Oregon coach Willie Taggart said today that he hopes the Autzen Stadium crowd, especially the student section, will provide a boost for the Ducks on Saturday when they host No. 11 Washington State.
Taggart said UO fans helped the Ducks overcome the glut of injuries that befell his team during a 45-24 win Saturday over California. Now, Taggart is hoping for the same type of fan support when UO faces a much better opponent in WSU (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12), team that will be a challenge for Oregon to defeat minus sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert, out 4-to-6 weeks with a fractured collarbone.
"I thought our student section was awesome," Taggart said of Saturday night. "They were rockin' and rollin' and swag surfin'. I really think that helped our guys in that football game considering all of the injuries and things that happened. I think that really gave them some extra energy to go out there and finish that ball game. That was great to see. It was a great environment to be a part of. "
Oregon (4-1, 1-1) saw Herbert, running back Royce Freeman, wide receiver Dillon Mitchell, backup quarterback Taylor Alie and inside linebacker Kaulana Apelu all go out with injuries during the game. But the team still managed to win despite Cal (3-2, 1-1) transforming a 17-0 deficit in the first quarter into a 24-17 deficit in the second half.
The Cougars, led by senior quarterback Luke Falk, will be the best team Oregon has faced this season.
"We're going to need (the fans) this week," Taggart said.