EUGENE — Willie Taggart isn’t going to create any unnecessary math problems at Oregon.
The first-year coach was asked about his philosophy on attempting two-point conversions before the Ducks began the second week of fall camp Tuesday.
“Go for it when you have to,” Taggart said. “I’m not going to go for it for the hell of it. I’m kicking the extra point.”
Oregon was aggressive and highly successful with its use of two-point conversions under Chip Kelly, converting 17-of-23 attempts during his four seasons as coach.
But during last year’s game at Nebraska, coach Mark Helfrich wasn’t as fortunate.
The Ducks went 1-for-5 on two-point conversion attempts during a staggering 35-32 defeat at Nebraska, which started a five-game losing streak en route to a 4-8 finish.
Taggart noted that extra points are more of a sure thing in college football compared to the NFL’s longer attempts snapped from the 15-yard line.
Under Taggart, Western Kentucky upset Kentucky 32-31 in overtime on a two-point conversion in 2012. Hilltoppers quarterback Kawaun Jakes threw a lateral to Antonio Andrews, who threw back to Jakes for the winning points.
“If we have to go for two, we’ll go for two,” Taggart said.
Fotu Leiato and La’Mar Winston are still competing at the “Duck” spot but Khalil Oliver, who also played the hybrid defensive back/linebacker position in the spring, said he is a full-time safety again.
Tyree Robinson and Oliver have been the first-team safeties for most of fall camp.
“We’ve got some really good guys running Duck, so they thought my best spot would be back there (at safety) with Tyree, me and him running back there,” Oliver said.
Redshirt freshman safety Brady Breeze is also in line for a lot of playing time this fall, especially with his roommate Brenden Schooler moving to wide receiver.
Morning, noon and night
After two off days, the Ducks returned to the field Tuesday night.
The team practiced in the morning and afternoon during the first week of fall camp. Taggart said he wants the players to be ready to go at any time because of the variance in kickoff times on the schedule.
“We’ve moved practices around throughout camp to make sure we come ready to play whenever that time is,” Taggart said.
Sophomore wide receiver Dillon Mitchell, a player the Ducks are counting on to help replace Darren Carrington’s production, returned to practice after missing time last week because of illness.
Charles Nelson wore his helmet and full pads but did not participate in the 20-minute portion of the full-pad practice open to the media.
Offensive lineman Doug Brenner and Jacob Capra and defensive lineman Popo Aumavae were also held out.
Defensive lineman Scott Pagano continued to do conditioning work on the sideline. The Clemson graduate transfer is recovering from foot surgery.
Bruce Judson has still not been enrolled at UO. The true freshman “athlete” is the only member of the 2017 recruiting class who hasn’t joined the program.
“He’s still working, on it,” Taggart said of Judson, who is from Cocoa, Fla.