Oregon’s top RB misses practiceJeremiah Johnson, Oregon’s leading rusher, did not practice Friday morning. He has missed the last few workouts because of a hamstring injury, but Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said Johnson sat out because of an illness. Bellotti said the leg was healthy enough for Johnson to practice Tuesday. "He’s sick, throwing up this morning,” the coach said. "Hopefully, he should be fine for (today’s) practice, because we need to get his leg tested out.” Johnson, a senior, averaged 6.9 yards per carry during the regular season, rushing for 1,082 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Defensive attitude changingOklahoma State junior Andre Sexton on the different attitude during practice with defensive coaches Joe DeForest and Glenn Spencer, as compared to former coordinator Tim Beckman: "Coach Beckman is really serious. These guys are more laid-back. In the end, it still comes down to winning, and both of their philosophies are the same when it comes to winning. We take care of business and we have fun at the same time. There is a little bit of a difference, and you can see it in the players and the way that they act.”
Cole no longer with teamOSU sophomore receiver William Cole, who tore his ACL in August, is no longer with the team, coach Mike Gundy has said. No reason has been given for Cole’s dismissal. It ends a checkered OSU career for Cole, a product of Cedar Hill, Texas, who began his career as a defensive back and quickly switched to offense. He had two receptions for seven yards in six games as a freshman. If Cole chooses to transfer to another NCAA Division I program, he would have to sit out next season and would have two years of eligibility left. Should he go to a lower division program, he’ll have three seasons left.
Bowl brings bonus for GundyOSU’s Holiday Bowl invitation was worth a lot to Gundy. A clause in the coach’s contract guarantees him a bonus of $400,000 for reaching three bowl games in a five-year span, which he has now accomplished. Gundy did not qualify for a bowl game in his first season, but he took the Cowboys to the Independence Bowl in 2006 and the Insight Bowl last season.
Bellotti thinking about retirement?With the announcement earlier this month that offensive coordinator Chip Kelly will succeed Bellotti as Oregon’s next head coach, Bellotti now spends a lot of time fielding questions about his eventual retirement. The 56-year-old has said he doesn’t know when he will step down, but he plans to continue recruiting for the 2009 signing class. "That just gives everybody some sense of continuity of what’s going to happen down the road,” said Bellotti, now in his 14th season as the Ducks’ coach. "It doesn’t change our day-to-day operations or recruiting or dealings with players or game-planning. "After the bowl game, after recruiting, I’ll probably take a week — probably March sometime — and say, ‘OK, how do I feel?’ ” By Scott Wright