After a breakout performance against Washington, Royce Freeman may be taking more of a featured role in the Oregon backfield. This is especially important if Thomas Tyner’s shoulder injury continues to nag him after getting knocked out of the game in the first quarter.
“That football isn’t real heavy. He can carry it 30 or 40 times. I was pleased with the way he handled the carries. At this point I expect him to be able to do that. He isn’t a freshman anymore,” said running backs coach Gary Campbell.
While Freeman may continue to get more of a load, there is no reason to believe that Thomas Tyner will start to be phased out of the Oregon offense in light of Freeman’s big game. In addition to that, Tyner competed fully in practice today and expects to be able to play Friday at Levi’s Stadium.
“[Our running game] is always by committee, we try to keep fresh guys in there. That’s what we do. When one guy is in and he gets a little tired, we are going to get someone else in. That’s kind of the way we do it so we get the best out of the guys who are playing,” said Campbell.
Despite the blowout last season, the Ducks aren’t overlooking California. The Bears have been able to hang around with the likes of UCLA. Coach Scott Frost saw last year’s meeting at Autzen as a bit of an outlier.
“That game last year was an anomaly. It was in a monsoon. I think any time there is a new coach in there, establishing his culture, I’m not sure everybody bought in to it last year. You can tell by the way Cal’s players are playing this year that the coaching staff has done a great job with them. They execute well and they play hard,” said Frost.
In playing in Levi’s Stadium, it will be interesting to see what kind of turnout the Bears field. Coach Frost doesn’t seem to think the Bears are going to be able to pack the house and talks on how the team needs to respond.
“I can’t see that stadium being full and the environment might be a little quiet and dead and we are going to have to bring our own emotion,” said Frost.
Frost wants Ducks to bring emotion to Cal
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