It’s almost been two weeks since the No. 4 Oregon Ducks have been together on the football field as a unit – a 48-24 thrashing of in-state rival Oregon State on Saturday November 24th.
After a nice rest and fall term finals, the Ducks get back to work today to begin preparations to face No. 5 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on January 3rd.
Now that final exams are over and the official holiday break begins, Chip Kelly and his Ducks will begin their first of four consecutive practice sessions today ( Friday ) before taking a three day break on Tuesday.
Week two of practice begins again next Friday with another set of four workouts ( Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday ) with the final set of practice sessions scheduled for December 19th – 21st before breaking for the Christmas holiday.
According to the team schedule, Oregon will then reconvene as a unit in Phoenix on Wednesday December 26th to continue their workouts before taking on the Wildcats on January 3rd at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
Like they did in 2010 when they prepared to play Auburn in the BCS National Championship game, Oregon will practice in the desert at Pinnacle High School in Phoenix. The Ducks begin those workouts on Thursday December 27th.
BARNER MISSES ON DOAK WALKER AWARD
In last evenings college football awards show in Orlando, Florida, Oregon senior running back Kenjon Barner gave way to Wisconsin tailback Montee Ball for the 2012 Doak Walker Award given to college football’s most valuable running back.
Barner, Montee Ball and UCLA’s Jonathan Franklin were the finalists for the award.
Barner finished the regular season ranked 5th among college football backs with an average of 135 yards per game. Barner tallied a total of 1,624 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.
Ball, also a senior, rushed for an average of 133 yards per game which ranked him 7th among all national running backs. Ball also had 21 touchdowns and 1,730 total rushing yards.
Barner also scored his third national award by being selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
The Walter Camp Award raises Barner’s status to a Consensus All-American by being selected to three of the five all-american teams. ( American Football Coaches Association, Sporting News, Walter Camp All-America Team )
If selected to the All-America teams by the Associated Press and Football Writers Association of America, Barner would then become a unanimous selection among collegiate all-americans.
As a consensus all-american, Barner becomes only the sixth player / selection in Oregon history to reach that plateau. The others are LaMichael James ( twice ), running back Mel Renfro, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and defensive back Cliff Harris.
If Barner were to be selected as a unanimous all-american, he would join LaMichael James as the only other player in Oregon football history to be selected in that category.