Neuheisel on Practice Wednesday

Head Coach Rick Neuheisel talked to the media after practice Wednesday about Oregon's Autzen Stadium, what the opportunity to win the game means to the program, the emergence of Terrence Austin, and the opening up of the competition for kick-off duties...

Offensive lineman Micah Reed, running back Raymond Carter and linebackers Kyle Bosworth and Josh Edwards sat out practice due to injury. Kai Forbath was kicking off with the first string kick-off team.
Comments by Rick Neuheisel:

"Thought it was a good practice today. Defense came with a lot of intensity early
and got our offense lathered up. The offense finished up strong. These are good
days, you always feel like you leave the practice field and you've improved.
That's what you're hoping for as a coach, and we certainly need to do that to
have a chance this Saturday in Eugene."

Is there a better bounce in everyone's step coming off a win?

Certainly. Winning is the goal so you always feel better. But there's lots of
work still to be done. I've not faulted this team's effort, though, whatever the
outcome was the week previous."

Hows Marcus Everett?

Closer. I'd say questionable. I'd say closer to probably a week from now. It's
one of those things when I'm going to decide pregame. He's going to make the
trip. He's excited about having a chance to get back; this is his senior year."

Do you feel like the kids are starting to buy into this?

Yeah. They're giving everything they've got. They're encouraged by the progress.
We just need a big win, and this week is an opportunity to earn just that."

What have you seen form Terrence Austin?

I think he's a very instinctive passing player. You try to find ways to get him
the ball, sometimes by scheme, sometimes by the concept of the play. But he's
become a very valuable weapon for us."

Is this game one of the biggest challenges of the year?

Well, it's the biggest challenge because it's the next challenge. It's a huge,
huge game for us and one when we need to play our best. And if we do, we're
going to have a good chance."

Was Kai Forbath handling the placekicking today?

We just want to create some competition. Jimmy Rotstein does a nice job, but we need to try to get the ball further down the field because right now their average
starting position is somewhere between the thirty and forty. That's just too
much field position. (The competition) is still open. I don't know when I'll
make a decision, maybe even as late as pregame, when I watch the guys warm up."
What about Micah Reed?

I would say Micah is doubtful. We've rested his knee today and the likelihood is
we'll wait another week."

Kyle Bosworth?

He has two injuries. The ankle is cloes to being back, but the knee is further
away. And I don't know if the knee rehab is more difficult because of the ankle.
I don't know those answers. But he's still a ways a way. I don't fault the
kid. I think the kid is trying, but it's just one of those injuries that you
have to let heal I guess."

As far as tough places to play, where do you rank Autzen Stadium?

"I think it's way up there, just from a standpoint of crowd support. I don't
necessarily think of them as tough places to play, I think of them as fun places
to play because they are so exciting and there is so much energy. I would rank
it high on your criteria but I am excited about the challenge."

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