Tuitele, Ducks suffer a bad break.Byline: Rob Moseley The Register-Guard
Senior A.J. Tuitele, 19-game starter at linebacker and a UO team captain, might miss the rest of the regular season after suffering a broken foot in the Ducks' 31-24 loss to California at Autzen Stadium The stadium is tucked between the Willamette River and Coburg Hills. The uniquely shaped bowl blends in with the wooded Eugene landscape. The shape also allows for unique acoustics, making it one of the loudest stadiums in NCAA Football for its capacity. on Saturday.
Tuitele initially suffered what UO coach Mike Bellotti Robert Michael Bellotti (b. December 21, 1950 in Sacramento, California) has been the head coach of the University of Oregon football team since 1995. His accomplishments at Oregon include an 11-1 season and #2 national ranking in 2001. Education
M.S. called a "stress reaction" in his foot during practice this week. He started Saturday's game but aggravated ag·gra·vate
tr.v. ag·gra·vat·ed, ag·gra·vat·ing, ag·gra·vates
1. To make worse or more troublesome.
2. To rouse to exasperation or anger; provoke. See Synonyms at annoy. the injury early on and was in a sweatsuit on the sideline by the second quarter.
"We're going to miss A.J.," Bellotti said. "He's a captain. He's one of our playmakers Playmakers is a TV series on ESPN that depicted the lives of the players on a fictional professional football team. The show starred Omar Gooding, Marcello Thedford, Christopher Wiehl, Jason Matthew Smith, Russell Hornsby and Tony Denison. . That's a difficult guy to have go down. Obviously we hope to get him back at some point in the season, or at least for the bowl game. His leadership, he'll still be a presence out there on the field."
Tuitele, a 5-foot-11, 226-pound native of Wilmington, Calif., entered Saturday as Oregon's fifth-leading tackler with 21 stops in four games. Prior to the season, he was elected one of the Ducks' four captains in a vote of the players.
Bellotti said Tuitele will likely have a surgical screw implanted to help the injury heal and will miss at least six to eight weeks.
In Tuitele's place, Kwame Agyeman got most of the snaps at weakside linebacker Saturday.
Agyeman had two missed tackles in the third quarter and was pulled in favor of Kevin Garrett Kevin Garrett (born July 29, 1980 in San Benito, Texas) is an American football cornerback with the Carolina Panthers of the NFL. Garrett attended Southern Methodist University and was drafted in the 2003 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. after the second. But he bounced back with consecutive tackles for loss of Cal running back Justin Forsett Justin Forsett (born October 14, 1985) is a Running Back for the California Golden Bears football team. He wears the number 20. College career
He has been mostly a backup player in his 3 years at California, playing behind J.J. Arrington and Marshawn Lynch. as the UO defense made the stop that set the stage for Oregon's final offensive possession.
Agyeman started all 13 games at strongside linebacker last season before giving way to Jerome Boyd at that position this fall. He finished with five tackles Saturday and has 22 for the season.
Gibbs' first start comes
after grandmother's death
Two days after the passing of his maternal grandmother, Jeremy Gibbs made his first start of the season at defensive end for the Ducks on Saturday.
Gibbs' grandmother died Thursday afternoon, causing the UO senior to miss the beginning of that day's practice. His position coach described him as emotional both during Friday's walk-through and prior to Saturday's game.
"Initially I didn't know where his focus was," UO defensive line coach Michael Gray For other people named Michael Gray, see .
Michael Gray (born August 3, 1974 in Sunderland, United Kingdom), sometimes known as Micky Gray, is an English football player who plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. as a full-back. He wears the number 33 shirt for the club. said. "Just getting through practice was tough for him Friday."
Gray said Gibbs replaced Will Tukuafu in the starting lineup For the line of action figures, see .
A starting lineup in sports refers to the set of players actively participating in the event when the game begins. The players in the starting lineup are commonly referred to as starters, whereas the others are substitutes based both on his play to this point in the season and in practice this week. The coach debated going back to Tukuafu in the wake of Gibbs losing his grandmother but stuck by the decision.
When Oregon emerged from the tunnel for Saturday's game, Gibbs ran to midfield and took a knee, then pointed to the sky before heading to the sideline. Gibbs finished with two tackles, two quarterback hurries and one pass tipped away at the line of scrimmage line of scrimmage
n. pl. lines of scrimmage Football
Either of two imaginary lines extending across the field parallel to the goal line at the ends of the ball as it rests prior to being snapped and at which each team lines up for .
Gray said Gibbs' grandmother had been hospitalized since late summer due to an illness.
Ducks' kick team keeps
California under wraps
The Ducks were intent upon limiting big plays by Cal's kick returners, and were mostly successful.
On kickoffs, in which Cal came in 11th nationally in returns and Oregon was 96th in coverage, the Ducks used two kickers making their 2007 debuts to stymie sty·mie also sty·my
tr.v. sty·mied , sty·mie·ing also sty·my·ing , sty·mies
To thwart; stump: a problem in thermodynamics that stymied half the class.
1. the Bears. Mixing squibs by Luke Bellotti and pooch kicks by Morgan Flint, UO allowed Cal 9.8 yards per return, though the Bears' average field position after a UO kickoff was the 37-yard line.
Oregon punter Josh Syria averaged 42 yards per attempt on his first four kicks, mostly keeping the ball away from Cal return man DeSean Jackson DeSean Jackson (born December 1 1986 in Long Beach, California) is a college football wide receiver and punt return specialist for the California Golden Bears. As of 2007-09-13, he has scored touchdowns on 20 percent of his career punt returns for California (6 of 29). , who is one of the best in the country but had just one return yard Saturday. Jackson called for a fair catch on Syria's fifth punt of the day, a 26-yarder that gave Cal possession at the 50.
Jeremy Gibbs chases down California's Justin Forsett during Saturday's game at Autzen Stadium.