Dickson, Ducks poised for big year

2009-08-27T08:00:00Z Dickson, Ducks poised for big yearBy Jesse Sowa, For the Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times
August 27, 2009 8:00 am  • 

EUGENE - The question remains whether Oregon can come close to matching the rushing offensive output of 2008, when the Ducks were second in the nation at 280 yards per game.

One answer might come from senior tight end Ed Dickson.

Dickson is the Ducks' leading returning receiver for yards with 508 on 35 receptions to go with three touchdowns.

At 6-foot-5 and 243 pounds, Dickson will likely be a more prominent target as Jeremiah Masoli and the Ducks look to replace graduated receivers Terence Scott and Jaison Williams, who combined for 86 catches in 2008.

Dickson and Oregon coach Chip Kelly aren't afraid to say a breakout season might be in Dickson's near future.

"This is my last year, I'm going to leave it all out on the field," Dickson said Tuesday night after the Ducks finished their final scrimmage in preparation for the Sept. 3 opener at Boise State.

"I'm gonna play hard and I'm gonna play fast."

With other talented pass-catchers around him in recent years, in addition to a record-breaking rushing attack, Dickson has played in the shadows but still produced.

His work as a blocker hasn't gone unnoticed by TV and radio announcers, as well as his teammates and coaches.

"He definitely gets down and dirty and manhandles some (defensive) ends," Masoli.

Dickson had his second straight solid season last year after catching 45 balls for 453 yards and three touchdowns in 2007.

He's one of five returning starters, along with offensive linemen C.E. Kaiser and Bo Thran, quarterback Masoli and receiver Jeff Maehl.

Backed up by junior Malachi Lewis, Dickson is the Ducks' most experienced player, having played in 39 straight games, 26 as a starter.

"He's kind of our go-to guy in the middle of the field. You'll see a lot of Ed Dickson this fall," Kelly said.

When teams sit down to prepare for Oregon, first on the list has to be the running game, which in the Ducks' spread includes a very dangerous Masoli.

Running back LeGarrette Blount is a handful, having piled up 1,002 yards and a single-season school record 17 touchdowns last year.

Next is the speedy receivers, with Maehl leading that group this year.

And then there's Dickson, who brings versatility. His ability to line up in the slot position can create a mismatch with a defensive back trying to cover him.

"He's so hard for defenses to defend. They've got to game plan for LeGarrette and all these other guys," Masoli said.

Copyright 2014 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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