes at the collegiate level. Listed at 6-foot-7, 260 pounds, he'll look to build up his body during the upcoming offseason, but he's already building up his bank of fundamentals and techniques in practices this fall.

"The best thing is going against our D linemen," Miller said. "You get better every day you're in pads. And it's so much fun going against guys like Swinson, KT, getting your craft right and going against guys that are eventually going to be in the NFL."

Developmental squad scrimmage highlights: The offensive efficiency on display earlier in the week showed up in Friday's weekly 10-minute scrimmage period for the developmental squad, too. On the first series of the scrimmage, Ashford and Delgado connected twice in a row for chunks of yardage in the passing game. … Aaron Smith and Renoldo Spivey Jr. are both big backs, but they both also showed they have the speed to get to the edge on run plays during the scrimmage. …

Defensively, Jaden Navarrette opened the scrimmage period with a tackle for loss. Like Miller, Navarrette had to recover from injury earlier in the fall but is now getting a chance to flash his potential in practices with regularity. … Jonathan Flowe also stopped a run play before it got going, and Lucas Noland had a pass breakup for the defense.