DUCKS NOTES: Some UO players face discipline after game filled with chirping
PASADENA, Calif. Some Oregon football players were seen and heard mocking Florida State fans' tomahawk chop to the team's war chant during Thursday's Rose Bowl, saying the words "no means no," a reference to FSU quarterback Jameis Winston's sexual assault case.
UO coach Mark Helfrich said, in a statement, that the players would be disciplined.
"We are aware of the inappropriate behavior in the post-game," Helfrich said. "This is not what our program stands for, and the student-athletes will be disciplined internally."
Redshirt freshman Chris Seisay filled in admirably for the injured Ifo Ekpre-Olomu at cornerback, as Oregon beat Florida State 59-20.
The Ducks gave up 348 yards on 29-of-45 passing to Winston, but leading receiver Rashad Greene had only six receptions for 59 yards. Tight end Nick O'Leary hurt his hamstring in pre-game warmups, and he had one catch for four yards.
"I think I did cool, messed up on a couple coverages, but I held my own, tried to make plays whenever I could," Seisay said.
Said Ekpre-Olomu: "He did a good job, stepping up and helping the defense make a lot of plays."
Added safety Erick Dargan, who made his seventh interception of the season: "I missed Ifo out there, he's my brother, but when he's on the sideline helping ... it helps, you know? Chris Seisay played unbelievable. (Cornerback) Troy (Hill) stepped up to the challenge."
How was Ekpre-Olomu feeling after the game? He has undergone surgery on his left knee, and he attended the Rose Bowl and plans to attend the national championship game Jan. 12 at Arlington, Texas, where the Ducks will face Ohio State at 5:30 p.m PT.
"I'm happy, but it's definitely a bummer you can't play," Ekpre-Olomu said, while sitting in a wheelchair in the UO locker room. "But this is all a team game. I'm excited our team got a win and we can go to the national championship."
Receiver Devon Allen, the NCAA and U.S. 110-meter hurdles champ, hurt his right knee on the opening kickoff.
"I cut wrong and hurt my knee a little bit," he said. "I've just got to see what's wrong in a few days and go from there."
Allen may or may not play in the national championship game. And he might miss the 2015 outdoor track and field season, which he said doesn't bother him, necessarily.
He won the NCAA title as a true freshman, and followed up with a national title.
"It's something I do, but I'm not going to rush it," he said. "I'm going to take time to make sure I'm OK. I can definitely (redshirt). It's not a huge deal. I enjoy track and I want to run, but sometimes you've got to take care of yourself."
He'll try to be with the football team in Texas, regardless.
Receiver Bralon Addison, who missed all season with a knee injury, practiced last week with the Ducks but had no intention of playing.
"Nah, with how well this team is doing and the receiving corps as a whole, I wasn't going to play," he said. "Let these guys do what they're doing. I was just here for support, and I'm just trying to keep getting better."
And, tight end Pharaoh Brown, who recently suffered a serious left knee injury that required surgery and treatment from the Cleveland Clinic in his native Ohio, also sat in the happy UO locker room. He'll also attend the national championship game, as a spectator.
"I'm feeling good. We just won the Rose Bowl by 40 points (39 actually)," he said. "And it's 2015, I'm feeling great."
The update: "I'm feeling great, able to move, got full motion in it (the left knee). Every time I go into the doctor's office, they're impressed with my progress. If you can impress a great group of doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, you're doing pretty good. ... I had a little nerve damage, but nothing detrimental. My doctor says it'll be a full recovery. I'm going to take the time to make sure everything is completely healed; I want to play (in 2015). It's hard to sit out a season, but you have to look at the long-term deal of playing football. That's a career decision. You want to make sure your body is fully healed."
Meanwhile, tight end Evan Baylis had six receptions for 73 yards as UO's tight end starter in the Rose Bowl game.
"He played pretty well," Brown said. "That's a big boy. He looks like he's supposed to play left tackle, but don't tell him I said that."
And, continuing on the injury front, running back Thomas Tyner (shoulder, ankle) had a great game with 124 yards and two TDs on 13 carries, and center Hroniss Grasu also returned from the injured list.
Grasu's return allowed Hamani Stevens to move back to right guard, and the offensive line helped lead the way to Rose Bowl records of 59 points and 639 yards, including 301 on the ground.
"It felt great, competing again on the field," Grasu said. "It's a unique feeling when you're with the guys on the field battling it out."
Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN color commentator, criticized some FSU players for walking off the field and not congratulating the Ducks after the Rose Bowl win. Coach Jimbo Fisher shook hands with Helfrich, and Jameis Winston greeted Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.
The perceived disrespect also stretched to the field, because UO players thought the Seminoles disrespected the Ducks with some comments.
"We came in confident," Oregon receiver Keanon Lowe said. "We didn't chirp and do that media day stuff that maybe the other team was doing a little bit. We stayed true to ourselves.
"They referred to us as a soft and a slow team, and those are two things that are the two farthest things (away) to describe our team. They called us finesse. We felt like we wanted to come out and show who our identity was and play a complete game."
Fisher made a point several times to not question UO's toughness, as did some of his players.
Winston, a redshirt sophomore, wouldn't commit to his next move, which could be to jump to the NFL the same situation redshirt junior Mariota is in at Oregon.
"I'm looking forward to next season and playing baseball (this spring)," Winston said.
His first loss after 26 wins as a starting quarterback hurt.
"No one likes to lose, man," Winston said. "Losing is not really in my vocabulary."