RB Jonathan Stewart (PHOTO BY: John Giustina)

2006 Statistics

Coach: Mike Bellotti
97-48, 12 years
2006 Record: 7-6
at Fresno State WON 31-24
at Arizona State WON 48-13
at California LOST 24-45
UCLA WON 30-20
at Washington State LOST 23-34
at Southern California LOST 10-35
at Oregon State LOST 28-30
Brigham Young LOST 8-38

2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

Mike Belotti has had his ups and downs as head coach here. Last year was a microcosm of his 12 year career in Eugene – after going 10-2 in 2005 and then winning five of their first six, the Ducks quacked, losing five of their last seven and four in a row to end 2006. But instead of hiring a new coordinator for the defense after finishing 89th for scoring allowed, Belotti got a new one for his No.9 (total) offense, (the very qualified) Chip Wilson…hmmm. As the team’s former OC (1989-94), maybe Belotti knows what he is doing. Still, with a senior returning starter at QB and all-conference guys at running back, wide receiver and left tackle, why mess with something that already works? The defense will again be full of talent, but 11th-year DC Nick Aliotti has to instill consistency in their efforts, something that has been missing from his troops’ performance since 2001. The rushing defense seems to need attention after finishing 78th, but an unusually strong incoming class should provide enough talent that neither injury nor lack of capable bodies will be a problem. Working out of their 4-2-5 set, stopping strong running foes like Fresno, Cal, USC and Michigan will be a chore. Whereas last year looked promising, this year looks dubious, at best. The player potential is there, and the Ducks will beat a few teams that seem better. But in losing to some that they shouldn’t, one must look up the ladder for reasons why when this much talent can’t equal more wins. You’ll likely see why we think this Oregon squad has to prove itself by climbing out of obscurity before being anointed with a high ranking. There is almost no easy foe on their schedule, so if they can finish in the top 25 – even with four or five losses, as long as they are close ones and not in a row at the end – it will have been a successful campaign.

Projected 2007 record: 7-5
QB - 4 DL - 3
RB - 4.5 LB - 2.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 4
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Dennis Dixon, 197-322-14, 2143 yds., 12 TD

Rushing: Jonathan Stewart, 183 att., 981 yds., 10 TD

Receiving: Jaison Williams, 68 rec., 984 yds., 6 TD

Scoring: Jonathan Stewart, 11 TD, 66 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Matt Evensen, 1-3 FG, 6-6 PAT, 9 pts.

Tackles: Patrick Chung, 84 tot., 49 solo

Sacks: Nick Reed, 3.5 sacks

Interceptions: Jairus Byrd, 5 for 30 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Jonathan Stewart, 23 ret., 28.1 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns:
Patrick Chung, 14 ret., 12.1 avg., 1 TD


OT Max Unger (PHOTO: Eric Evans)
OFFENSE: Jordan Kent-WR, James Finley-WR, Dante Rosario-TE, Enoka Lucas-C, Palauni Ma Sun-OG, Paul Martinez-K
DEFENSE: Darius Sanders-DE, Matt Toeaina-DT, Brent Haberly-WLB, Blair Phillips-MLB, J.D. Nelson-FS, Aaron Knowles-P

Now under the direction of new coordinator Chip Kelly, what was already the No.9 total offense has the look of improving since most of its major weapons return. Senior QB Dennis Dixon, already dangerous with his dual-threat capabilities (third in team rushing), will also be tutored by Kelly directly to maximize his potential. Brady Leaf doesn’t quite have his brother Ryan’s prowess nor Dixon’s quick feet, but more poignant injections – like we saw in 2006 - will again prove why he deserves reps behind center, too. The nation’s top RB recruit coming in two years ago, all-conference junior starter Jonathan Stewart will explode in the Duck’s (new) spread attack, as will classmate and 1-a back Jeremiah Johnson. Both have soft hands, though Johnson had a higher per carry average than Stewart and marginally better pass blocking skills to earn his place. All-Pac 10 left tackle Max Unger, held out of spring drills along with senior right tackle Geoff Schwartz, gives security that this can again be a top 25 offense for both running and passing. Both are expected back at full strength by fall. Last year’s understudies take over their roles at center (Kendall) and right guard (So’oalo), although the Ducks will still not be quite as deep at these two slots as they are behind the other returning starters. Ed Dickson is ready to be the next great Oregon tight end, and this oft-used position needs his 6’5 frame and his all-around skills (can even punt effectively). Springfield-native Ryan Keeling will continue to be used in blocking situations mostly, but he can snarl, too. Big junior Jaison Williams, who broke weight room records for Duck receivers, is also the second-fastest member of the corps to prove his all-conference and No.1 status. Seniors Brian Paysinger and Garren Strong also highlight a rather deep group that is almost all six-foot-plus and gets two new four-star members. A notice to Oregon’s foes – seven Duck receivers had rushing attempts in ’06. Kelly set offensive records at New Hampshire (I-AA), so what was already an aggressive offensive approach will only become more productive.


