What's Quack'n: A perfect time for a BYE
Oregon BYE week
It’s BYE week for the No. 18 Oregon Ducks (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12), but that doesn’t necessarily mean a week off. The Ducks have class, are nursing injuries, and have an extra week to prepare for rival the Washington Huskies.
Let’s check in with head coach Mario Cristobal on his weekly press conference with the media.
Using BYE week to develop players
BYE week is an opportunity to rest and recover. Without completely shying away from the physicality head coach Mario Cristobal has been preaching all season long, Cristobal is using BYE week to allow players who have been getting lots of touches in games to ease off a bit and let the two’s and three’s get more and more action.
“For two reasons: to try and get those guys better and try to find ourselves a couple other guys that can really help contribute and play down the stretch. And also focusing on the areas by position group and by unit where we can improve upon, whatever that may be, whether that be technical, fundamentals, schematically…”
- Mario Cristobal
The scouts are watching
With each passing week, junior QB Justin Herbert’s name and game is receiving more and more national attention. Whether his name is being thrown into Heisman Trophy or future NFL draft pick conversations, Herbert is trending. Now, Herbert is a to-himself kind of guy: no social media, very reserved, and focused on the tasks at hand. NFL scouts are noticing and attending games to see Herbert, amongst others, in action.
“With the scouts, we have made this an open door policy,” says Cristobal. “We took that approach. It was something I learned at the last place I was at. And it gives you an opportunity to enhance the status of your players because when the scouts are here, they get to watch everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly…. We had an agreement before the season started that we weren’t going to address any NFL talk, juniors or seniors, until after out last game of the season…”
Let the rivalry prep begin
This BYE week may fall on one of the most important weeks on Oregon’s schedule this season. Not only do players have the opportunity to recover and nurse injuries, but it gives them an extra week to prepare for their next opponent, and that just so happens to be the No. 10 Washington Huskies. This will be the third game in a row that Oregon will be facing a ranked opponent.
“I think rivalry games hype up themselves,” says Cristobal. “That’s the part I thin most coaches are alleviated of. The motivation is there, and it’s deep, and it’s strong. So I know that part is in good hands.”
Game information can be found HERE.
An emphasis on seven points
This was the second week in a row that the Oregon Ducks offense has only put up seven points in the second half. Reason to panic with the Huskies coming up to the plate next with one of the best defenses in the conference? Not for Cristobal and the Ducks. If anything, this BYE week will have an even more emphasis on putting seven on the board when getting into that range.
“Redzone defense is one of the strong points of the Washington defense,” says Cristobal. “They do a great job in the redzone. You could see it in game one, Auburn got down there a good chunk of times and couldn’t get seven points. Had to settle for field goals a bunch. That stuff is always going to be emphasized and being that we only had 7, it will be emphasized even more.”