Eugene, Ore-- For the second straight practice a green flag flew over the practice fields of the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, indicating that the Oregon defense had won the day of practice.
"Green's a good color," quarterback Dakota Prukop said after practice, "That being said it represents the defense so I am tired of seeing it but it's all fun--I'm just ready for the next competition day."
Oregon's new look defense has had a monopoly on the competition to win the day since the opening of scrimmages last week and today was no different. The offense lost by one point this morning, narrowly missing out on the chance to have their white flag raised for the first time this spring. "Yup," Prukop said through clenched teeth verifying that the offense indeed had only lost by a point in today's practice.
Despite the loss, Prukop insisted that the competition is a good thing for the entire team because it keeps everyone motivated to take the proper steps it takes to win, "Going in and out of periods you'll hear guys talking, 'oh they won that period so we've gotta step it up in the next period' so I think it's cool because guys are engaged and it's something to think about but your not thinking about the score you're just thinking about, we've gotta perform to win... and that goes back to our philosophy 'Win the Day.'"
Mark Helfrich also weighed in on the offense's efforts in Friday's as well as today's scrimmages.
"The offense got off to a fast start and then it was a little sluggish there for awhile, which unfortunately has become a little bit of a tradition around here," observed Hefrich of his team's performance. "But the guys kind of bounced back today and we had a good physical day--on both sides."
The success of the defense has been the talk of camp as of late and has even started to overshadow talk about the famous Oregon offense. Brady Hoke's aggressive 4-3 scheme has given the offense trouble. Junior Tackle, Tyrell Crosby weighed in on what it's been like facing a whole new defense every day.
"It's pretty hard to get a feel for it," said Crosby. "There's a lot of new younger guys stepping in, so you've gotta help them out too but it kind of helps me... it helps me recognize stuff also."
In terms of what the team has accomplished so far in the spring session, Helfrich reported that the team is ahead of schedule in accomplishing the goals they set prior to the start of camp.
"We have maybe about 90% of the install done in every phase," said Helfrich of the offensive progress. "So now you're not thinking as much, you're doing things the second, third, or fourth time."
Looking ahead to the next two weeks of practices prior to the spring game Helfrich hopes to polish off the final 10 percent of install and start working on more situational aspects. Getting into red zone, third and long, third and short, as well as clock management, and making sure everyone knows "how to fit in the grand scheme of things."