Football Practice Report: Sept. 8
Venue: Outdoor practice fields
Format: Full pads
In the wake of Oregon's season-opening win over Fresno State, quarterback Anthony Brown was his own toughest critic.
Yes, he had thrown for one touchdown and run for another, the latter providing the winning margin in a 31-24 victory for the Ducks. But after the game Brown spoke of how the UO offense "didn't play clean enough," and was not "firing on all cylinders."
A review of his own play on film in the wake of the game had Brown once again giving himself mixed reviews.
"I made some quick decisions," he said following practice Wednesday. "But some of the decisions, I could have hung on a little bit."
That is among the details Brown and the Ducks are looking to clean up in practice this week before heading east to play at Ohio State on Saturday (9 a.m. PT, FOX). Oregon was in full pads for practices Tuesday and Wednesday, and will hold a walk-through Thursday morning before departing for Ohio.
The eyes of the country will be on the matchup of top-15 teams. The Ducks intend to prove themselves worthy of the attention.
"It's exciting," receiver Mycah Pittman said. "There's a reason why you came to Oregon – big games like this. It's gonna be a great competition, and it's gonna be a test to see who's willing to be the guy, who's willing to step up."
The Ducks blared crowd noise over their PA system for practices Tuesday and Wednesday – and the volume seemed to be ratcheted up even higher Wednesday than the day before. A handful of UO travel party members have experienced playing in a venue as large as Ohio Stadium, but it will be a new environment for most.
Brown, who was the quarterback at Boston College for a 2017 game at Clemson's massive Memorial Stadium, said a setting like that has to be experienced first-hand.
"It's hard to mentally prepare somebody for something they haven't (experienced) physically," he said. "Really it's just getting them to focus each rep, not pay attention to everything around them and focus on what they're doing in the moment."
Practice highlights: As is the case every Wednesday, practice ended with a 2-minute drill. The No. 1 defense got off the field thanks to big plays from Brandon Dorlus and Adrian Jackson, and the No. 2 defense capped practice with a turnover as Bryan Addison intercepted a pass. … Brown and his receivers were really efficient for most of the morning practice. He had really nice balls to Kris Hutson, Johnny Johnson III and Devon Williams in a red-zone period, and showed good chemistry with Jaylon Redd in the first 11-on-11 period of the day. … Robby Ashford and Isaiah Brevard connected for a touchdown that gave the scout-team offense a win on a rep against the defense in the red zone. Brevard's size and body control make him an elite threat in that situation.
Other observations: Mario Cristobal said after practice that Kayvon Thibodeaux remains day-to-day with the ankle sprain he suffered against Fresno State. He said Thibodeaux is "trying to get there" but "not there yet" in trying to get where he needs to be to play at Ohio State. … The Ducks have been having some fun this week with the fact Evan Williams of Fresno State led the Bulldogs with 10 tackles and a pass breakup last week, while his brother – UO safety Bennett Williams – didn't register a stat in the game. Any time the ball has been remotely close to Bennett in practice this week, he's been sure to hear some version of, "Evan definitely would have made that play!"
Head coach Mario Cristobal
Senior quarterback Anthony Brown
Senior offensive lineman George Moore
Sophomore receiver Mycah Pittman