The Ducks’ two leading rushers last season, CJ Verdell and Travis Dye, were on the Mighty Oregon side, which featured the first-team offense.
That provided Cyrus Habibi-Likio, who was mostly limited to goal-line carries during Mario Cristobal’s first season as coach, with an opportunity to make a statement on the Fighting Ducks.
The 6-foot-1, 216-pound redshirt sophomore finished with 12 carries for 45 yards and the only rushing touchdown of the spring game Saturday at Autzen Stadium.
“I feel like I performed pretty well. Of course, I’m never satisfied,” Habibi-Likio said. “I feel like I showed some versatility out there. That was my goal during spring ball.”
Verdell had 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman. He was limited to three carries for 23 yards Saturday.
Dye added 739 yards and four touchdowns in 2018 as a true freshmen. He led Mighty Oregon with 10 carries for 44 yards.
Habibi-Likio only had 18 carries for 36 yards last season but scored seven touchdowns. He bulled his way in for a 2-yard score in the second quarter.
“The guy can flat out play football,” Cristobal said of Habibi-Likio. “He brings a lot to the table because he’s tough, he’s got great juice, he’s accountable, he’s relentless …
“He has earned the right to increase his role on this football team.”
Darrian Felix did not play due to the flu. Walk-on KJ Maduike had four carries for 11 yards.
Senior cornerback Haki Woods was shaken up in the second quarter and senior defensive lineman Drayton Carlberg was slow to get up after a collision in the third quarter.
No serious injuries were reported after the 98-play public showcase.
Some of the notable players held out of the spring game included offensive lineman Calvin Throckmorton, tight end Jacob Breeland, defensive lineman Gary Baker, wide receiver Bryan Addison, wide receiver Isaac Crocker, quarterback Cale Millen, offensive lineman Sam Poutasi, placekicker Adam Stack and safety Kahlef Haillassie.
Two defensive players buried on the depth chart, safety Billy Gibson and linebacker Keith Simms, left the program before the spring game.
Gibson was a member of Willie Taggart’s 2017 recruiting class who saw action in only four games last season under Cristobal, which allowed him to redshirt.
Simms, who was originally recruited by Brady Hoke in 2016, struggled to stay healthy during his time at Oregon.
Star linebacker Troy Dye played three snaps before watching the rest of the game safely from the sideline. … Oregon hosted a large group of recruits. The 2020 class already received an early boost when four-star linebacker Jaden Navarrette flipped from LSU to the Ducks on Friday.
“We love it,” defensive lineman Gus Cumberlander said of new coordinator Andy Avalos’ scheme. “We’re all bought into it. Everybody is teaching each other. We’re all in it together.”