What's Quack'n: Let’s turn the page to undefeated, No. 24 Cal
Monday's with Mario Cristobal
After a heartbreaking OT loss to No. 7 Stanford last week at Autzen Stadium, head coach Mario Cristobal and the No. 19 Oregon Ducks must turn the page and hit the road to No. 24 California Golden Bears.
Swipe through to see quotes from coach Cristobal’s press conference this morning…
Oregon’s physicality was on full display
Cristobal preached physicality, and that’s what was on display against the Cardinal. What was once a “snap the ball every 10-12 seconds” mentality is switching gears in the Cristobal era. Ever since being named head coach, and with his experience as an offensive lineman at the University of Miami, Cristobal has pledged to turn the Ducks into a physical, “winning in the trenches” type of football team.
And against a team like Stanford that is a heavy running type of team, Oregon held its own.
“We played the type of football that we want to get to, playing on a consistent basis for about 90% of the game,” says Cristobal. “You see some great moments of physicality at the line of scrimmage, you see some really high-level execution on both sides of the ball.”
That defensive line though
All week long, the Ducks had their eyes on Stanford running back and Heisman hopeful Bryce Love. Last season, Love ran over 100 yards on the Ducks defense in just the first five minutes alone. Not this year. And it started up front with the defensive line, lead by Jordon Scott, Austin Faoliu, and Jalen Jelks backed up by some good depth.
“The combination of all those guys playing together results in some really productive play,” says Cristobal. “We did a really nice job in the run-game. They might have hit us on a couple of plays, a misfit here and there, but overall just the effort, controlling the line of scrimmage, our fits and whatnot, certainly continue to take steps forward in the physicality of our play up front.”
Herbert putting up Heisman numbers
There are so many rumors flying around Justin Herbert’s name and following last Saturday’s loss against Stanford was more of the same: potential No. 1 overall pick in the next NFL draft, possible Heisman trophy contender/winner, but Herbert is humble and hard-working and continues to get better and better each week.
“He is very sharp, impressive, and he seems to get better and better,” says Cristobal. “I think the moments, as they get bigger, he’ll get better as well. He is driven, he hungers for that, he wants that for his team, and his preparation carries him through all that stuff. He won’t allow himself to flinch.”
A business-trip mentality
The first road trip for the Ducks. An undefeated California squad coming off a BYE. The No. 24 team in the country. A 7:30 PM kickoff. How many other curveballs can be thrown the Ducks’ way this upcoming weekend? Cristobal has a lot extra to prepare for this Saturday.
“You got to make sure and understand that this is a business trip,” says Cristobal. “We have a lot of players from California and there will be a lot of families there. But we’re not going there to have family time. There is always a small window for families to see their sons because that’s important, but the other part of it is going on the road requires a special kind of discipline and focus.”