Huff won't tweet about his sweet performance
- Stephen Alexander
- Portland Tribune - Sports
EUGENE - In last week's win over Oregon State, Ducks receiver Josh Huff was almost nonexistent, catching one pass for eight yards.
'I wasn't frustrated at all,' Huff said. 'I just know I can do better.'
In the aftermath of the Civil War, though, a post appeared on Huff's Twitter account complaining about not getting the ball enough. Huff denies that he was the one who posted the tweet.
'I didn't tweet that,' Huff said. 'Somebody hacked my Twitter.'
The tweet, as well as Huff's Twitter account, were quickly deleted.
'I just changed my password and deleted my Twitter,' he said.
Huff did not talk to quarterback Darron Thomas about the tweet, because he did not want to create a distraction the week of the Pac-12 title game. But Huff said that he was not happy that a message was delivered to the world that he was unhappy with Thomas.
'It made me feel kind of bad because I would never talk bad to my teammates or about my teammates,' Huff said. 'Darron does a great job of staying in the pocket, even when he has pressure in his face.'
Huff went so far as to deny that he was even upset about not getting many passes thrown his way against the Beavers.
'It doesn't matter to me,' he said. 'I can block all game.'
Huff certainly had nothing to complain about after Oregon's 49-31 win over UCLA in Friday night's Pac-12 championship game at Autzen Stadium. He played his part in sending Oregon to the Rose Bowl - the Ducks' third BCS berth in three consecutive seasons.
Huff led the Ducks in receiving Friday with four catches for 57 yards. He also returned three kickoffs for 94 yards.
He credited much of his success to the way he practiced in the shortened week leading up to the game; the Ducks and Bruins had one less day than usual between games.
'In practice this past week, I just focused in on being a better person, being a better teammate,' Huff said. 'I was able to push myself and my teammate receivers to bring out the better in them.'
UCLA also used a coverage scheme against Huff that he was able to exploit on the perimeter.
'It was just the coverages that the defense was in,' Huff said, explaining his performance. 'I was able to get singled up and make plays when I had the chance to.'
Huff has been banged up since the beginning of the season. He has missed two games, and his stats as a whole are down from a year ago.
Last season, as a true freshman, Huff caught 19 passes for 303 yards and three TDs. He also rushed 12 times for 214 yards and two TDs. As a return man, he took back 23 kickoffs for 567 yards.
This year, Huff has caught 29 passes for 416 yards and two TDs. He has not taken a handoff, and he has returned eight kickoffs for 174 yards.
Ducks coach Chip Kelly said that being healthy makes Huff more like the weapon the Ducks had last year.
'What you saw out of Josh (tonight), I think he's gotten healthy,' Kelly said. 'That's the type of playmaker he is. He made those plays last year. He's starting to round back into form.'
Keeping a positive attitude throughout the season was critical to Huff finally getting healthy for a game in which the Ducks needed him more than ever because of an early injury to De'Anthony Thomas.
'Coming into the season, I was beat up, and I was just told to keep fighting and everything will work itself out,' Huff said. 'I was able to get my opportunity this game, and I was able to make the most of it.'
Huff's biggest play against UCLA came on a kickoff in the third quarter. For the first time all game, UCLA looked like it might put up a fight against Oregon. The Bruins had forced a three-and-out on their opening defensive stand of the half and scored a touchdown on their ensuing drive to cut Oregon's lead to 35-24.
Huff then broke the Bruins' momentum when he fielded Jeff Locke's kickoff on the 14-yard line and took it back 40 yards to the UCLA 47.
'Our kickoff return team, they were setting up blocks perfectly, and I was able to execute by reading off their blocks, and I was able to make a couple of guys miss,' Huff said. 'I was just a shoestring tackle away from going the distance.'
Six plays later, LaMichael James capped a drive with a 1-yard TD run.
Huff nearly scored again later in the half. He broke free of his cover man and found himself wide open in the end zone. Darron Thomas' pass bounced off Huff's hands as he dove for the ball.
'I had so much going on in my mind and, to be honest, I just lost focus,' Huff lamented. 'That shouldn't be an excuse, with how hard I practice. I should always be able to make those plays.'
Thomas grabbed his helmet in disbelief that the pass went incomplete, but throughout the game, Thomas and Huff were seen talking and laughing with each other.
'Josh came out today determined, ready to go,' Thomas said. 'He's a fearless competitor every game. He's a team player. That's what I love about him.'
Huff smiled when he was asked about how good it felt to be such an integral part of the offense with the Rose Bowl on the line.
'It was very fun,' he said. 'I dreamed about a big night, and I was able to make plays. I look forward to making more plays in the future.'
If and when Huff does make those plays, he will not be tweeting about them.
'I'm done with Twitter,' he said.