No. 12 Oregon evaluates, moves on from Michigan State loss
''You learn from it, you take inventory of it, you write it down, you don't turn the page yet, you read the page,'' coach Mark Helfrich said. ''You digest it, you fix it and maybe you burn it. And you move forward.''
Oregon dropped from No. 7 to No. 12 in the AP Top 25 following the 31-28 loss to the now-fourth-ranked Spartans on Saturday.
The Ducks (1-1) rallied late with Vernon Adams' 15-yard touchdown pass to Byron Marshall with 3:25 remaining, but then Michigan State's stout defense held. Oregon drove to the Spartans' 33 on its next drive, but Adams overthrew Marshall, then was sacked for a loss of 10. His pass on fourth-and-16 was incomplete.
Helfrich said the difference was in the details.
''That's obviously the difficult part of playing a game like that on the road and in that environment,'' Helfrich said Sunday. ''Every single excruciating detail - in your mind - is the difference in the game.''
There were lingering questions following the game about quarterback Vernon Adams' index finger, which was apparently injured in the season opener. Oregon does not discuss injuries as a policy.
Adams, who threw with gloves on, examined the finger at times during the game and afterward it was taped when he spoke to reporters. He finished with 309 yards passing and the late touchdown to Marshall.
''Anything we say of that nature is an excuse and we don't really get into that realm,'' Helfrich said. ''All I can say for him is that he's gutting it out just like a lot of guys are gutting other things out.''
Adams, who transferred from Eastern Washington for his final season of eligibility, is still learning Oregon's speedy spread offense, Helfrich added.
Oregon has shown in the recent past that one loss won't make or break its season. The Ducks were ranked No. 2 last season when unranked Arizona swept into Eugene and scored four second-half touchdowns for a 31-24 upset.
Oregon regrouped after that loss - which also dropped the Ducks to No. 12 in the rankings - and marched on to victories in the next nine games, including the 59-20 Rose Bowl victory over Florida State in college football's first playoffs.
''There's a bunch of guys that were in the same locker room and we just talked about how that galvanized us last year, and there's absolutely zero reason why that can't happen again,'' Helfrich said.
Receiver Bralon Addison, who was named the Pac-12's special teams player of the week on Monday, pointed to last season's title game.
''It's early, really early. Two teams that played in the national championship last year both had one loss so you know it's a long season. You know teams are going to fight still,'' Addison said. ''Of course, we're not proud of this loss, but there are a lot of things that we can learn from this game.''
Next up for the Ducks is Georgia State (1-1), which is riding high following its 34-32 victory on the road over New Mexico State. It was the Panthers' first win in the Sun Belt Conference since joining in 2013.
Ducks receiver Charles Nelson was already moving on to that one.
''A lot of things we can work on in practice. That's what practice is for, we're going to get back at it on Monday,'' he said following the game. ''I feel like we came out and did what we had to do, but (we had) a couple errors here and there. We can fix that.''