|Oregon freshman Pflugrad has dad watching - as father and coach|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 18 October 2007 12:54|
Aaron is the son of Robin Pflugrad, the Ducks' wide receivers coach. The job became a bit more complicated during last week's victory against Washington State, when starting receiver Cameron Colvin broke his ankle.
Pressed into service was 19-year-old Aaron, who became the first true freshman to score for the Ducks since running back Jonathan Stewart in 2005. Pflugrad caught a 22-yard pass from Dennis Dixon and finished with four catches for 47 yards.
``It was almost perfect,'' he said of his first touchdown. ``I saw the ball in the air and I knew I beat my guy, so I just focused on making the catch.''
Colvin, who is out for the season, was starting for Brian Paysinger, who was hurt in practice before the Stanford game and had season-ending knee surgery.
The injuries mean that Aaron Pflugrad, who was told he'd likely redshirt before Paysinger got hurt, will take on a greater role. He could start Saturday at slot receiver when the seventh-ranked Ducks (5-1, 2-1 Pac-10) visit Washington (2-4, 0-3).
The Ducks also will rely on sophomore receiver Derrick Jones.
Robin Pflugrad watched his son's touchdown with a mix of pride and analysis. The elder Pflugrad is in his second season as receivers coach for the Ducks, after serving as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for Washington State.
``He was in on some important plays, one where we needed to keep a drive alive, one catch that led to a field goal,'' he said of his son. ``I thought he played very productive.''
And how did he feel as a father?
``He'll still get his allowance,'' he joked. ``Actually, I've never given him an allowance. I've got to get that on record. It's really exciting as a father. It was neat to see Dennis connect with him.''
Aaron Pflugrad is one of 10 freshmen the Ducks have played this season, more than ever in coach Mike Bellotti's tenure.
Just 5-foot-10 and 172 pounds, Aaron Pflugrad has picked up his savvy on the field from years of watching his dad work. But when called upon last Saturday, there were a few butterflies.
``A little bit,'' he said, ``but I also felt I was ready to go and excited to get out there.''
He'll get another chance on Saturday in the 100th meeting against the rival Huskies.