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What Mario Cristobal Said After Utah Beat Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship

The Ducks fell to Utah 38-10 in the 2021 Pac-12 Championship game in Las Vegas.

Following Oregon's loss to Utah in the Pac-12 championship Friday night, head coach Mario Cristobal met with reporters to discuss the team's performance as well as reports linking him to the University of Miami.

Below is a transcription of the press conference. 

Opening Statement

“Good evening, appreciate you guys waiting around. Certainly not the result we wanted.  We felt good coming in, had a good week of practice and preparation. We had a really big goal trying to win our third (Pac-12 Championship) in a row but credit to them they earned the victory tonight. We found ourselves in third down situations and couldn’t convert them.  And certainly the big turnover early with the interception for a touchdown, and we couldn’t capitalize on turnovers that we forced on them.  We got down there and had a field goal miss and then went three-and-out after the other turnover.”

On reports of his future:

“I don’t know what you mean when you say someone’s offered (a job). I haven’t talked to anybody. Let’s not create narratives as we sit here in this press conference. Oregon is working on some stuff for me and that’s what I have right now.  That’s the extent of the conversation.”

On uncertainty surrounding his future:

“I would say if there’s something to report, I will report it.  I always have.  Over the years, because certain things are put out there or not.  Every year our entire staff, whether behind the scenes, whether public or not, we’ve always had different people come for our people, including myself, and how the media treats it and how they choose to posture it, I have no control.  As I just mentioned, that’s the extent of it.”

On if players were distracted by rumors:

“I don’t know what to tell you.  I can tell you this, if I had any plans, if I had a decision to make or if I had something to report I would and I wouldn’t keep it one way or the other.  OK?  Do I expected people to come at me?  Yeah, I do.  It happens every single year.  Is there anything else to report besides that?  There’s nothing else to report besides that. When there ever is, if there ever is, I’ll make sure to get it to you as fast as I can.”

On if he would listen to another job offer:

“I’m not going to get into hypotheticals. We just finished off and we played and coached very poorly and I think you understand I have a job to do.  I feel like we’re going in circles with the same answers.  You’re going to get the same response.”

On if he thought about changing quarterbacks:



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"We're playing well as an offense. We went in there thinking a certain game plan would give us the best chance and that's what we went with. So we stuck with that decision.”

On if his outlook changes on the trajectory of Oregon’s program:

“No, it's certainly disappointing. I’m disappointed in ourselves as a staff, as a team. We found a way to win 10 games despite a lot of injuries. We had some really bright moments. We got one of the best road victories in the country this year. Then we had a couple of disappointing losses, but to have 10 wins on the season and then win the North Division and give ourselves an opportunity to win our third straight Pac-12 Championship. We didn’t get it done, but the other team earned it, so congratulations.”

On where he goes before signing day:

“All of our prospects, all of our commitments, all of our targets.  We’re going to line things up like we always do.”

On having two bad losses to Utah:

“They won their match ups.  They won their match ups both from a coaching standpoint and from an execution stand point.  They did a better job than we did and there’s no excuse to make. In terms of explanation an the actual scheme, the more you look at film, one was inside zone, why it was successful or why wasn’t it.  We got ourselves in third-and-8-plus and we were at one point in the game one-for-nine on third down.  That was a recipe for a bad night. That was something we really poured a lot of time into, to put yourselves in good third down situations by having more efficient first and second down plays.  

"We thought we schemed that up well.  A couple of penalties hurt us, as did an errant snap in the second half.  They played well, but we hurt ourselves, as well.  But the recipe to change the result of this game was to do better on first and second down and we didn’t.  We attacked it a couple of different ways and felt we had some good adjustments but they weren’t good enough.”

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