While media weren’t allowed inside Autzen Stadium for this weekend's scrimmage, Mario Cristobal mentioned that multiple players stood out. The list of standouts included a lot of youth, with Cristobal mentioning a strong performance from running back Byron Cardwell and quarterback Jay Butterfield having some great downfield throws.
Lately, there has been some buzz around whether the quarterback competition is closer than some initially thought. As one would expect, when asked about a timeline regarding a decision with the quarterbacks, Cristobal kept his cards close to the vest.
“We’re close, we're close,” he told reporters following the scrimmage Saturday.
The most veteran quarterback in the room, Anthony Brown, had a strong performance in the eyes of Cristobal, and the young quarterbacks continue to impress.
“Anthony’s done a great job. Anthony had a really good day today. Ty had a good day. Butter had a good day. Robby continues to get better and better. It’s tight."
With game one against Fresno State quickly approaching, it sounds like the decision of naming a starting quarterback may perhaps be more difficult following the second scrimmage of fall camp.
"It’s one of those deals where somebody’s going to be disappointed at the end and that part is not fun, but it is real," Cristobal said. "Every one of those quarterbacks should be enthused about their future. They all got a shot. They all got a shot to be the guy, to be the guy that’s competing against the guy. They’re all right there. We’ll find out what we’re about here in a little bit.”
Saying that the Ducks will find out what they're about in a little bit, it seems as if there will be an official announcement this coming week. Almost all signs have pointed to senior Anthony Brown being the guy, as anything other than that would come as a major surprise.
The Oregon staff has been saying as much all throughout spring and fall camp up until now.
I asked Cristobal what he thought of the young wide receivers. With names like Troy Franklin, Dont’e Thornton, and Isaiah Brevard all standing out since their arrival he said they continue to impress and they're ready to get early playing time.
“I don’t playing in a packed stadium in this conference or anything is going to be too big of a moment for them,” Cristobal said of their preparedness.
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Part of what has been instrumental in their accelerated development has been the competition they're facing in practice, led by Mykael Wright, one of the top cornerbacks in the Pac-12.
“I think when you’re going against our corners, you’re going against some of the best there is in the country. I think at the pace that we practice, we challenge them. I don’t see these guys flinching. I see these guys instantly making an impact and we're gonna force the issue. We're gonna press the issue and we think that they're gonna be ready to do it.”
That's high praise for a freshman group who were each highly touted as recruits and have immediately broken into a very deep and experienced wide receiver room.
In a program as deep as Oregon’s, it’s rare to hear true freshmen getting playing time right away, particularly on offense. But that seems to be the case here.
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