The place holding position with the Ducks is starting to become a tradition shared by Eugene natives. After former Oregon backup quarterback and South Eugene alumni, Dustin Haines carried the duties last season, former Sheldon High School quarterback Taylor Alie has since taken over. In his redshirt freshman season, Alie found the end zone twice on two-point conversions including a fake pitch and run in Oregon’s 42-30 victory over UCLA last weekend.
Alie caught up with the Emerald to discuss his relationship with Haines and his first season as the holder for the Ducks.
What goes into the decision to go for two after a touchdown?
Basically, anytime we score, we always have the opportunity to go for two. The defense at UCLA kind of slacked off since we just scored on them. It was an opportunity to give us a bigger lead and we executed.
Has the juke and fake pitch always been in your repertoire?
I don’t know. It’s just kind of something I pulled out. The defender was going straight for our kicker so it was a pretty easy move.
Did you ever have a second thought about not pitching the ball?
The only time I thought about it was when I was in the end zone. I thought ‘That was kind of cool’.
How nice is it whenever you get the chance to get into the end zone?
It’s awesome. It’s so demoralizing for a defense. We just scored and now we have two extra points. It’s fun to do what we do.
The consistent ability to score on a two-point conversion was something Chip Kelly used at Oregon. Do you think going for two is an added element to the up-tempo nature he brought to Oregon?
I think it’s very important to making a defense be ready for everything. They can’t take a play off and any time they do feel like they can, we respond.
When did it click with you that you were continuing the Eugene native holder tradition after Dustin Haines?
Kind of. It’s definitely pretty cool. It’s awesome to be able to follow in Dustin’s footsteps. But it’s a lot cooler to be able to help out my team and put points on the board.
How did you get the holder position?
It just kind of came to me. During spring ball we started practicing with different guys out there. I had never really done it before, but it’s not that hard of a job. I had good preparation with Matt (Wogan) and good chemistry.
Have you ever dropped a snap?
I dropped one in a game, the very first one. But besides that I haven’t really had any problems.
Did you put it in the back of your mind?
Yeah. It’s just like throwing an interception: You have to move on and move to the next one.
Follow Joseph Hoyt on Twitter @JoeJHoyt