Oregon works to keep 'Speedy Ducks' reputation - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Oregon works to keep 'Speedy Ducks' reputation

Darron Thomas talks to reporters Thursday in Scottsdale, Arizona (WBRC photo, Jan. 6, 2011) Darron Thomas talks to reporters Thursday in Scottsdale, Arizona (WBRC photo, Jan. 6, 2011)

By Dennis Washington

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (WBRC) - Every Oregon football player uses the same word to describe their team's offense: fast, and they are happy to keep that reputation.

"No nicknames," says quarterback Darron Thomas. "Just 'Speedy Ducks.'

Thomas and others on the Oregon offense talked to reporters Thursday morning in Scottsdale, Arizona, before rushing off for another one of their intense, fast-paced practices. Oregon is preparing to play the Auburn Tigers in the BCS National Championship game on Monday.

Thomas said it is fun to run this offense.

"It is a fun, tight offense, equal opportunity offense," Thomas said. "A lot of people can score touchdowns."

Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich says Thomas is a critical part of the success of the Ducks' fast-paced offense.

"Darron has been awesome," Helfrich said Thursday. "Ever since he was named a starter, the most important thing about this team I thought was that next practice.
He had his best practice of his life. And even more impressive, Nate Costa had probably the best practice of his life. Those are two guys on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum the night before that both come out and have a great day. That's important from Nate of, "Hey, I'm still here" and Darron of, "Let's go, let's move on."

Helfrich says it is frustrating when other teams try to slow the game down to get the offense out of rhythm by faking injuries or slowly getting up out of the pile at the end of a play.

"It is something that our guys have been very resilient in their approach to some of those unconventional means of defense," Helfrich said. "We don't expect that and if something like that comes up, our guys will play through it."

Oregon plays Auburn Monday night at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN.

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