What's Quack'n: Another week, another College GameDay in Oregon
Monday presser with Mario Cristobal
What a time for the Oregon Ducks football program. Coming down from cloud 9 after upsetting rival then No. 7 Washington over the weekend, No. 12 Oregon looks to refocus and look ahead to No. 25 Washington State in Pullman. Oh, and College GameDay will be there too.
Scroll through to see the best from head coach Mario Cristobal’s press conference on Monday, October 15th 2018…
Washington State’s air raid has a new general
If you haven’t heard his name before, get to know Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew: the next quarterback in head coach Mike Leach’s air attack system. Minshew currently leads the nation, yes the nation, in passing yards (2,422).
“He’s been excellent. I think his completion percentage is 68%, 69%,” says Cristobal. “The left tackle is a big time player on a very good offensive line. They protect him really well. The ball is gone “now”. The problem is if you allow that to lull your defensive line asleep, when he does drop back… he’s going to have a lot of time to throw the ball. He is very decisive and he gets the ball out quick. Not just the decision but his actual mechanics…”
What’s up with Tony Brooks-James
This season perhaps isn’t going the way senior running back Tony Brooks-James thought it would go. With redshirt freshman CJ Verdell and freshman Travis Dye getting the bulk of the carries at running back, Brooks-James has seen the field on special teams and kickoff returns, and taking more of a leadership role in the running backs room. But after a few good returns vs. Washington on Saturday, one of which unfortunately ended with a fumble, Brooks-James reminded everyone of how explosive he can be:
“Verdell played really well, so he deserved it and he got it. Watching TBJ [Tony Brooks-James] especially on that second kickoff return, was explosive, ran hard, ran physical, so we are going to get him more involved and make sure he touches the ball more,” says Cristobal.
What that means and where he is used is going to be interesting especially with both Verdell and Dye running the ball well.
Sweet, sweet, sweet victory
Where does this win over Washington rank on Mario Cristobal’s list of favorite wins? An overtime victory over a rival. Ducks fans storming the field. Celebrations on celebrations following the game. Does it get much better than that for a head coach?
“As high as any of those,” says Cristobal. “I would like to relive it for a second, but I won’t, I can’t. But certainly the moment itself, it doesn’t get any better. That’s better than any moment and been fortunate and privileged enough to be apart of. Obviously, fired up for the fans because the way that they came out, the way they made that stadium rock, the way they effected the game… looks like they enjoyed it. Hopefully they did, and I’m glad they did.”
Let’s talk about that offensive line
Besides Justin Herbert, CJ Verdell, that progressing Ducks defense, let’s highlight the offensive line. If anything, the game vs. Washington proved that this Ducks offensive line has depth, and a whole lot of it. Injuries to Penei Sewell and Dallas Warmack during the game forced Brady Aiello and Jacob Capra into action. And they did not miss a beat as they provided a huge gap for CJ Verdell to run through in OT to beat the Huskies.
“The physicality of the front lines continues to improve and progress,” says Cristobal. “The investment is paying off. And that being said, we are not where we want to be yet, but we are certainly making a lot of progress in that department, and it must continue. And the other side is we must continue to develop depth.”