EUGENE, Oregon — Two weeks from today Oregon football will open their season. 14 days from now, head coach Willie Taggart will dip his toes into the Pac-12 Conference coaching pool. It’s hard to believe the wait is almost over.
Please allow my man Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (pictured) to count us down on the 14th day.
You can only ask a coaching staff and their players the same question in so many varieties before it’s simply time to stop talking and start playing. Oregon football wants to stop answering the question ‘are you ready?’ and instead, show everyone how ready they are for this season.
Sunday will mark the end of the third week of fall training camp. Under the lights at Autzen Stadium, the second live scrimmage of camp will be conducted. However, this will be the first like a real game situation.
“We’re going to scrimmage on Sunday,” said Taggart. “With our guys, with our staff, it will be our first time going through game week preparation. I want our guys to go through a week of game prep before we get into game week.”
Week 3 will conclude with the truest test of fall camp thus far. The first year Duck head man believes Sunday will be a good barometer for his staff and players.
“On Sunday, we’re going to go and practice as if it’s a game,” stated Taggart. “Bring out the headsets, guys will go up to the press box and in the area where they’re going to be. Go out and do stretch, everything so everybody knows where they’re supposed to be. We practiced those things throughout training camp and even in spring ball so everybody knows exactly where they’re at.”
The first three weeks of camp were highlighted by the dominant defense, an improving offensive line, a stronger Royce Freeman and an elite freshmen class. If it’s any indication of things to come, Duck fans will not be disappointed in 2017.
Oregon will begin their official game preparation for Southern Utah next week. The Ducks will still work on certain items in a fall camp setting, but they will be focusing their effort toward an opponent finally.
The players are excited to hit someone besides their own teammates. Meanwhile, the savvy UO coaching staff understands every extra day is a teachable moment before the true chaos of the season gets underway.
Two weeks from Saturday, the building begins. By the time the season is over, Taggart wants the Duck foundation to be rebuilt.