Burmeister making progress, Herbert continuing to “drink his milk”
The Oregon offense, led by freshman quarterback Braxton Burmeister, continued in its struggles in the 31-14 loss against the University of California, Los Angeles on Saturday, but head coach Willie Taggart is still optimistic about the young quarterback’s progression.
“Last week, I thought he got better,” Taggart said. “I thought he did some good things for us. … I’ve said this before and it’s still true. Guys around him have to get better and step their game up and help the kid.”
Quarterback Justin Herbert, who injured his collarbone against Cal on Sept. 30, is continuing to recover and helping Burmeister in the process. Taggart says that Herbert is “drinking his milk,” so he should be back “sooner rather than later.”
“He’s doing a good job of mentoring Braxton and keeping him calm,” Taggart said. “He’s so eager to get back out there it’s cool to see. … It’s killing him inside not to be out there helping his teammates, and to see where we’re at right now it really does bother him.”
This Saturday, the Ducks will face Utah at home. Utah sits at 1-3 in conference play, but it is known for having a “stout” defense. Utah’s strong defense, coupled with Oregon’s offensive struggles, could prove to be a challenge for the Ducks.
“They’re big, they’re physical, they’re fast,” Taggart said. “They play well together, they’re well-coached. They don’t do a lot, but they do it well. So we’ve got to match that offensively. We probably don’t do as much, but we’re going to do it really well.”
There will be a familiar face for Duck fans on the Utes’ offensive side of the ball. Darren Carrington, the former Oregon standout who was dismissed from the team over the summer after a DUI, is leading the Pac-12 in average receiving yards per game for Utah.
“I don’t think we’re going in and saying, ‘We’ve got to stop Darren Carrington,’” Taggart said. “We’ve got to go and play better than what we’ve played no matter who is on that other side of the ball. Our mindset as a team right now is that we’ve got to get ourselves right. It’s not about who we’re playing, it’s about us.”
Follow Kylee O’Connor on Twitter @kyleethemightee
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