Masoli to start at QB for Ducks

PORTLAND — Sophomore quarterback Jeremiah Masoli will lead the Oregon Ducks into the Holiday Bowl against Oklahoma State on Tuesday — and into next season.

In a program that has featured several years of competition and instability at the position, Masoli has earned the spot, says Ducks coach Mike Bellotti.

"Absolutely," Bellotti said. "He's started nine games now, and his improvement has been monumental in correlation with our success this year."

Masoli came to Oregon after a season at City College of San Francisco, where he led the Rams to the 2007 national junior college title.

At one point as Ducks began work on this season, he was No. 5 on the depth chart.

But that changed, beginning with injuries to quarterbacks Nate Costa and Justin Roper. The Ducks began looking to Masoli, and many began asking how he pronounces his name. It's maw-SOH-lee.

Masoli himself took a hit against Boise State and suffered a concussion. But he came back the next week to lead Oregon over Washington State 63-14, and has started every game since.

The 15th-ranked Ducks meet No. 13 Oklahoma State at 5 p.m. Tuesday at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. It will be on a grass field, and its condition is a concern for Bellotti.

The Poinsettia Bowl was played there last Tuesday, and San Diego and Denver played an NFL game there Sunday night. There's been rare rain in San Diego over the last week.

"I know the rain and the damage that the games probably did," Bellotti said. "I assume that they're doing everything they can and the (dry) weather is going to help a great deal."

The forecast for game day calls for sunny skies, temperatures in the 60s and no precipitation.

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