QB Kellen Clemens (PHOTO BY Eric Evans)

2003 Statistics

Coach: Mike Bellotti
75-34, 9 years
2003 Record: 8-5
at Mississippi State WON 42-34
at Arizona WON 48-10
at Utah LOST 13-17
at Arizona State LOST 14-59
at Washington LOST 10-42
at UCLA WON 31-13
Minnesota LOST 30-31

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

Prior to Mike Belotti's arrival, a .500 season was nearly unimaginable for the Oregon football program. Yet riches are beginning to spoil fans and raise expectations, as the Duck faithful are not merely satisfied with seven and eight win seasons. They are in for happier times ahead, as this team on paper has the talent and schedule to provide a magical season in Eugene, provided a few improvements occur.

For starters, the inconsistencies on the scoreboard need to stop. Oregon is too talented to be taking weeks off - average point difference in losses to Wazzu, ASU, and Washington was nearly 27 points in three of four consecutive weeks. Another major area of concern is durability as the team was outscored 125-47 in the fourth quarter of games. Some of this comes from the injuries and new faces that had to be sorted out as the year progressed. Finally, this team goes as far as the pass defense can carry them when it comes to in conference play. Although the secondary players may not drastically improve, pass defenses can also just get better by alternating schemes and the coaching staff seemed to get that message (too) late in the season. Oregon wound up 46th in pass-efficiency defense as compared to 105th for just pass defense, so they have the makings of a unit that knows how to make the play when needed

These coaches know what they are doing and they have recruited a football team that has speed built upon speed. Quarterback Kellen Clemons is poised to become a household name and he will do it with his legs and throws downfield to Tim Day and Demetrius Williams. Offensively, Oregon will have one of the nation's most dangerous units and the combination of this prowess, a steady run defense and expected strengths on special teams will lead to a campaign keeping Oregon near the top of a vastly improved Pac-ten. Combine this with the fact Oregon will not have to play USC and has a relatively easy opening four games of the season, and this team should be flying high much to the delight of Duck Nation in 2004.

Projected 2004 record: 8-3
QB - 3.5 DL - 4
RB - 3.5 LB - 3
WR - 3 DB - 2.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Kellen Clemens, 304-182-9, 2400 yds., 18 TD

Rushing: Terrence Whitehead, 192 att., 737 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: Demetrius Williams, 51 rec., 935 yds., 8 TD

Scoring: Jared Siegel, 13-19 FG, 45-45 PAT, 84 pts.

Punting: Paul Martinez, 72 punts, 37.0 avg.

Kicking: Jared Siegel, 13-19 FG, 45-45 PAT, 51 long

Tackles: Jerry Matson, 81 tot., 59 solo, 14.5 TFL

Sacks: Devan Long, 10.5 sacks

Interceptions: Justin Phinisee, 2 for 8 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Kenny Washington, 23 ret., 24.8 avg., 1 TD

Punt Returns:
Justin Phinisee, 8 ret., 7.4 avg.


DT Haloti Ngata (PHOTO CREDIT - Eric Evans)
OFFENSE: Samie Parker-WR, Dan Weaver-C, Jason Fife-QB, Matt Floberg-FB
DEFENSE: Quinn Dorsey-DE, Junior Siavii-DT, Kevin Mitchell-ILB, David Martin-OLB, Steven Moore-CB, Keith Lewis-FS, Igor Olshansky-DE (NFL)
A rotating quarterback system was effective in helping Oregon off to a great start, but soon lead to more confusion than production. The struggling offense then handed over the sole reigns to Kellen Clemons, and never looked back. Alone in the spotlight, Clemons excelled as a mobile and excitable team leader on the field who finished the year with 18 touchdown passes and an outstanding 60% completion rate. He is a player's quarterback who will run and take hits. The junior's passion for the game is contagious and when on a role makes this Duck offense really fly. The backup should be big 6'4 sophomore Johnny DuRocher, a pure passer with a quick-release and Gatorade Player of the Year honors out of the state of Washington.

Running Back
Terrence Whitehead is a speedy tailback who struggled to a 3.5 yards per carry average for '03, which was the team's number, too. Similar to quarterback, the team used a running game by committee early in the season, splitting carries between Whitehead, Ryan Shaw, Chris Vincent and Kenny Washington. As a result, whoever wins the starting job will have lots of depth, but will also have to become the 1,000 yard rusher the Ducks have been missing - this committee stuff won't work again. Vincent possesses some of the talents of former Duck Onterrio Smith and could get a shot to move up the depth charts this spring. All the backs are commonly used in the passing game as well. Fullback Dante Rosario, an athletic marvel, is generally used as a blocker, but coaches are looking at ways to use his athleticism and hands more in the passing game.

