Spring Game Shows Flashes of Both Good and Bad

8RICnmA6LHILlWgvLCI_kEFVdXacOvb8WFlxkHFZ7Gk

Football is back, baby. Sure it was just the Spring Game but, hey, we’ll take it! In the annual classic, Team Oregon (White) faced off against Team Pathway (Green). A full list of the rosters can be found here.

While it was certainly no regular season game, players came out hard and fast. It was the team’s first game without many of the leaders from last year, most noticeably Marcus Mariota. The former QB, now a member of the Tennessee Titans, did make an appearance, though, to the joy of the crowd.

Now, without further ado, let’s get to the notes from the game.

The Good (Team Oregon):

No. 11 is back, he just decided to add the two 1's together.

Gary Breedlove

No. 11 is back, he just decided to add the two 1’s together.

Bralon freakin’ Addison: Welcome back, Bralon! After a year of recovery following a gruesome ACL injury, the former star receiver looked every bit as good as Duck fans remembered him being. In the first half alone, Addison tallied 46 yards receiving and a TD, while also completing all three of his passes for 71 yards and a TD. Addison’s shining moment was a 42-yard catch and run where he broke multiple tackles while showcasing his elite speed.

Jimmie Swain: A top recruit in 2013, Swain saw very little playing time during his freshman campaign. Well, now the 6’2″, 235 lb. linebacker is a sophomore and looking for playing time. Swain tallied a game-high seven tackles, making several great plays to stop big gains. The linebacker position was weak last season, but Swain is a possible bright spot for this year’s team.

Jalen Brown: Another top recruit, Brown was one of the seemingly endless number of talented Ducks receivers last season. Although he didn’t see a whole lot of action, the plays he did make were outstanding. He only caught three balls but, with those three, he tallied 114 yards. He has big play ability, and will be just one more weapon for opposing defenses to worry about this season.

Needs Improvement (Team Oregon):

Evan Baylis struggled mightily today.

Kevin Cline

Evan Baylis struggled mightily today.

Evan Baylis: Baylis performed admirably filling in for star TE Pharaoh Brown last season, but he looked like a shell of his former self today. He dropped all the balls thrown to him, including a nice post throw by Taylor Alie. Needless to say, the return of Brown is eagerly anticipated.

Ty Griffin: Word around the street was that Ty Griffin had been practicing really well, and was even looking to push for a starting job in the fall. If that’s the case, he must’ve been having an off day because Griffin looked awful. The Georgia Tech transfer completed just 4-12 passes, and threw an interception after being on completely different wavelengths from his receivers. Not a good day for Griffin.

Any RB not named Thomas Tyner: Outside of Tyner, who averaged 9.4 yards per carry on five touches, Team Oregon’s RBs couldn’t move the ball. The worst of the bunch was Tony James who, in four touches, managed zero yards. James is projected to be Oregon’s third string RB, but outings like that aren’t going to turn any heads.

The Good (Team Pathway):

Jeff Lockie looks like the early favorite...by a landslide.

Kevin Cline

Jeff Lockie looks like the early favorite…by a landslide.

The Veterans: Jeff Lockie was a machine. That’s all there is to say. He completed all nine of his passes, threw for a game high 223 yards and three TDs, and even ran for an additional 16. He looked calm, made some tough throws, and simply was the best QB on the field. Another bright spot —Royce Freeman looked every bit as good as last season. Freeman averaged nearly eight yards per carry, and scored a TD on Team Pathway’s opening drive.

Charles Nelson: This guy is just a freak. He played both sides of the ball and, honestly, it’s hard to say on which side he performed better. For the offense, Nelson racked up a game high 144 yards and two TDs and, on defense, he recorded three tackles and a spectacular over-the-shoulder interception while tight-roping the sideline. The guy was the best athlete on the field by a mile.

Canton Kaumatule: Get used to this name, because it’s going to be everywhere. The five star recruit set the edge, rarely allowing any plays to bounce outside. He also appeared to be unblockable, recording 2.5 TFL and two sacks. He was also tied for the team-high with five tackles. The loss of Arik Armstead hurt, but Kaumatule looks up to the task of replacing him.

Needs Improvement (Team Pathway):

Morgan Mahalak: Mahalak was one of my favorites to win the starting job, but his performance in the Spring Game was mediocre at best. The sophomore completed just 3-9 of his passes, while also looking extremely uncomfortable in the pocket. He still has time to develop but, outside of Lockie, the QB position is looking shaky.

