Latest Duck Football

by Frank Baldwin October 01, 2015

Ducks receiver Byron Marshall probably lost for 2015 season!

The Oregon Ducks rarely make changes to their depth chart, but Tuesday's removal of Byron Marshall from the receivers rotation could last for the entire season. Marshall, the only active player with 1,000-yard seasons as both a receiver and running back, is "likely" lost for the season after suffering a leg injury against No. 10 Utah on Saturday, and undergoing surgery for an unknown injury Tuesday, reported CSNNW.com Wednesday morning, citing unnamed sources who couldn't specify the injury. Earlier this week, coaches did not sound confident he would return in a timely manner, with receivers coach Matt Lubick telling the Register-Guard on Tuesday, "When you have an injury like that it's just hard, it's mentally hard. But he's handling it as good as you can possibly handle it."

Marshall has nine catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns this season. Last year, in his first year as a wide receiver, Marshall led the Ducks with 74 catches and 1,003 yards. Regardless of its length, Marshall's injury figured to be an immediate test of Oregon's vaunted depth at receiver, a position that Lubick joked he had "eight starters" during fall camp. The onus now falls on Dwayne Stanford, Devon Allen, Jalen Brown and Bralon Addison to fill Marshall's production.

There is good news on the horizon in the return of Darren Carrington, from NCAA ineligibility following a failed drug test, in time for Oregon's Oct. 10 game against Washington State. Marshall's loss will also shake up UO's kick return unit, where he and Addison were the Ducks' most-trusted returners. Marshall's 27.5 yards-per-return average included a long of 77 yards against the Utes. 

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What's the Ducks biggest loss with Byron Marshall's injury? Talent and confidence

After suffering a lower leg injury against Utah on Saturday, Marshall appears out for the season. And even though Marshall had been playing the position for just a year, on Wednesday his teammates acknowledged the obvious: He's not a talent that can just simply be replaced. 

The Ducks aren't worried about talent depth. It's what Marshall got out of his experience that might be hard to replace in the interim. "It's the little nuances," Oregon quarterback Jeff Lockie said. "From a talent standpoint, we have a bunch of guys with talent and they're learning fast...Byron was so versatile, he could do it all."  Marshall reportedly underwent surgery earlier this week and will likely miss the rest of the season. Marshall led the Ducks with 74 catches and 1,003 yards last season and had nine catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns this year. 

The Ducks have plenty of depth at receiver, with Bralon Addison, Charles Nelson, Dwayne Stanford, Devon Allen and Jalen Brown ready to step up, and help is on the way with the return of the suspended Darren Carrington next week. But none of those players have produced like Marshall had over a sustained period of time. "Yeah, that's tough. It sucks for someone like him, being a senior. It hurts me," Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. said. "He's going to be strong. I'm going to see him in the hospital today." 

Addison will likely turn into Oregon's No. 1 target on the field, while Stanford and Allen — assuming he's healthy — will likely see increased roles as well. Those three make up the veteran portion of Oregon's talent, but now the Ducks may need to see heralded younger players like Brown and Kirk Merritt have an uptick in production. Few have doubted the ability of Oregon's younger wide receivers, but Adams said there is a difference between potential and someone like Marshall he has proven himself before. The biggest difference, Adams said, is confidence, which is something that Marshall certainly wasn't lacking.  "You've seen it," Adams said. "Great receiver. We're just praying for him and hope that he'll be back." 

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Colorado Point Spread

 

Oregon by 7.5 or 8 points, but so far this year the Ducks have only beaten the spread once: by 1/2 point, that in the Michigan State game; far short in the others.

 

Oregon at Colorado - Sat, Oct 3, 10:00 PM ET (176)

 

POINT SPREAD

TOTAL

MONEY LINE

BETONLINE.ag

-7.5
+7.5

ORE: -105
COLO: -115

70 O/U

o: -110
u: -110

ORE: -280
COLO: +235

5Dimes.eu

-7.5
+7.5

ORE: 100
COLO: -120

70.5 O/U

o: -110
u: -110

ORE: -290
COLO: +245

SportsBetting.ag

-7.5
+7.5

ORE: -105
COLO: -115

70 O/U

o: -110
u: -110

ORE: -280
COLO: +235

BOVADA

-8
+8

ORE: -110
COLO: -110

N/A

N/A

Fantasy911.com

-8
+8

ORE: -110
COLO: -110

71 O/U

o: -110
u: -110

ORE: 0
COLO: 0

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High altitude brings Vernon Adams Jr. a different set of problems than most Oregon Ducks

There are no excuses for playing at elevation, nearly everyone on the Oregon Ducks said on Wednesday. A night game on the road at 5,430 feet? Should be nothing to it. "We'll be ready to go," Oregon junior quarterback Jeff Lockie said. "That will last for about 15 minutes during warmups and then it will be over." It's not a surprise that many of the Ducks called Colorado's elevation-advantage a non-factor for Saturday's game against the Buffaloes, but there is at least one Oregon player who will at least have to monitor his body closely due to the lack of oxygen.

Vernon Adams Jr. has sickle cell trait, which affects his red blood cells and can cause severe cramping. The likelihood of cramps only increases in elevation and it's something the fifth-year senior said he's preparing for now. He's never really played at high elevation, other than about 3,000 feet at Montana, and it's something he's spent the week preparing his body for.  "That's tough. I've never been there before. I was very, still kind of, scared, you know?" Adams said. "I've been hydrating a lot and hopefully I'll be all right."

Adams has been forcing the fluids all week and has been doubling his efforts by wearing a high-altitude training mask that reduces the amount of oxygen he intakes during aerobic activity. The key during the game, he said, is to keep his fluids high and have an oxygen tank ready on the sideline. Adams told The Easterner in 2013 that he takes an IV before games. In a story about Adams on ESPN.com, he said he didn't take an IV at halftime during his standout game against Washington and twice had to leave the field to use the bathroom because he was drinking so much fluid on the sideline.

This added focus all comes on top of a broken finger that held Adams out of Oregon's win over Georgia State and limited him severely in last week's loss to Utah. On Wednesday, Adams said the finger was OK and that his focus on was making sure it was 100 percent. He also said the Ducks are ready to make a statement, no matter the altitude. "I feel like we do. I feel like we need to go out there and play our hearts out," he said. To do that, Oregon defensive coordinator Don Pellum said there can't be any excuses, especially when the air the Ducks are breathing is the same as the Buffaloes. "That can't be a factor," Pellum said. "That cannot be a factor."

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Frank Baldwin
Frank Baldwin

Author




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