Wide Receiver
Replacing Sammie Parker will take a group effort from the Ducks' seemingly endless line of speed-burners at receiver. Leading the way will be one of college football's most explosive runners in junior Demetrius Williams. Now the main man, Williams should have an all-conference season. After him, the drop in productivity is overshadowed by the wealth of talent starting with five-star recruit, Cameron Colvin. Colvin gives the team a big target and should make an immediate impact. Kellen Taylor and Marcus Maxwell bring needed depth and experience, while sophomore Kyle Weatherspoon is creating buzz with his game breaking abilities. With the efficient style of offense that this team runs, the key to winning the coaches over will be who runs the best routes and is fastest to learn the complex passing system. Bet on the incumbents to start.

Tight End
Tim Day earned the starting nod and finished with a flurry by catching almost half of his 20 receptions during the season's final three games, all Duck wins. The tight end is a key weapon in the Oregon passing game and Day, a huge physical target at 267 pounds, is poised to have an All-American season.

Offensive Line
Four starters return from an offensive line that under-performed a year ago by allowing 35 sacks and paving the way for only 3.5 yards per carry. The talent is there, as evidenced in a dominant blocking performance against Michigan early in '03, and that is expected to lead to major levels of improvement for 2004. The only question mark will be at center where Josh Hagemeyer looks to start anew. Robin Knebel and Adam Snyder provide massive bookend tackles, while Nick Steitz and Ian Reynoso shore up the inside. The size and athletes are in place, but the pension last year was to wear down late in games and this will need to be addressed via improved off-season training regiments. A lot is demanded of this unit to execute the dynamic offensive game plan, but this crew will wear its scars as the stripes of experience that will ultimately prove successful.

Oregon coach Mike Bellotti made a decision last year on the offensive side of the ball to choose roster stability over chaos. With the returning talent in this offensive group, this choice will pay off. To move to the next level will depend upon just how much the running game improves upon last year's meager yards per carry average. The Ducks execute one of college football's more complex offenses. Mainly from the I-formation, the game plan calls for multiple player shifts and motion, complex run-blocking schemes and a tremendously intricate play-action passing game. The Ducks run the ball a bit less (but about the same amount) as they pass, which means probably over 400 pass attempts again. Because of this, experience is mandatory at quarterback, and, in Clemons, the team will have the right player in charge.


OT Adam Snyder (PHOTO CREDIT - Eric Evans)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Kellen Clemens-Jr (6-2, 215) Johnny DuRocher-Fr (6-4, 215)
FB Dante Rosario-So (6-4, 247) Jerome Johnson-Fr (6-0, 246)
TB Terrence Whitehead-Jr (5-10, 210) Kenny Washington-Sr (6-0, 207)
WR Kyle Weatherspoon-So (6-1, 189) Garren Strong-Fr (6-3, 185)
Jordan Carey-So (5-11, 200)
WR Demetrius Williams-Jr (6-2, 190) Marcus Maxwell-Sr (6-5, 205)
Brian Paysinger-Fr (6-2, 198)
TE Tim Day-Jr (6-4, 267) Dan Kause-So (6-4, 245)
OT Adam Snyder-Sr (6-6, 320) Shawn Flanagan-So (6-5, 286)
OG Nick Steitz-Sr (6-4, 319) Josh Tschirgi-Fr (6-4, 286
C Enoka Lucas-So (6-2, 304) Josh Hagemeyer-jr (6-4, 257)
OG Ian Reynoso-Jr (6-3, 289) Sean Cullen-Fr (6-2, 270)
OT Robin Knebel-Sr (6-6, 319) Mike DeLaGrange-Sr (6-6, 350)
K Jared Siegel-Sr (5-10, 189) Luke Bellotti-Fr (5-9, 170)
Nick Steitz....STYTZ
Enoka Lucas....E-NOKE-a
Robin Knebel....Kah-NEE-bull
Jared Siegel....SEE-gul
Johnny DuRocher....Due-ROE-shur
Dan Kause....COWSE
Josh Tschirgi....CHUR-gee
Mike DeLaGrange....Dee-la-GRANGE


Defensive Line
Seldom have the Ducks fielded a front as individually talented. This group has the ability to dominate and the headliner is highly touted, Haloti Ngata. When Ngata is healthy, he is as dominant a run-stopper as anybody in the country. His quickness and strength make him a sure-fire All-American. End Devan Long emerged on the scene with 10.5 sacks. He is the total package on the outside. The team will rotate schemes, focusing primarily out of the four-three. Tackle Robby Valenzuela and speedy, talented Darius Sanders will be on the field to assist inside. Few teams ask their defensive line to be as aggressive up the field as does Oregon where coaches like to let things loose.

