Well Duck fans, I’m pretty sure I saw Noah’s Ark last night in Autzen Stadium. I think we were all completely blown away (almost literally) by how much rain there actually was. For those that stayed, you win the award for Autzen’s best fans for sure!
Defensive Coordinator, Nick Aliotti’s thoughts on the game:
Despite the near flooding of Autzen Stadium, the Ducks managed to pull out an outstanding 55-16 win and limit Cal’s pass game almost entirely. Defensive Coordinator, Nick Aliotti said he had planned a number of elaborate”disguises” for Cal’s young Quarterback, but stated they didn’t end up needing to use them because of the elements. He added he didn’t think Oregon had yet been tested because Cal wasn’t able to play their best because they weren’t able to pass the ball like they wanted to (again because of the rain). When asked about his thoughts on the game, Aliotti gave major accolades to the offense, stating he didn’t think he’d ever seen an offense execute as well as they do. As for the defense, he wasn’t as complimenting, saying “You probably think I’m out of my mind and I am…but I didn’t like the end of that thing. It was pretty sloppy.” This is a typical response from Aliotti as he openly admits he’s hard to satisfy.
Coach Helfrich’s Thoughts on the game:
Coach Helfrich joked with the media as he typically does, which is very refreshing I might add. He seemed pleased overall and joked that the rain reminded him of his Coos Bay days. He gave a shout out to fans who weathered the storm and stayed put for the entire game, adding they should all get free Dutch Brothers coffee.
Helfrich was asked about Tyner’s performance. The true freshman rushed for over 100 yards (very good and Lamichael James-esque). I expected him to sing his praises, but he remained pretty neutral saying “There were a couple of great things he did and a couple things we will build upon”.
De’Anthony Thomas on leaving the game injured:
As expected, Thomas was bombarded by reporters inquiring about his injury. I kinda felt for him, but respected his attempt to be respectful and give only the information he felt comfortable giving. He said he hurt his right ankle during a return, after sliding wrong. He was hit at the same time, but indicated it was the slippery field that made him turn awkwardly. He seemed cautiously optimistic but I sensed some worry. He stated he hadn’t had X-rays and would be further evaluated “tomorrow”. In regards to supporting his fellow running back, Byron Marshall, Thomas told me he pushed him, saying, “go hard, keep on fighting and keep on pushing”. That advice seemed to work as Marshall also rushed over 100 yards.
Marcus Mariota on playing in the rain and spending time with Mom.
Mariota was fairly subdued during the press conference. It was midnight after all. He did answer a few questions about the rain however, explaining he was used to playing football in the rain because of regular “passing rain” in Hawaii. He added, “It’s not an excuse”.
I asked Mariota about his family being in town for the game. He told me his mother was there which meant a lot to him. She was making her first visit and helped him move to a new place on Friday. He added, “It’s always nice to have a mom around, especially because they fill up your refrigerator”.