With one more day of fall camp practices remaining before Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and the Ducks hunker down and begin preparation for LSU, the team held their third competition day in as many weeks, ending in a 113-113 tie that was decided by a 3-on-3 blocking drill that was ultimately won by the defense. The tight competition was just what the doctor ordered for Kelly, who said that his team could use the additional hitting as their preseason winds down.
"We needed it," Kelly stated. "I thought those guys did a really nice job. We went 3-on-3 by class, so we went freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and the defense won three out of the four (contests)."
Wednesday marks the final day practices for the Ducks will be open to the media and general public until the team departs for Dallas, as Kelly has called for closed practices starting with Thursday afternoon's session with officials. Though some major position battles still need to be decided, Kelly admitted that the staff already has a pretty good idea who their first-stringers will be.
"We're set and we already kind of know who our 1's are," said Kelly. "It's more trying to figure out who those other guys are...and for us coaches, it's more practice situations. We're so young with that many redshirt freshmen and true freshmen, we gotta try to get 'em through a scripted scenario."
When it comes to deciding which true freshmen will see early action September 3rd versus LSU, Kelly believes that most of those decisions will be finalized Thursday and Friday, after the coach gets an opportunity to meet with his staff.
"We'll start practicing again on Saturday, so we'll have a pretty good idea by Saturday," said Kelly regarding potential true freshmen contributors. "We have a lot of things to determine with Oz (Oregon tight ends/special teams coordinator Tom Osborne) and which of those guys is gonna contribute early on special teams. We're not gonna play somebody if they're only gonna play two to three snaps a game."
Tuesday's practice was also the ninth straight day sophomore wide receiver Josh Huff was absent from most of the action with the rest of the team. Huff has been nursing an undisclosed injury for approaching two weeks now, though no word has been given on his expected date of return. When asked after practice if he was concerned with Huff missing so much practice time, Kelly shrugged off any potential anxiety, saying he already knows what the Houston, TX product brings to the table.
"I can count on Huff," said Kelly. "Huff had 19 catches and over 1,000 all-purpose yards for us last year, so it's just a matter of whether he's 100 percent healthy. It looks like he's moving in that direction."
Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney
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