Ducks Fly Home for the Holidays


Well, our Ducks got back to work on the field here in Eugene, OR, one last time before they all departed home for the holidays and, according to practice reports from Friday and Saturday, it was a good week of practice.


Kevin Cline

Marcus Mariota in the tunnel before the Pac-12 Championship game.

Our recent Heisman winner Marcus Mariota returned to the field with his teammates Tuesday morning after missing Monday’s practice due to all of the ceremonies, interviews and whatnot that comes with being the best football player in the nation.

In fact, Mariota flew over night on Monday to get back in time for Tuesday mornings practice. Mariota said, ”I appreciate every moment of it. It was nice to just be back in Eugene. I think a lot of people don’t realize how busy that awards circuit is. I had a lot of fun, I enjoyed it, but it’s good to be back with the guys.”

I’m sure the guys were happy to have their leader on the field again, too. Mariota explained to reporters that he watched a lot of film during his travel time throughout his break for the award ceremonies and made a goal to mentally prepare himself so that when he got back to practice he wouldn’t have to play catchup.

Yesterday’s final practice before all the men headed home to be with family in their home towns was run similarly to a Thursday practice prior to a regular season game, a walk through day. There was no hitting but the players did run closer to full-speed throughout practice. According to’s practice report for Saturday, Head Coach Mark Helfrich ended practice by saying, “Now, can we maintain — or ascend — during the break?”

The men are all in the holiday spirit and even added a couple of Christmas songs to their playlist during practice yesterday! They will all be meeting back up in Los Angeles on December 25 to resume practice and preparations for their Rose Bowl matchup against the Florida St. Seminoles.

I wish all you Duck fans, players and coaches happy holidays and Go Ducks!

Top Photo by Kevin Cline

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McKalie Bellew

McKalie Bellew

McKalie Bellew just moved to Oregon from Arizona. She is a sophomore at Lane Community College and moved here to pursue her dream of studying Sports Journalism and Broadcasting at the University of Oregon. Her passion for sports is admirable and her determination and hunger for success in the sports field is fascinating; if you ever have the chance to talk to McKalie face-to-face about sports, you’ll know how much she loves these games just by the way her eyes light up during the conversation. When unable to attend Ducks home games you can find her in front of a television on the edge of her seat, cheering her crazed-fan-head off. McKalie appreciates your feedback and constructive-criticism to help her become a better writer and reporter.

  • Rusty

    Who pays for these flights home and to LA ?Players or the university ?

  • McKalie Bellew

    I am not sure who pays for these flights. In one of the links to a practice report (Saturday’s practice report, second paragraph) the writer mentions that players from out of state will be responsible for getting themselves to LA independently, whereas players instate and in the Northwest area will take the charter out of Eugene as they would for any other game.