Oregon Football Practice Notes 9/4/12 (Videos)
A pretty routine day at practice today for the Ducks as they prepare to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs this Saturday at Autzen Stadium. Chip Kelly was not available for interviews today as Monday’s Labor Day holiday pushed back some of his usual Monday commitments to Tuesday. Kelly will be available again during the week.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota was initially available for interviews, but was let go after doing a radio interview. Mariota will not be available for interviews on Wednesday, but will be on Thursday. Those who spoke to media after practice on Tuesday including Arik Armstead, De’Anthony Thomas, and defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti.
Armstead said that the biggest difference he has experienced in his jump from high school to college was the size and speed of opposing players. Armstead also spoke of the second half defense that was heavily criticized after giving up 31 points to Arkansas State, saying that they made some mental errors and that Aliotti had told them that they needed to play harder.
When asked what he thought of the team’s performance against Arkansas State, Aliotti said he thought that both sides of the ball “sputtered” in the second half after jumping out to a 50-3 lead halfway through the second quarter. Aliotti went on to say that whenever a player gets the chance to compete, they have to compete, because backups could be called upon in a heartbeat.
After being called the greatest football player ever on Twitter by former teammate LaMichael James, De’Anthony Thomas said he just uses it as motivation to work harder and be the best. Thomas said that he is working on conditioning and studying the playbook during practice to be ready for every game. One year older, Thomas also said that he is feeling more confident with less pressure, and is having fun on the field. Thomas also said that he uses the Heisman hype surrounding him, and said that when the time for BCS games come, “best believe we’ll be ready for it.”
Stay tuned for continued Oregon football coverage through the week. We’ll be back at practice tomorrow to talk to Chip Kelly, and we’ll also take a look at the ticketing problem Oregon has experienced to start the season, and possibly causes and solutions to the problem.