DuckTalk: Depth Charts, Herbert Watch and Injury Updates
It's Almost Game Time!
That is it. All done. No more media availability for Oregon football until the press conference takes place postgame vs. Bowling Green on this upcoming Saturday. The wait for college football is just days away, and the Oregon Ducks are eager to get back into Autzen Stadium to face an opponent not wearing green and yellow.
We got to speak to Oregon head football coach Mario Cristobal and junior QB1 Justin Herbert on the physical and mental preparations of game week. Finally!
Dillon Mitchell injury not as serious
Yes, the rumors are true. On Tuesday during practice, junior wide receiver star Dillon Mitchell, possibly Herbert's no. 1 target this season, left practice with a trainer with an apparent injury. But the junior was practicing the next day and still moving around fluently, all while wearing the red "no contact" jersey on Wednesday.
"He got little banged up, I think the upper body...," says Cristobal. "We don't think it's anything serious so we expect him to go full go on Saturday... Regardless of how minor or serious an injury can be, we always take the side of precaution to ensure it's not that. But we feel really good about him on Saturday."
Cristobal depth chart solid with a lot of moving pieces
We know, it sounds crazy, but true. The 1s are pretty much locked in, but there are several positions on Mario Cristobal's depth chart for this week with an "or" listed as backups. This is either a "situational" position meaning different guys will be called on at different times and not necessarily follow the ranks. Or the competition is too close to call and that each player has earned some playing time this Saturday.
"Throughout the entire time, we always make our players aware of where they're at, this is what you can do to change that, or this is where you have to be to maintain that, so there is always clarity in our communication. Regardless of whether there is an agreement or disagreement, there is respect."
A confident Herbert awaits opening day
A confident Justin Herbert is a scary Justin Herbert. Approaching his third year in an Oregon Ducks uniform, the junior is gaining more and more confidence with each snap. We've heard the Heisman name being thrown around in his direction, but don't let that fool you. This humble Eugene native has one thing and one thing only on his mind coming into this season: growing as a team.
"I'm really excited to see what we can do," says Herbert. "Offensively we've done a good job and it's been nice to go against the defense. They've done a great job and they make us better a ton, so just going against a good look like them and allowing us to develop as an offense and just having time out there together has been huge. I'm excited to get after it."
It all starts with center Jake Hanson
From the moment the offense takes the field, Jake Hanson is in control. Without a prominent, vocal leader snapping the ball and calling out protections, the offense will not have time to develop the play. This is where veteran junior Jake Hanson shines.
"The guy leads by example," says Cristobal of Hanson. "The guy is all about doing it right. There is no give-in with him. It is hard to find chinks and faults in his armor, in his makeup, in his regimen. The guy is a real deal student-athlete competitor. That's what he is."