Fresh off the shellacking of UCLA the Ducks hit the practice field Monday morning and were up-beat and impressively fast and efficient. After practice Kelly talked about how impressed they were following the win and an extra few days off.
“They did a nice job,” Kelly commented. “We had a good run on Friday morning and we watched film which was good to get out of the way. Then they came out today in shells and responded really well.”
“I think our players understand that we win because of our preparation and we win because of how hard we practice.”
Kelly doesn’t like to count the stars in terms of recruiting for his players but had no problem giving the Trojans the love when asked about the USC Trojans talent on both sides of the ball.
“They are the most talented team in our league, by far,” said Kelly. Kelly would note that they have four and five-star recruits across the board and to beat the Trojans will take a tough effort.
The one player that Kelly did comment on was USC sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley who has been on a tear this season throwing for 20 touchdowns and leading the conference in that category.
“I think USC’s quarterback is one of the really, really good quarterbacks in this country,” Kelly said. “He’s thrown the most touchdowns in the Pac-10 and they got an outstanding set of receivers in Ronald Johnson and Robert Woods.”
Kelly also called Johnson one of the best return guys in the nation as well.
Kenjon Barner was still out of practice today and didn’t appear to my eyes until the end. That said he looked upbeat and into the practice. His status is still uncertain.
Senior linebacker Casey Matthews made a nice one handed scoop for an interception that caught my eye and a few onlookers.
Dior Mathis returned a kick-off for a would be touchdown during special teams work on kick-off coverage. Mathis has been improving each week at returning kicks and today showed his elite speed.
ESPN College Football analyst Robert Smith called Oregon’s defense a complete fraud last Friday after the Ducks beat the UCLA Bruins and Monday Kelly had little to say about the comment.
“I don’t care, said Kelly. “I think he picked us number one too.”
Kelly singled out sophomore defensive end Dion Jordan on his play on special teams against UCLA. He also said this team is still really young with a few freshman and a lot of sophomores getting action.
The injury report had RB Kenjo Barner (Head), CB Anthony Gildton (leg), OL Nick Rowland (sick), and DE Terrell Turner (leg) listed.