Zone Read AM: Ashton Eaton wins Jesse Owens Award and De’Anthony Thomas playing defense?

Posted by Hayden Kim on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 11:39 am.

Tracktown USA has been called home by countless world-class athletes. From Steve Prefontaine to Alberto Salazar who won three consecutive New York Marathons and a Boston Marathon, the University of Oregon has been known to have a rich history of runners. But in recent years, no athlete can compare to what Ashton Eaton has done. From breaking two world records in the decathlon and heptathlon to winning his first Olympic gold medal, Eaton has proved he belongs in the discussion for being one of the best athletes in the history of sports.

Eaton’s record shattering 2012 season may be over, but his accolades continue to pile on as he recently added the Jesse Owens Award which is — awarded to the best male athlete in track & field by the USA Track & Field — to his growing list of achievements. Chris Hansen of the Register-Guard recaps all of Eaton’s accomplishments from this past year.

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The “next man in” phrase has been epitomized in the Chip Kelly era. With collegiate career-ending injuries suffered early this season to two of the top players at Oregon in John Boyett and Carson York, the bench has had to step up big time. But the bench has continued to solidify Coach Kelly’s philosophy of whatever happens to players whether it be injuries or suspension, the team simply has to move on. This has been the case for Oregon every year Kelly has been here, but with recent injuries to Avery Patterson and others on the defensive end of the ball, the phrase might have to be put to use once more.

Our own Isaac Rosenthal hints at the possibility that the Ducks may choose to use the unstoppable force that is De’Anthony Thomas not only on the offensive end but on the defensive side of the ball as well. Thomas was initially recruited across the country to play defense, so it’s no shock that the Ducks may end up playing him on both sides of the ball this weekend. Anyone remember Stanford’s Owen Marecic?

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There is good news for the Ducks on defense. Though they suffered injuries to Dion Jordan, Isaac Remington, and Ricky Heimuli, The Oregonian’s Adam Jude predicts more than a few will be back in the lineup for this week’s matchup against Stanford.

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Andy Hutchins of SB Nation analyzes the most recent BlogPoll rankings as Oregon blasts past all other teams as one of the few undefeateds in the nation.

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ESPN talks soccer’s La Liga 2011-2012 as Lionel Messi is named the best player of the season.