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Oregon Ducks Postgame Interviews: Virginia

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Ducks’ coaches and players sit down to speak with us about their 44-26 victory against Virginia on Saturday night.

Virginia v Oregon Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Oregon Ducks football post game interviews for Saturday, September 10 game vs the Virginia Cavaliers. If you missed anything from the players or coaches following the Ducks 44-26 victory, fear not, that’s why we are here.

ROYCE FREEMAN

ON SATURDAY’S CAREER LONG 85-YARD RUN:

“Initially the hole opened up pretty wide. I knew I had one person to beat, it was probably going to be a safety or corner. Jalen was really blocking his tail off and I honestly wouldn’t have made that run without him. So, I came to the sideline and showed him some love. Plays like that are what make our receiving core the best.”

1ST GAME VS 2ND GAME:

“Just more aggressiveness. (We need) more discipline as far as penalties, we still had a couple penalties out there. Definitely more bringing it to the defense, being patient and going for those extra yards.”

THE DUCK OFFENSE:

“Definitely found a little rhythm. There was a lot of times out there where Virginia wasn’t even set and we were snapping the ball, so that always works to our benefit. If we could go even faster from here on out, that would just be great.”

BRADY HOKE

THE PENALTIES:

“Part of that was we had penalties on three drives, drives that would have been stopped. We have got to be more disciplined, technique sound and do a better job at the point of attack.”

THE LATE HITS:

“Mind boggling to some degree. You’re going to have pass interference, it’s going to happen. But, grabbing a guy, you don’t need to grab a guy. You have to be technique sound with your feet, your hands. That is disappointing. They called the late hit out of bounds. I saw what I thought was a guy pushing a guy out of bounds. From that standpoint, we just have to play smart, keep our composure. It really goes back to fundamentals in the things we didn’t do well.”

THE DEFENSE AS A WHOLE:

“They did a nice job of trying to leverage the defense a little bit. But, I also know we didn’t fit the defense well enough. We played the middle of the field a little better, played the ball well. We got better pressure with a four-man rush than we did a week ago, which is great to see.”

ON STOPPING VIRGINIA RUNNING BACK ALBERT REID:

“Too many runs that got out there, they were in streaks. Part of it is tackling, part of it is fitting the defense the right way.”

DEVON ALLEN

HOW HE’S FEELING AFTER OLYMPICS:

“My knee feels great now. Just getting back into football shape, but that’s expected, especially showing up to fall camp late. I feel good. I’m starting to get my lungs back and my legs back.”

ON TIMING AND FOOTBALL SHAPE:

“Rhythm and timing is all repetition, doing it multiple times. I’ve been here for maybe 20 days, so I just need to get reps. In practice, after practice, before practice get with the coach and adjusting to those guys you’re going to be playing with. (I) can feel them out, they can feel me out, how I run my routes, know how I do it. That’s something they did with all the other receivers too. That is a timing thing. When the quarterback is out there, whether fast or slow, they know where to put the ball. Pharaoh is out there, you have to put the ball a little higher. When Chuck is out there, you got to put it on him. It’s a little bit different but with reps, it’s going to get better and better with 12 or 13 more weeks of football.”

Virginia v Oregon
The Rio ‘16 Olympian led all receivers on Saturday with 141 receiving yards, including an impressive 77-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dakota Prukop.
Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

ON DAKOTA PRUKOP:

“He has a cannon for an arm. I talked to him a little bit on the sideline, ‘Hey, throw it a little bit earlier and I’ll run underneath it and catch it.’ Like I said earlier, we still have to work on timing. That comes with practice and time together. I think we’ll get that down in the next couple weeks.”

THE DUCKS OFFENSIVE BALANCE:

“All-around athlete. He can run, he can pass, do all that stuff. He really opens up our offense. It gives us a chance to give the ball to Royce, Taj, Tony and those guys. Spread the around to all the weapons we have at tight end, receiver. I think that’s a big deal because the defense can’t really focus on one person. They could try to stop DC one week and then Dwayne Stanford is going to have a great game. You try to stop Royce one week but then Taj is going to have a great game and so forth. I think it’s just a big asset to our team.”

THINGS DEVON NEEDS TO WORK ON MOVING FORWARD:

“As a receiver, catching, running, running is something I’m good at. The sooner you get better at catching, the sooner you get better at blocking. Knowing you assignment. I played a little bit of inside receiver this game, so I’m starting to move around and learn all the positions so I can be more of an asset.”

DAKOTA PRUKOP

ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE:

“I just have complete faith in my offensive line. I don’t ever really expect to get hit, but there is a defense, it happens. When you have receivers out on the edge like that, you know that if you can just hold in for that extra second, buy a little more time for them, they’ll usually get themselves open.”

GAMEPLAN ENTERING THE WEEK:

“There was two main goals that we set last week. The first was to play at our tempo, play at Oregon tempo and I definitely feel we did that this week. We started getting some big, gashing runs. They weren’t getting set (Virginia defense). I think we maintained that fast tempo throughout three quarters of the game. The second were protections. We talked about that last week.”

ON COMMUNICATION:

“Me and the offensive line were on the same page all night. We have great communication. Coach Helfrich preaches communication, how important it was. I don’t think there was a single unpicked-up protection, like something that caught us off guard. It happened a couple times last week.”

THE WIDE RECEIVER GROUP:

“It’s a really unique group (the receivers). It’s really cool because they do kind of put that ego aside and it allows for a great team. We have a lot of room to grow and I’m really excited to see the growth between week two and week three.”

ON THE DEVON ALLEN 77-YARD TOUCHDOWN:

“I was shocked (Devon Allen had single coverage). I should have released that ball a lot sooner. I’m pretty positive he had to run back 15 yards to get it because he’s so fast. Virginia played man coverage on that, that’s good.”

PHARAOH BROWN

ON HIS FIRST TOUCHDOWN SINCE 2014:

“Every time I run that play (in practice), I score a touchdown so 100-percent right now. Coach Lubick asked me and I told coach in practice, 'Just call it, I always score on it.’ It was a sweet play. The safety bit down, went into the corner and the rest is history. The crowd went wild. It was just great. Honestly, to score, it’s been a long time.”

MARK HELFRICH

ON SATURDAY’S WIN:

“Solid and victory are two things we like. Could of, would of, should of slammed the door shut quite a few times. In all phases, offensively, defensively and special teams, a lot of work to do. I don’t think we turned the ball over which was a good thing obviously, always a point of emphasis. We had a lot of opportunities there at the end. Way too many penalties. Uncharacteristic of how we’ve trained. We maintained our composure during certain times. Our perimeter blocking has been outstanding. Jalen Brown did an awesome job.”

Virginia v Oregon
Mark Helfrich was satisfied by the way his team played on Saturday against Virginia. However, he stressed that he was not pleased with the effort.
Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

ON PENALTIES:

“We can’t have the late hits. Sometimes late hits are okay. It looked like a couple of those were not smart. That needs to be corrected.”

THE DUCKS EXPLOSIVE FIRST HALF:

“We got a feel for what they were doing (in the first quarter) and had a lot of success. We got a little more tempo going, a little bit more rhythm and got the ball. Royce obviously had a great first half. I can’t remember what his numbers were but very productive.”

CREATING BALANCE:

“That’s something we always want to be able to do (creating balance). We want to appear 50-50 in the run-pass and have the ability to do either when you need to. Maybe even when they know it’s coming. We had a couple, had that huge third down conversion by Devon. That was an unbelievable play. For the most part, not satisfied but pleased."