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Oregon Ducks Postgame Interviews: Washington

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A stunned nearly silent coaching staff and players try to explain one of the worst losses in program history

Washington v Oregon Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Oregon Ducks football postgame interviews for Saturday, October 8 game against the No. 5 Washington Huskies. If you missed anything from the players or coaches following the Ducks 70-21 loss, fear not, that’s why we are here.

FRESHMAN QUARTERBACK JUSTIN HERBERT

ON HIS FIRST COLLEGIATE START:

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BRADY HOKE

COACHING PERFORMANCE:

“First, it starts with us coaches. We got to do our job. We got to make sure to put guys in position to make plays and we didn't. We got to do a better job. I’ve said that way too many times, I’m sick of saying it. These kids deserve better after how they’ve worked all week at practice. We had a couple communication things that hurt us that we got to do a better job of making sure they’re all on the same page.”

TAKEAWAYS:

“We’ll make sure to review (the tape). There are some series’ in there. Everybody is on the same page and we’re doing some good things in the coverage game that make us look like a real football team, then there is times when we don’t.”

WASHINGTON’S OFFENSE:

“Yeah, obviously I thought they would run the ball more than they did. Breaking down the games they had, you knew they would be balanced. Use the play action game, but you can only use that when you're running the ball.”

HEAD COACH MARK HELFRICH

JUSTIN HERBERT’S FIRST START:

“That’s kind of why we did what we did. It was good to see how he (Herbert) competed and bounced back from that initial interception. This is a very good team (Washington). You can tell he knew where to go with the ball on the interception, he just hesitated. Instead of just pulling the trigger, he hesitated. But he has a lot of ball ahead of him.”

FIRST HALF OPPORTUNITIES:

“It’s been all too common (allowing big plays to opposing offenses). It comes back to our ability to compliment one another. That just comes back to seizing the moment, seizing the opportunity. Royce (Freeman) was trying to get a few extra yards and you saw how that shaked out trying to shed 2-3 tacklers.”

HERBERT’S POISE:

“Yeah, he threw a couple that looked like big time plays. The touchdown to Tony-James on the broken route. Kept his poise and made a great throw. Another time we completely blew the protection and he kept it alive. That was the one that Taj (Griffin) ended up making the play on for a touchdown. And so, a bunch of stuff to build off of. Just have to support all those around.”

FAN SUPPORT:

Washington v Oregon
Head coach Mark Helfrich was more impressed by the Duck fans than his own team’s performance against the Huskies on Saturday
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

JAKE BROWNING AND WASHINGTON:

“They did a great job. He was a true freshman last year with a lot of young offensive linemen. Very similar to what we had in there tonight. The difference between last year is everyone was healthy. He is a spectacular player. Those tight ends that they mix in there, the wideouts probably don’t get enough credit for how good they are. Ross is so good. And they play great defense.”

MESSAGE TO TEAM AFTER LOSS:

“Be accountable for their deal. Let that sting, let that refuel you. That’s not how we represent ourselves in this game. We need to bounce back. We have an opportunity with a bunch of guys coming back hopefully in the next two weeks. Turn that and take advantage of it in every capacity.”

TURNING LOSS INTO OPPORTUNITY:

WHY HE STARTED HERBERT OVER PRUKOP:

“We needed a spark. The team needed a spark. Two guys that handled it great were Dakota Prukop and Justin Herbert. Dakota should get a lot of credit for the way he handled it. From the word ‘go’ last Monday, the team knew exactly what we were doing and it showed. From that Monday. Other than his first throw, there are many things that we can coach up going forward. The first throw, the biggest thing he did was he didn't trust himself, which is very common for a young guy. That particular throw was just a rhythm throw and he hitched, didn’t quite trust himself. He made the throw later in the game. Playing as well as they were, his poise, his composure was excellent. Now, we have to help him out across the board.”

ON HERBERT STARTING ANOTHER GAME:

“We’ll always reassess and compete but I would see that going forward, yes. As I sit here right now.”

SPECIAL TEAMS/WIDE RECEIVER CHARLES NELSON

ON HERBERT’S FIRST START

“I think he did a fantastic job. There are a lot of things the offense can work on, the defense as well. We just got to come with the right mindset next week and we’re ready.”

ON HERBERT HANDLING WEEK AS STARTER:

“He handled the week just how he always has. Dakota battling. That is a great competition. He’s done what he’s done in practice before, he showed it in the game.”

ON FEELING OF LOCKER ROOM:

“Everybody’s down but you got to flush it and get ready for next opponent.”

ANY POSITIVE TAKEN FROM LOSS:

“Justin got a start under his belt. Experience for him. The line, getting more experience as we know. We’re doing things good, doing things bad. We just have to figure everything out.”

Washington v Oregon
Oregon linebacker Troy Dye didn’t celebrate much against No. 5 Washington, but his sack against Browning early in the game masked excitement for the Duck defense, if only for a moment.
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

ON BREAKING DE’ANTHONY THOMAS’ ALL-TIME KICK RETURN YARD RECORD:

“Doesn’t mean a thing.”

ON DARREN WARRINGTON RETURNING PUNTS:

“He is working on returning punts, an I will be returning kickoffs.”

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MATT LUBICK

ON HERBERT’S START:

EVALUATION OF HERBERT:

“He’s always been consistent. Good decisions. Was always very talented and is a competitor. The way he’s learned the offense since we put him in there has been pretty impressive to me. I thought it was a combination of things but I was very proud of his effort tonight. Going against a great football team in his first game, I think there are things he can get better at. He showed a lot of poise out there.”

ON HIM BEING STARTER MOVING FORWARD:

“I don’t want to answer that right now. I was very impressed with him. We got to go back as a staff and reevaluate. I think he did a good job tonight.”

ON THE UPCOMING BYE WEEK:

“We can do all those things. Heal up. Veteran guys get healthy. Let them get fresh. As coaches, we’ll do what we do to make ourselves better.”

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