EUGENE — Oregon (3-2) will face No. 13 USC (5-0) in the Pac-12 Championship game on Friday (5 p.m., FOX).
Mario Cristobal held his game week press conference tonight.
Below are initial live updates from Cristobal’s press conference.
“Obviously, a lot of excitement about the opportunity, at the same time thoughts and prayers going out to those out in Seattle because that’s a difficult situation and certainly something that we hope to see them work through and come out healthy on the other side.”
On integrity of the Pac-12 season given how last week and this week are going:
“I think the assessment of everyone involved is that you want to settle everything on the field. We were set to host the North division crown on Saturday on our field and our opponent had to cancel, so we never got that opportunity either. Then all of a sudden we get a sudden change today, we got a different type of opportunity. I don’t know if you can use the word ‘integrity’ as it relates to all this stuff. I think everyone’s trying to figure it out. All you would wish for is that everyone gets a chance to do it on the field and it’s difficult because you don’t know how it’s going to affect you from week to week. You don’t know how it’s going to affect the different teams from the beginning of the year up until now. We played games this year in the low 50s in terms of scholarship players available, but that’s what we’re going to do because it provides the best shot at integrity. I think everybody’s working at it; I think they have found the best solution they can come up with and we’re going to be prepared to play.”
On changing preparation for opponents, game dates:
“We’re working off of two different scripts. We use one day in its entirety to break down Colorado, the other day to breakdown USC. Then we were thinking, OK, just in case let’s go through a walk-through today thinking that we’re playing, at least we’re supposed to play on Saturday. If something happens and there is some type of news at some point in time today on Monday then we can completely flip it and go right to a Tuesday type of practice on a Monday and that’s what we’re doing. Is it as deep and thorough as you would like on a normal week? It’s getting there. It’s getting close. You’ve got ot invest every single that you have and it’s going to be the all-nighters that you’ve got to pull off and you should. You should be excited about that.
“The players, they went home, they got something to eat, they got some rest, gave us time to prepare that second practice because that in itself, that’s a monumental task. I felt like some great flashbacks of drawing cards like a GA back in the day in ‘97. I thought that was awesome.”
On Auburn rumors:
“We seem to get a lot of rumors at this time of year. This is what I can say, I can say that I haven’t been contacted, OK. I don’t know of my agent being contacted and I talk to him every single day. I trust Phil Knight. I trust Rob Mullens. I trust our administration and I trust people here at Oregon.
“As you guys know, we have been working on something when the pandemic first hit and things kind of stalled and things have picked back up. I’ve always been transparent with every single one of you and I will continue to do that. Hopefully in the next couple of days there’s more stuff to talk about as it relates to that. That in itself right there hopefully explained to you exactly where things are with me.”
On what factors are involved in decision-making with job opportunities:
“I haven’t gone through it quite yet, at least not since I’ve been over here so I couldn’t tell you. I know that we have an awesome thing going. We got an unbelievable class going and I think that when people speculate and start putting rumors out there a lot of times people try to take that and get it to fit their narrative, which is try to affect recruiting classes at Oregon, try to spin a story. Like I said earlier, like I said right now and like I’ll say tomorrow, I’ve been honest with you, I’m continuing being honest with you, things are being worked out and I have full trust in the administration here that things are going to be worked out and that I’ll be coaching here so that’s where it’s at.”
— Says he thinks both Oregon and USC have lost two days in preparation for the game
— WR Devon Williams is back; so are LBs Noah Sewell and Dru Mathis
— TEs Cam McCormick is still being evaluated, Spencer Webb good to go
— SLB Adrian Jackson “has a good chance to play this week”
— CB Daewood Davis unavailable
— CB Dontae Manning optimistic about him returning
— Says Oregon will look to change some signals given some familiarity on USC coaching staff with Donte Williams and Todd Orlando
— Always want to compete for a championship at end of the season. “You wish that you get everybody to play” in the Pac-12 North. “It’s not fair to anyone.” But when the opportunity is there, everyone is excited and grateful.