Lowe and Addison Ready for Game 2

Keanon Lowe (7) (Photo by Chris Wilson)

EUGENE, Ore. – Prior to the release of the depth chart a couple of weeks back, there was much speculation surrounding the wide receiver position for the Ducks. Though the Ducks did have a few returning starters in Josh Huff, Daryle Hawkins, and Rahsaan Vaughn, many knew the Ducks' receiving corps would see more than its fair share of new faces throughout the season.

Against the Arkansas State Red Wolves, many new faces stepped up on the receiving corps to make an impact in the Ducks' blowout 57-34 victory, two of the more notable pass catchers were Keanon Lowe and Bralon Addison.

Addison, a true freshman comes to the Ducks from Missouri City, Texas, had a reportedly outstanding fall camp that escalated him onto the two-deep depth chart and made him one of the more publicized Ducks coming out of preseason camps.

Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly, Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfirch and many other players and coaches alike all raved about Addison's skill set that was present at more than one position.

"He's a dynamic guy," Helfrich told the The Eugene Register-Guard in August. "He's not a 10.2 (second) 100-meter guy, but he's tough and elusive and I think that's what makes him hard to tackle."

Addison made his debut for the Ducks against Arkansas State and did what he has always done: impress. Though the young receiver racked up just three catches for 15 yards, jumping in and contributing the way he did and proving that he could get open was big in terms of how much Addison has grown since coming to college.

In fact, only two other players, De'Anthony Thomas and Lowe, had more catches (4) than Addison did all night.

"It was a great experience," said Addison of his first game as a collegian. "(From) my recruiting trip all the way up until the first game I was hearing about how crazy it gets on game day…I was anxious to get out there, anxious just to run through the tunnel and experience the crowd."

Entering the Fresno State game, Addison will be going up against a familiar face in Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter. Before signing a National Letter of Intent to the Oregon football program, Addison was actually a verbal commitment to a Texas A&M team that had DeRuyter as a defensive coordinator. DeRuyter was subsequently promoted to interim head coach after the firing of Mike Sherman. The departure of Sherman paved the way for Addison to come to Oregon and ultimately begin his fast ascent on the Ducks' initial depth chart.

Another player that has ascended quickly to the top of the depth chart after impressing coaches in camp is the largely unheralded Keanon Lowe. Lowe, a local prospect from Portland, had seen some playing time last season but figures to be a key piece of the Ducks' puzzle in 2012 as he is listed at one of the starting receiver spots.

In his first game as a starter, Lowe brought in four catches for 34 yards with a long of 21 (yards).

Lowe consistently showed the ability to get open, a skill that was not more apparent than when the young receiver reeled in a third and long pass from Marcus Mariota to keep the Ducks' first drive alive.

"I wouldn't say it was a surprise," said Lowe on being listed as a starter on the initial depth chart. "I've just been working so hard all last summer and spring and pretty much ever since I've been here. It was kind of like hard work paying off."

Added Lowe on his first career start at Autzen: "It was my first start at Autzen so it was fun to get out there and make a couple plays. It was everything I had ever dreamed of."

One of the players that helped to make Lowe's debut was his quarterback, Marcus Mariota.

Mariota, who was also making his first career start and appearance for the Ducks, showcased his deadly accuracy as he dissected the Red Wolves' defense for 200 yards and three touchdowns in just a quarter and a half of play. Despite fans and college football analysts gasping at the young quarterback's superb skills and poise, Lowe was quick to point out that the player from Saturday night has been around all preseason camp.

"That's how he is day in and day out at practice," said Lowe when speaking on Mariota. "Even through fall camp he was killing like that. He's just going to continue to grow from that experience and it will be exciting how far he can go."

The next opportunity for both Mariota and Lowe to see in-game action will be when they play Fresno State on Saturday at Autzen Stadium.

Fresno State, coming off of a four win season, is a big underdog coming in to play the Ducks. Despite all of those expecting a blowout, the Ducks are not underestimating the talent on the Fresno roster.

Lowe expanded on Addison's remark that the Fresno State defense plays a fast, exciting, and aggressive style of football.

"The way they, just as a defense, run to the ball (is fast)," observed Lowe of Fresno State. "They're a real aggressive defense and they look like they're going to be ready to play."

Lowe felt the Fresno State game is "is going to be a dog fight."

Catch Keanon Lowe, Bralon Addison, and the Oregon Ducks on Saturday as they host the Fresno State Bulldogs at Autzen Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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