Just a few days removed from an upset win over Washington, No. 12 Oregon must quickly turn around to face another solid team in the Pac-12 North, No. 25 Washington State.
Head coach Mario Cristobal said he was proud players continued to compete, even when it looked like Washington was going to seal the win late in game. He wants the same mentality in Pullman on Saturday.
“We told our guys, ‘the scoreboard lies now,'” Cristobal told media on Monday. “You could go out there and physically dominate for a long time and knock some people around, and you look up and a fumble or an interception, just an unlucky play might say the other team is winning, when on the field you’re doing the things you’re supposed to.”
Offensive lineman Shane Lemieux compared Washington State’s defensive strategy to some of Oregon’s opponents earlier this season.
“They use trickery to try to get around you,” Lemieux said. “We can’t really tighten up when they start doing all the movement stuff like you saw with San Jose State and Portland State.”
Penei Sewell, a true freshman starting at left tackle, has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, which caused him to leave the game early against Washington and will miss the next six weeks.
With senior running back Tony Brooks-James not completely healthy, much of the running game was once again passed to freshman running back CJ Verdell against Washington. His 29 carries for 111 yards, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime, earned him Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.
“He’s done a nice job of progressing as a redshirt freshman,”offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo said.
Verdell joined some elite Oregon company after the first three games of conference play. The only Oregon freshman to have more than one 100-yard game through their first five games is LaMichael James.
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