Who will replace this guy?

Kevin Cline

Who will replace this guy?

The Center Position: Low snaps, high snaps, and even an over-the-head snap that resulted in a safety were just a few things to note from the Spring Game. The blocking was also average at best, which isn’t good for a team losing three of its core offensive linemen from last season. Someone will have to step up to fill Hroniss Grasu‘s place but, after today, it appears there’s still much work to be done.

The Bottom Line:

Sure it was sloppy, sure there were a lot of penalties but, hey, it’s the Spring Game. The quarterbacks play touch football, for goodness sake. There was a lot of room for improvement, but there were also some great flashes from key youngsters. The Ducks look strong at WR, especially considering they’re not even at full strength, yet.  It’s spring — take everything you saw and read about today with a grain of salt.

Welcome back, football!

Top photo from Kevin Cline

Print Friendly

 Volunteer Position Openings:

--Media Management/Supervisor:  We are looking for someone beyond college age who can help manage students and mentor in a number of different departments. Expertise is not required as organizational skills and interest in guiding others.   --Assistant Football Analyst: Love college football and enjoy watching it for hours? We need associates to view games and find the techniques/teaching points we identify for them in advance.  You will be recognized in publications, and could have the opportunity to move to full Analyst.   --College Football Analyst: We are looking for Coaches, or retired coaches to help create analysis videos (we do the video part) that will be viewed by thousands, and will help young football players as well as fans understand the game much better. The national recognition will help your resume' as well as make an impact upon the game we all dearly love.   --Video Specialist: We are looking for help in the Eugene/Springfield area to assist with the shooting and editing of analysis videos.   All Positions: Send a resume' with full contact information and any writing samples you have to charles@fishduck.com  Again, these are volunteer positions donating five hours a week each.

Caleb Couturie

Caleb Couturie

Caleb is a sophomore at the University of Oregon intending to double major in Journalism and Sports Management. He is the Managing Editor for FishDuck.com, along with being a lifetime Saints and San Francisco Giants fan, as Caleb fell in love with sports at a young age and developed that love into a passion for sports analysis. He is looking forward to cheering on the Ducks throughout his career at Oregon, and is always willing to talk sports with any fellow fan.

  • Michael G

    Solid article. Like many, I went to the game, and witnessed a mixed bag. I will say that Lockie looks good. He appeared to be much more athletic, than I remember him being. Of course, it is easy to run with confidence, when you know nobody will hit you, but he was pretty quick.

    What will the Ducks do with Charles Nelson? My goodness that kid is good. He really reminds me of DeAnthony Thomas. He has those skinny legs that move like pin-needles on a sewing machine! He also appears to possess the same high football IQ that DAT had. The Ducks are so loaded at WR, but you can’t leave him out of that offense…he has that game changing ability. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him be a consistent two-way player.

    One other note. I paid special attention to Canton, and this kid will be great…he may just be good this year, as he figures things out, but that kid will be one of the great defensive players to play for Oregon, baring any injuries. I remember watching Arik Armstead at the Spring Game, during his Freshman year, and thinking that he was really confused…not Canton. You can tell that he is a true DE, and not an OT, converting to a DE at this level. At the end of the year, Duck fans will be saying…”Armstead who?”

    Defense looked pretty bad overall, and good-grief did Baylis look terrible. But yes…it is Spring, and there is plenty of time for this team to figure things out. I was pretty adamant, about Lockie having no shot to beat out Adams; now, I am not so sure.

    • hokieduck

      Unfortunately IMO, Arik Armstead was a giant disappointment during his three years at Oregon. His measurables were simply so alluring, but his on field production never really matched (with the obvious and awesome exception of the Rose Bowl victory over FSU).

      Canton Kaumatule should be a welcome breath of fresh air. The D line got an upgrade IMO.

  • MAITAIDUCK

    I believe Zach Okun or Tyler Johnston will be the starting Center come the 1st Game against EW. This team is filled with star’s but the QB position will actually be fine and I believe VA will win the starting spot and Lockie will unfortunately be the backup but 1 that could keep this machine humming should Adams get hurt for any length of time. I also believe our incoming Freshman Travis jonsen will win the 3rd spot because he looked like a natural back there.