Per John Hunt of the Oregonian Oregon's Jerimiah Masoli didn't practice today:
Ducks coach Chip Kelly said he expects Masoli to practice this week and to make the trip to UCLA, along with backup Nate Costa and third-stringer/redshirt candidate Darron Thomas.
Masoli walked with a limp, his knee on ice and braced Monday - not a real heartening sign for Oregon fans, but there's simply no telling at this point whether he will play against the Bruins.
Uhm. Don't get too excited.
I don't think it's a big deal and I am going to assume the UCLA coaches will prepare with the expectation will not only Masoli will be ready, but he is going to present the same danger he did to UCLA offense last year.
In case any one wants a reminder here are couple of plays from this past Saturday:
- Q1: 3rd and 8 at UCLA 19 Andrew Luck rush for 12 yards to the UCLA 7 for a 1ST down.
- Q3: 2nd and 4 at STAN 31 Andrew Luck rush for 15 yards to the Stanf 46 for a 1ST down.
IIRC KSU RB Daniel Thomas had some success against our D taking direct snaps from the center. Plus there is the detail of Masoli sprinting around our defense for 170 rushing yards in 24 carries last year.
So, I wouldn't get too comfortable if I were Chuck Bullough, Reggie Carter, Akeem Ayers, Bosworths and rest of the front-7. The UCLA's defense dating back to Walker era doesn't have a great track record when it comes to stopping spread offense or bottling up explosive athletes such as Masoli playing in that kind of system allowing them to spring outside and operate in open spaces.
We will see how the defense reacts on Saturday. They certainly should be expecting a Masoli in full speed no matter what the news they are hearing from Eugene during this game week.
UPDATE (N): Ted Miller on WWL has more:
If Masoli can't play at UCLA, junior Nate Costa would start.
Costa was slated to be the starter in 2008 before he suffered a major knee injury during the preseason that required season-ending surgery -- the third such knee injury he's suffered.
Costa played well after replacing Masoli against the Cougars. He completed 7 of 9 passes for 80 yards and ran for 26 yards and a touchdown. For the year, he's 11 of 16 for 115 yards with 38 yards rushing.
Kelly said he believes Costa has put his injury history behind him.
"He's over it," Kelly said. "He's taken some hits in the two games he's played. He's scrambled around the pocket and done a nice job. If we have to go with Nate, I've got all the confidence in the world in him."
The Ducks No. 3 quarterback is sophomore Darron Thomas. Thomas saw some quality action last year as a true freshman, most notably while leading a late comeback against Boise State, but the goal is to redshirt him.
Losing Masoli would be a big hit. After a slow start -- a really slow start -- he's completed 35 of 43 passes -- 81.4 percent -- for 369 yards with four TDs and no interceptions over the past six quarters. He's also rushed for 73 yards and a score during that span.
Ducks have also have few other players nicked up, who Miller goes on to list. Either way I don't think Ducks fans are worrying all that much. I suspect Masoli is going to play and be himself when he comes out at the Rose Bowl this weekend. GO BRUINS.
UPDATE II (N): Another Duck injury report from Rob Mosely at the Register-Guard:
Kelly is optimistic Masoli can prepare to play against the Bruins.
“We’ll see what happens this week when Jeremiah starts practicing,” Kelly said.
Masoli was injured in the second quarter of last week’s win over Washington State, when a defender dove at his right leg to make a tackle. He watched the second half from the sideline wearing sweats, as did right tackle C.E. Kaiser (shin), who was on crutches again today.
If the Ducks have to shuffle their offensive line, Darrion Weems and/or Nick Cody will get the call. Both have played in every game this season, Kelly said.
The Ducks were also without running back Kenjon Barner (shoulder) and receiver Jamere Holland (knee) this morning.
Safety T.J. Ward, out since the opener with an ankle injury, did conditioning drills with coach Radcliffe and hopes to play at UCLA. He said he felt good after doing drills, which hasn’t always been the case the last couple weeks.
I am guessing Kaiser might not be ready for Saturday. However, it sounds like Weems and Cody are already part of their regular rotation. GO BRUINS.