DUCKS: Mixed News!

by Frank Baldwin August 11, 2015

Especially shocking after Tyner's strong Bowl performances!

Oregon running back Thomas Tyner 'likely' to miss entire season after shoulder surgery

Oregon junior running back Thomas Tyner will "likely" miss the upcoming football season after undergoing shoulder surgery, his father John Tyner confirmed to The Oregonian on Sunday.  

Tyner rushed for 573 yards and five touchdowns last season, serving as Royce Freeman's backup. Tyner, who obliterated Oregon high school rushing records as a five-star recruit at Aloha, rushed for 711 yards and nine touchdowns as a freshman. Tyner underwent surgery Friday to repair a left shoulder injury, said John Tyner, the junior running back's father. The hit occurred on a kickoff return against Washington on Oct. 19, when Huskies linebacker Shaq Thompson ran unabated into Tyner as he caught the kickoff. John Tyner said that the hit "dislodged" a bone in the shoulder, and added that his son would be ready to play in spring football. 

Tyner missed the next week's game against Cal, as well as Oregon's final two games of the regular season and the Pac-12 title game against Arizona while recovering from the shoulder and other injuries. He returned to lead the Ducks with 124 yards and two touchdowns in the Rose Bowl against Florida State and led Oregon with 62 yards against Ohio State in the national championship game.

While Tyner wasn't expected to be Oregon's No. 1 running back this season, he was, if healthy, expected to be the 1B to Freeman's 1A, making the Ducks' running tandem one of the best in the country. With Tyner's absence, running back-turned-receiver Byron Marshall could see an increase in carries out of the backfield. Marshall led the Ducks with 1,038 rushing yards as a sophomore in 2013 before becoming the team's No. 1 receiver in 2014 with 1,003 receiving yards. The injury will also put a focus on the competition between redshirt freshman Tony Brooks-James and Kani Benoit, which was expected to to decide Oregon's third-best running option. Brooks-James was a heralded recruit out of Florida and has recovered from a foot injury that limited his efforts in 2014. Benoit had 98 yards on 23 carries as a redshirt freshman. Taj Griffin, a four-star true freshman, could also compete for carries. 


2019: First 3 games

Oregon Ducks to host Montana Grizzlies in 2019

Oregon will host the Montana Grizzlies at Autzen Stadium in 2019, the University of Montana announced on Friday.  The Griz, of the Football Championship Subdivision, announced the game against the Ducks and a pair of future games against Washington in 2017 and 2021.  Oregon is undefeated against Montana in eight prior games, compiling a 7-0-1 record, with the Ducks beating the Griz 47-14 in 2005 in the last meeting between the two teams. 

Montana has been one of the most successful FCS teams over the last couple decades, recording 14 Big Sky Conference championships and two FCS national titles since 1995. Montana had won 12 consecutive conference titles before that streak was snapped in 2010. Eastern Washington, Oregon's 2015 season-opening opponent, has won the last three conference titles.  The Griz are coached by Bob Stitt, who is beginning his first season with Montana after compiling a 106-62 record in 14 seasons with Colorado School of Mines, and are ranked 12th in the FCS preseason coaches poll. 

Oregon's 2019 non-conference schedule now looks like this: 

8/31 vs. Auburn (in Arlington, TX)

9/7 vs. Nevada

9/14 vs. Montana



Eaton Soared!


Ashton Eaton sets a PR in the pole vault during the inaugural Flotrack Throwdown at Duniway Park in Portland, August 8, 2015


There were thumbs up all around Saturday at Duniway Park for the first Flotrack Throwdown track & field meet.

An estimated 2,500 fans showed up, most happily milling in and around a beer garden in the middle of the infield, although a few sat down on grassy banks above the track.

There were no stands, and nobody seemed to miss the formal seating.

Ashton Eaton, the decathlon world record-holder, bantered with fans watching from a few feet away in between attempts in the pole vault.

"When you feel that you're actually performing for people, you feel a little bit more excited," Eaton said. "We train and we're so serious all the time. But we do this for fun."

Eaton had a serious moment in the competition when he needed a third-attempt clearance at 17 feet, 8 ½ inches to stay alive.

"You have to be a gamer," Eaton said.

He cleared the bar, which was a personal record and turned out to be the winning jump of the competition. Former Sheldon High School vaulter JJ Juilfs, who won a Pac-12 title at Washington, was second with a best clearance of 17-0 ¾.

Eaton's victory earned him the male athlete of the meet award. Canadian Fiona Benson, who won the women's mile by nearly five seconds in 4:25.79, was the female athlete of the meet.



Mariota Report


Tennessee Titans training camp: Marcus Mariota off to fast start


The Titans stay home, hosting training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville. But this one had a markedly different feel to it, thanks to the inclusion of No. 8. There were no parking spaces left at the facility. Fans slammed the fence along the field, fighting to see. Times are changing in Tennessee.



1) Let's start with the man everyone came to see. Rookie Marcus Mariota still hasn't thrown an interception in training camp, though the team has joked (or not) about having him throw one just to get it over with and have all of us stop talking about it. Make no mistake: Mariota is for real, already years ahead of where they thought he would be. Rookies aren't supposed to come in and adapt and be the leader before a game is played. But thanks to his magnetic ways, players have been drawn to him. It's already his team. Maybe the Oregon offense was more complicated than we thought, because Mariota has picked up Tennessee's offense in no time. There is no fast-forward button, but the Titanshave hit the NFL's closest thing.

2) We have all focused so much on the quarterback, it's easy to forget Mariota has some targets to throw to. Actually, he has a wide array of them. Justin Hunterhas the skills, and perhaps this is when he puts it all together, provided he doesn't end up facing discipline stemming from his arrest in July on an assault charge. The nifty Kendall Wright has had a strong camp, while Hakeem Nicks has flashed newfound burst and tight end Delanie Walker is always dangerous. The wild card is rookie Dorial Green-Beckham, who is ... huge. Just massive. Couldn't believe how big he is. Consistency has been his issue, and he has yet to put two practices together. But when he's on -- like he was Thursday -- it's something to watch.

Frank Baldwin
Frank Baldwin


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