High temperatures combined with four large wildfires in Oregon have the Ducks altering their practice schedule this week due to air quality.
The Ducks will travel an hour to the coast Tuesday morning and practice at Siuslaw Middle School in Florence. The workout is closed to the public and media.
The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency has not recorded levels of particulate matter to this degree since it began measuring for it in 1999, spokeswoman Jo Niehaus said Monday afternoon, and air quality is "absolutely in the hazardous" range, she said.
Last night I spoke with a reporter covering the Ducks — you’ll read more from him throughout the week — and he told me that things are probably worse than is being reported.
The air quality is projected to improve, however, with most of the smoke moving out Tuesday night. As of now, the air-quality alert isn’t expected to impact Saturday’ game.
The Huskers and Ducks kick off at 3:30 pm CT.
I was a bit surprised when Oregon opened as a 9.5-point favorite over Nebraska. Early-season lines are always something of a guessing game, at least for amateur line watchers like me, but I thought Nebraska might be about a touchdown underdog.
I was obviously wrong, and the betting public is running up the score on me.
As of Tuesday morning, Nebraska was a 14-point underdog at some places listed at VegasInsider.com.
Maybe I’m totally underestimating the Ducks (or overestimating the Huskers), but with a line move that large it seems bound to come back down. (Figure I might as well double down on getting this line wrong at this point.) If it doesn’t and the Huskers stay at +14, Nebraska will be the biggest underdog it has been for a nonconference game since facing USC in LA in 2006.
Nebraska went off as a 17.5-point dog in that game. The Trojans won 28-10.
The Grab Bag
- Really interesting read from John Canzano on the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by P.J. Fleck's agent last winter. He was trying to get Fleck in the running for the Oregon job.
- This is cool: Iowa State held a wrestling practice outdoors in a tailgating lot last Saturday prior to the Northern Iowa game.
- Oregon Coach Willie Taggart on his impressions of the Nebraska-Arkansas State film: "I didn’t necessarily think that Arkansas State took control of the game. I always thought that Nebraska was in control of the game throughout the game."
- ICYMI: Practice report and video from last night.
Today's Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.