Oregon Ducks

Mario Cristobal on the Oregon Ducks schedule: Let's play ball

Oregon Ducks

After seeing the Pac-12 schedule, the head coach of the Oregon Ducks started his College Gameday appearance with a simple message: he and his team are ready to play. 

"Brother, let's play ball! It's about time! Right?" said Mario Cristobal from his office in Eugene with the Pac-12 Championship trophy over his shoulder.

"Our guys are ready to roll. We've been at it. We've been watching everybody else play ball. Now it's our turn."

However, not every Duck projected to play in 2020 will suit up. Four prominent starters have opted out to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft: Penei Sewell, Jevon Holland, Deommodore Lenoir and Thomas Graham Jr. 

When asked about the Ducks that opted-out, Cristobal said it's an opportunity for someone else to step into a larger role. 

The goal has not changed. 

"In terms of our outlook, it doesn't change," said Cristobal. "We do what we do and we have that 'next man up' mentality and philosophy, but look. There's no handbook for this pandemic. Our conference did everything possible in terms of player safety and health always at the forefront so it's affected everyone differently. Guys have opted-in, guys have opted-out and the bottom line is the Ducks will be ready to roll. We always preach that mentality. That's what we teach in our program. It's a culture that we do things a certain way, we train a certain way so we can do things on Saturday a certain way so you know what? It's time to do that right now."

 

What exactly are the Ducks doing to prep for the season with just six weeks to prepare for the all-conference slate? Cristobal broke it down.

"First few weeks are a combination of strength and conditioning, speed school, flexibility, you're putting on helmets, you're trying to get your walkthroughs in."

The Ducks are installing a new offensive system with new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead. Mastering technique will be a priority within Cristobal's program and the Ducks head coach has used footage from other games this season to prove his point. 

"So just a ton of technique work because the one thing we get the benefit of is we get to watch other teams play and what really stands out. The importance of technique, fundamentals, special teams, things are showing up all over the place that you need to highlight in camp."

Then, Cristobal said the real training camp begins next Friday but not a moment will go wasted in lead up to November 7th. 

"We start our actual camp on Friday of this coming week but we're at it night and day. We have our 20-hour weeks and we're maximizing that the best we can."

The Oregon Ducks open the season in Autzen Stadium hosting Stanford on November 7th.