What's Quack'n: Every game bigger than the last
Let's head to Pullman
The No. 12 Oregon Ducks (5-1) are headed north to face No. 25 Washington State (5-1) in a battle for the Pac-12 north division with College GameDay in the audience this Saturday.
We spoke to head coach Mario Cristobal, defensive line coach Joe Salave’a, and inside linebacker Troy Dye today after Ducks practice today. Swipe through to hear what they had to say about this important matchup in Pullman, Washington...
Trouble refocusing after a big win?
What a scene in Autzen Stadium following last week’s 30-27 win in overtime against rival Washington. Ducks fans stormed the field, the crowd noise reached deafening levels, and Oregon relished in the win. But how long do you celebrate before needed to focus on the next task at hand?
“Overall, I thought that the focus has been on our opponent,” says Cristobal. “As much as we had to shake off a tough loss early in the season, you also have to shake away a good win when you’re in the middle of conference play because it only gets harder. We’re going to a place where the other team is really hot, they have explosive players on both sides of the ball…”
Acknowledge the victory, but it’s still a process
This week, the Oregon offensive line was named as one of 14 offensive line units to the Joe Moore Award. And while this is a huge accomplishment for Mario Cristobal and the men in trenches, Cristobal still acknowledges that there is more work to be done:
“The Joe Moore award, to me, you can’t get a higher honor than that as an offensive line. But that being said and having that recognition just tells me that we have a ton of work to do and that we still have to get better. I think our guys took it that exact way. That’s the only mindset we’ll ever have as an offensive line.”
How to slow down the Cougar freight train?
This game will feature two of the most dominant offenses in the Pac-12 conference. Since the departure of former WSU QB Luke Falk to the NFL, Gardner Minshew hasn’t skipped a beat in this air raid attack lead by head coach Mike Leach. So what is the plan to contain this offensive powerhouse?
“From day one since we got here, competing with tremendous effort and at 100 miles per hour,” says Salave’a. “If we can do that, that will give us an opportunity to have the things that we want out of this ball game. Its been part of our DNA since we got here. To establish the brand of football we wanted to be. And defensively, we can’t have it any other way.”
Every game is a big game because it’s the next game
Four back-to-back-to-back-to-back ranked opponents in a row. A hostile environment. A town proud of their football team and culture. A first in Pullman for College GameDay. As if the stakes weren’t high enough for this game, but where have we heard this before? Seems like typical game conditions now for the Ducks.
“We treat every game like it’s a big game no matter what their ranking is, no matter what the atmosphere is,” says Troy Dye. “Every game is a big game because it’s the next game. So we treat every game like it’s our last game and really looking forward to playing Washington State at Washington State.”