WR Jaison Williams (PHOTO BY: Eric Evans)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Dennis Dixon-Sr (6-4, 205) Brady Leaf-Sr (6-5, 225)
TB Jonathan Stewart-Jr (5-11, 230) Jeremiah Johnson-Jr (5-9, 205)
WR Garren Strong-Sr (6-3, 203) Ryan Mattice-Jr (6-3, 204)
WR Jaison Williams-Jr (6-5, 240) Rory Cavaille-So (6-3, 210)
WR Brian Paysinger-Sr (6-2, 208) Cameron Colvin-Sr (6-2, 207)
TE Ed Dickson-So (6-5, 240) Ryan Keeling-Jr (6-5, 254)
OT Max Unger-Jr (6-5, 306) Mark Lewis-Jr (6-4, 308)
OG Josh Tschirgi-Sr (6-4, 299) Jon Teague-Jr (6-2, 301)
C Jeff Kendall-Jr (6-3, 297) Jordan Holmes-Fr (6-4, 295)
OG Pat So'oalo-Sr (6-5, 332) C.E. Kaiser-Fr (6-4, 293)
OT Geoff Schwartz-Sr (6-7, 337) Jacob Hucko-Jr (6-7, 317)
K Matt Evensen-Jr (6-1, 194) Daniel Padilla-Fr (6-1, 210)



Ninth-year coordinator Nick Aliotti has his work cut out after his schemes brought Oregon a 42nd ranking for total effort but 78th in rushing defense and 89th in scoring allowed. To boot, the top two tacklers (total and TFL) are history. Ostensibly, it all starts with the Duck DL, and they look strong on paper from the inside out. Tackles Gibbs and Linehan, both held back in spring due to injuries, will figure in the mix with Dave Faaeteete and Sonny Harris. But look out for two new four-star prospects to see the field if there are consistency problems again clogging the middle. Nick Reed has somewhat less depth behind him, but they are still stacked with guys hungry to bring this unit back amongst the conference’s best rushing defenses. Keep an eye on senior JUCO-transfer Dexter Manley II (yes, he is the son of who you think and he runs a 4.5-40) and Brandon Bair, whose strong spring had coaches taking notice. Look for liberal rotations here, too, as results dictate who gets reps. In this 4-2-5, senior A.J. Tuitele is the only returning starter at linebacker (weakside), but quick senior John Bacon should fit nicely after being a vital, worthy backup in the middle. The Ducks on the corner both garnered Freshman All-American honors last campaign, with Jarius Byrd also earning Pac 10 co-Freshman of the Year as he led the team in INTs (five). Junior rover Pat Chung, the third all-conference member of the secondary, cleans up as well on running plays as he does in coverage (four INTs). Big hitters Kwame Agyeman and Jerome Boyd need to deliver more in coverage from their shared strong safety slot after neither had either any INTs nor any passes defended. Senior Ryan DePalo, promoted after excelling as a reserve, is now out after tearing his ACL this spring, so Matthew Harper will probably start at free safety. Harper should still help to secure another top 20 pass defense. Oregon’s six losses occurred in games when foes scored 30 or more points, and it would have been seven if a ref’s mistake hadn’t helped them in beating Oklahoma. The mix of budding youth, new faces and experienced upperclassmen gives Aliotti plenty with which to work, so we will have to look in his direction if this much talent cannot produce better, more consistent results.


ROV Patrick Chung (PHOTO BY: John Giustina)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Victor Filipe-Sr (6-2, 282) Dexter Manley-Sr (6-2, 280)
Will Tukuafu-So (6-3, 279)
DT David Faaeteete-Sr (6-2, 310) Cole Linehan-Jr (6-4, 304)
DT Jeremy Gibbs-Sr (6-3, 290) Ra'Shon Harris-Jr (6-5, 321)
DE Nick Reed-Jr (6-2, 255) Brandon Bair-Fr (6-7, 250)
WLB A.J. Tuitele-Sr (5-11, 226) Spencer Paysinger-Fr (6-2, 222)
MLB John Bacon-Jr (6-3, 227) Erik Elshire-Jr (6-0, 220)
CB Jairus Byrd-So (5-11, 208) Willie Glasper-So (5-11, 184)
CB Walter Thurmond-So (6-0, 180) Jameel Dowling-Sr (6-2, 198)
ROV Patrick Chung-Jr (5-11, 210) Marvin Johnson-Fr (5-10, 197)
SS Kwame Agyeman-Sr (5-11, 205) Jerome Boyd-Jr (6-2, 220)
FS Matthew Harper-Sr (6-0, 181) Terrell Ward-So (5-10, 191)
P Josh Syria-Jr (6-3, 232) Tim Taylor-So (5-11, 194)


Transfer Josh Syria at punter has really impressed coaches with great results this offseason, so look for improvements in their 90th-ranked net results. The kicking game has struggled to find consistency in their efforts to replace Paul Martinez. Matt Evensen handled the duties in the spring. But look for incoming freshman Daniel Padilla, who finished second in the state of California in field goals made to get a quick crack at earning the honors. Not even Luke Belotti, the coaches’ son, has solidified this position. Stewart and Chung as kick and punt returners, respectively, work well, with Stewart finishing sixth in the nation and Chung returning one of his 14 tries to the house.