The departure of Kevin Mitchell in the middle makes linebacker a question mark position. The coaches will depend on major improvements from returning starter, Jerry Matson, to lead the way. Matson possesses adequate speed but is poor at pass coverage and reading the plays. The Ducks traditionally implore three smaller, faster linebackers, designed to effectively combat the pass-first tendencies of Pac-ten opponents with an ability to bring the blitz that much faster. But the unit struggled early and often, being exploited as the year progressed after the defensive front began to get worn down and banged up. There are some talented players in Anthony Trucks and Reggie Kearney, but overall improvement looks to be a season away.

Defensive Back
Pass defense has been a weakness the past two seasons, ranking 46th in '03. Corner Justin Phinisee is solid in coverage and tackling in the open field, but does not have the speed to handle receivers down field one-on-one. Duck coaches put a lot of pressure on their back-four in coverage as the front-seven attacks, leaving corners in isolated instances. Unfortunately, the abilities of the personnel do not match the needs, as this group is more effective being physical than on the run. The safeties will have to play an improved supporting role and this will be in the hands of senior rover, Marley Tucker, and J.D. Nelson. Nelson is a solid hitter with the abilities to support the run while Tucker brings a mean-spirited aggressiveness and attitude to the game. Both will need to improve their pass support help and this could effectively lie in the hands of the coaches changing the game plan. But experience here will also pay off by campaign's end.

Having one of college football's worst pass defenses does not bode well for Oregon in a conference that is pass-happy. Inconsistencies all season plagued the team, as in their eight wins they allowed an average of 18 points, while in their five losses they allowed 41 points per tilt. The front-four will carry the play as the pass defense will remain a weakness, just not to the proportions of the past. Running more conservative defensive schemes such as cover-twos, soft zones, as well as employing less blitzing, was seen late in the season last year and should remain for this year as well. Last year was the first for a new secondary coach and so the jury is still out on how flexible the coaches will be in adapting to some personnel realities.


KR Kenny Washington (PHOTO CREDIT - Eric Evans)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Darius Sanders-Jr (6-5, 274) Josh Thomas-Dotson-Fr (6-2, 220)
DT Robby Valenzuela-Sr (6-2, 303) Matt Toeaina-So (6-3, 282)
DT Haloti Ngata-So (6-5, 345) Nuvraj Bassi-Jr (6-6, 290)
DE Devan Long-Jr (6-4, 265) Chris Solomona-Sr (6-5, 288)
SLB Anthony Trucks-Jr (6-1, 231) Reggie Kerney-So (6-2, 210)
MLB Jerry Matson-Sr (6-1, 225) Joe Isaac-Fr (6-1, 225)
WLB Ramone Reed-Sr (6-2, 226) Marcus Miller-Sr (6-2, 223)
CB Rodney Woods-Sr (5-10, 185) Ryan Gilliam-Fr (5-9, 168)
CB Justin Phinisee-Jr (5-11, 199) Marques Binns-Jr (5-11, 163)
ROV Marley Tucker-Sr (6-0, 186) Aaron Gipson-Jr (5-9, 175)
FS J.D. Nelson-So (5-11, 205) Charles Favroth-Sr (5-11, 185)
P Paul Martinez-So (6-1, 203) Drew Larson-So (6-2, 199)
Haloti Ngata....Ha-LOTE-ee NAH-ta
Justin Phinisee....FIN-ch-see
Matt Toeaina....Toe-AAN-a
Nuvraj Bassi....NAHV-ra BAH-see
Marques Binns....Mark-us




Kicker Jared Siegel is looking to regain his form as one of the nation's top kickers. He has a strong and accurate leg, which helped him to be a finalist for the Groza Award a few years back, but Jared struggled last year in missing six of sixteen kicks (three of the six were from 53 yards, so…). Siegel is only 19 points shy of being the school's all-time scoring leader.

Paul Martinez, who struggled by averaging only 37 yards per kick and having two punts blocked a year ago, will handle punting duties.

Return Game
Any time a team has speed like Oregon, there will always be danger lurking in the return game. Kenny Washington averaged over 24 yards a return and received first-team all-league honors. Punt return duties will be up in the air but surely the coaches will find a speedy, electric player to fulfill the role admirably.