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  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL

    Ducks resting up

    Oregon continues preparation for Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl against K-State
  • EUGENE — Oregon is off for a holiday break after today's practice, not that it means forgetting entirely about the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3 against Kansas State.
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    • OREGON (11-1) VS. KANSAS STATE (11-1)
      WHEN, WHERE: Jan. 3, 5:30 p.m., at Glendale, Ariz.
      • TV: ESPN.
      • RADIO: KCMX (880-AM).
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      OREGON (11-1) VS. KANSAS STATE (11-1)
      WHEN, WHERE: Jan. 3, 5:30 p.m., at Glendale, Ariz.

      • TV: ESPN.
      • RADIO: KCMX (880-AM).
  • EUGENE — Oregon is off for a holiday break after today's practice, not that it means forgetting entirely about the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3 against Kansas State.
    "I know this group will get something done while they're away," UO coach Chip Kelly said. "They understand what the task is at hand. It's a really good K-State team, so we can't practice like we've practiced and then take five days off."
    Kelly said that the players will have information on conditioning workouts to do on their own during the break. He also said he wasn't going to offer any special warnings about conduct because it isn't needed.
    "I think a lot of that goes into the recruiting process," Kelly said. "We recruit good kids, so I'm not worried about any of these kids when they go home."
    Friday's workout was the 11th since Oregon began bowl preparations, with Wednesday signaling the start of putting in the offensive and defensive schemes for the game. Oregon will gather again next Wednesday in Phoenix, leaving the Ducks with still a full week of practices before the game.
    "What's going to be nice is we're going to have our game plan in, the kids will have seen it," defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said. "When we get down there, we'll keep going over it and over it and over it and then we'll have it down."
    "As far as blocking and tackling when it's truly live (at the bowl), who knows how that will shake out?" offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich added. "We're on track as far as getting our game plan in here and then we'll be fine-tuning it down there."
    With 40 days between their previous game and the Fiesta Bowl, it's somewhat been a matter for the Ducks of pacing themselves, though that should be a lesson well-learned with this being their fourth consecutive year with at least a month from the end of the season to a bowl.
    "Our guys have been there," Kelly said. "I was probably more nervous in 2009 (before the Rose Bowl), because it was the first time we'd gone through that type of scenario. But I think our older guys have given our younger guys an understanding of what needs to go on."
    Aliotti said one of his concerns with such a long time between games is the lack of live tackling. While teams also rarely tackle in practices during the season, there is a game on a weekly basis to keep tackling skills honed.
    "You usually don't go a whole month without tackling," Aliotti said.
    Generally, the coaches feel like they've accomplished what was needed during the practices in Eugene.
    "The kids haven't had one foot out the door for the holiday," Aliotti said. "Sometimes it's like that but it hasn't been that way with this group."
    Helfrich said he sensed "a couple of days where there was a little lull, not from a collective standpoint but with younger guys, who maybe had their eye on seeing their high school girlfriend or getting home to Mom."
    "For the most part, we've done a good job," Helfrich added of workouts. "We're throwing and catching, handling the ball. ... You try to keep the rust off that part of it."
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    A DAY AFTER Yahoo Sports reported that Oregon will go before the NCAA's committee on infractions in 2013, Kelly said the ongoing investigation hasn't been an issue with recruits.
    "I haven't had one question in recruiting about it," said Kelly, who visited several committed and uncommitted players earlier this month.
    Kelly said he's "not surprised, by any stretch of the imagination," about the length of the investigation, which will extend past two years as of next spring, when the Ducks are expected to go before the committee on infractions.
    "These processes seem like they take a long time," Kelly said, adding that he hasn't spoken with the NCAA's enforcement staff in "I think over a year now.
    "They have a process and a review they go through, and until they make their findings public, we can't really comment on it.
    "But we've cooperated fully."
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