Ducks discourage Rose Bowl discussion

2009-11-17T00:00:00Z Ducks discourage Rose Bowl discussion Patrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 17, 2009 12:00 am  • 

oregon notebook

The last time the Oregon Ducks played in the Rose Bowl, freshman running back LaMichael James was 5 years old.

The day was Jan. 2, 1995, and quarterback Danny O'Neil - remember that name? - broke 13 Rose Bowl records in a loss to Penn State.

Don't ask coach Chip Kelly about that year, or even about the time between that game and Monday's practice.

"I haven't been here for 15 years," he said. "I'm not that smart. I can't look back that far....

"We don't look at things through a rear-view mirror."

The Ducks are two wins - one Saturday at Arizona Stadium, the other in the Civil War against Oregon State - from booking a ticket to Pasadena, Calif. You wouldn't know it by speaking with the coach Monday.

"We haven't talked about the Rose Bowl," Kelly said. "Again, we haven't talked about the idea. It's been our approach all year long, and it hasn't changed. We're not about an end-goal operation. We're a process deal."

The "Win the Day" motto has worked thus far for the Ducks (8-1, 6-2), who have been entrenched atop the Pac-10 since losing by 11 in the opener against Boise State.

Oregon and the Wildcats are the only conference teams guaranteed a Rose Bowl if they win out.

"It's come down to the stretch here," Kelly said. "Everything rides on this game here against Arizona. Our players wouldn't want it any other way."

Praise for Foles

Kelly said the Wildcats have "two distinct offenses" and singled out the UA's effectiveness in a four-wide receiver set. Earlier this season, UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel lauded that offensive set as the Wildcats' most dangerous.

"They really present some problems when they put that speed on the field at wideout," Kelly said.

Kelly said Cal did an excellent job of putting pressure on UA quarterback Nick Foles, whom he praised as one of the conference's many good young signal-callers.

"He just has such a great feel for their offense," he said. "He's so quick at recognizing things and getting the ball out of his hands."

Extra points

• Kelly said the Ducks have "two, maybe three" significant players who were in Tucson two years ago when the Wildcats shattered Oregon's national title dreams 34-24.

"It's of no consequence to our players," he said.

• Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli "was on fire" in Monday morning's practice, Kelly said, calling it maybe his best of the year.

• Ed Dickson was named one of eight semifinalists Monday for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's best tight end.

• James, who has 1,193 yards this season, needs 42 yards to jump from seventh to third place on the Oregon single-season list.

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