User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Auto
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Injuries test No. 1 Ducks' defense

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

The Oregon Ducks rarely, if ever, talk about injuries - even season-ending ones.

Advertisement
So it's hard to say how depleted the AP's No. 1 team is going into Saturday's game against No. 14 Stanford. But it's clear the Ducks have taken a hit, especially on defense.

The latest casualty is free safety Avery Patterson, who seriously injured his left knee in the second quarter of Oregon's 59-17 victory at California last Saturday night.

Patterson was seen on the sidelines on crutches and in sweats following the game. Although there was no official word from the program, The Oregonian newspaper cited an unnamed source as saying Patterson was out for the season.

Patterson had taken over as starter for senior John Boyett, who was hurt early this season. Boyett played in the opener against Arkansas State, but was in street clothes the next week. Later he revealed to his hometown newspaper that he needed surgery to repair the patellar tendons in both knees. While the Ducks never formally announced Boyett's injury, it ended his career at Oregon.

Sophomore James Scales replaced Patterson against Cal. Senior defensive linemen Dion Jordan (right shoulder) Isaac Remington (foot) and Ricky Heimuli (right knee) were dressed on the sidelines in Berkeley but did not play. As a result, the Ducks relied at times on three true freshmen - Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Alex Balducci - on the defensive line.

Starting nose guard Wade Keliikipi never made the trip to Strawberry Canyon because of an undisclosed injury and was seen using crutches on Monday. Defensive end Taylor Hart also hurt an ankle or foot against Cal and wore a boot.

The injuries tested coach Chip Kelly's ``next man in'' philosophy.

``It's part of college football,'' Kelly said. ``Can you handle it, or can you not handle it?''

The Ducks were already hurting in the secondary with sophomore backup cornerbacks Dior Mathis and Troy Hill absent against Cal for unclear reasons. The situation has become so serious that there was speculation this week that the Ducks might use wide receiver Keanon Lowe or even multi-purpose back De'Anthony Thomas on defense.

The move comes after USC used dynamic wide receiver Marqise Lee on defense for a few snaps against Arizona State last weekend, and Washington played receiver Austin Seferian-Jenkins on defense against Utah.

Lowe played at safety at Jesuit High School in Portland, and came to Oregon, in part, because he wanted to play offense. Thomas played on both sides of the ball at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles.

``We're getting thinner, but we'll find a way to make it work,'' defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said without naming names.

The Ducks already moved redshirt freshman Koa Ka'ai, who had played at tight end this season, back to defensive end, which he played in high school.

The bright side in all of this for the Ducks is that even though they've had injuries, their backups - and even third stringers - have had plenty of work this season. In addition to Oregon's practice of heavy player rotation on defense to wear down opponents, the Ducks often sat their starters after building up big leads against opponents this season.

``(That's) kind of the byproduct of winning some of those games early, getting a lot of those guys reps,'' Kelly said. ``It wasn't like you turned around and said, `Hey, you guys gotta play.' They'd been in games before and they had an understanding, and we had an opportunity to correct mistakes.''

Against the Golden Bears, the injuries were not limited to the defense. There were two major scares on offense.

Senior running back Kenjon Barner left the game briefly during the first quarter after an apparent injury to his right thumb. Barner, the nation's fourth-leading rusher with an average of 136 yards a game, finished with 65 yards rushing at Cal.

And quarterback Marcus Mariota also left the game after a hard fall injured his left shoulder late in the first half, but returned and finished with 377 yards passing and six touchdowns.

Barner and Mariota say they're fine for Saturday's game against Stanford.

Cardinal coach David Shaw said Oregon is going to be tough no matter who they have on the field.

``Those guys are good football players. Everybody that they put in knows their scheme. They still play fast, they still play physical and they get after you.

``As a college football fan, I was saddened to see when the quarterback got hurt against Cal. I was hoping that he'd take about 10 days to nurse that injury,'' Shaw added with a laugh. ``But he popped back in there and only threw four touchdown passes after he got hurt.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Nelson: Auburn at Kansas State
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 4
Sportsbook: Auburn faces tough road test
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 3
Rose: Top 25 Betting Recap - Week 3
Dobish: College Betting Recap - Week 3
Olsen leaves Miami after DUI arrest
Hogs enjoy resurgence under Bielema
Miss. State tries to end skid vs. LSU
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAAFB Hot Streaks
6-1 Sat., 13-2 Run, +961 TY
+923 Picks This Year
3-1 Saturday, 9-3 L3 Saturdays
7-1 Guarantees, 14-7 Picks TY
4-1 Record Saturday
5-1 Last 6 College FB Picks
7-1 Over/Unders This Year
3-1 Last 4 CFB Totals
5-2 Week 3, 6-1 Guarantees TY
7-3 Record Last 10 Picks
5-0 Fridays This Year
7-3 L2 Saturdays, 10-3 L13 Picks
3-1 Saturday, 4-0 Guarantees TY
4-1 Fridays This Year
6-3 Week 3 Record
6-0 L6 G-Plays, 5-2 Totals TY
NCAA FB College Football Expert Sports Picks- Auburn Tigers at Kansas State Wildcats
2014 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 961
Michael Black + 923
Stephen Nover + 600
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 595
Greg Smith + 390
Kevin Rogers + 380
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Chip Chirimbes 75 %
Stephen Nover 67 %
The SportsBoss 67 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 590
Pat Hawkins + 490
Bruce Marshall + 485
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 590
Stephen Nover + 480
Paul Bovi + 290
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 366
Marc Lawrence + 290
The SportsBoss + 280
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest