Ducks compete in second spring scrimmage

Oregon looking to build a program that will break through that college football playoff barrier.

Posted: Apr. 13, 2019 7:08 PM

Eugene, OR. -- The Oregon football team was back inside Autzen Stadium today for the first time since its win over Arizona State last November. With the spring game just a week away, the Ducks played through some mild rain during the team’s second scrimmage.

Head coach Mario Cristobal spoke to the media Saturday about the Ducks’ improvement during spring ball.

Oregon finished with a 9-4 record and a Redbox Bowl victory in 2018. But this year the Ducks are trying to break through that college football playoff barrier. And it all starts with the run game.

CJ Verdell was Oregon’s leading rusher last season with 1,018 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. In order to free up the passing game with Justin Herbert and company, Cristobal expects Verdell to surpass those numbers in 2019.

“CJ has been full go for about four practices now,” said Cristobal. “We only give him 75 to 80 percent of the reps because he did carry such a big load throughout the course of the year. We try to limit guys like him because their GPS numbers get so high. It's like putting one of these monitors on a cheetah. They just go. [Verdell] logs a lot of mileage but he’s been full and has had no issues.”

Speaking on younger players, no one has been more impressive on the defensive end than freshman defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux, who recorded an interception in the team’s last scrimmage, has been turning heads during practice all spring long.

“It’s not the five star talent,” said Cristobal. “It’s the five star mentality, it’s the five star effort and it’s the five star approach. This guy is hungry and driven. And those words mean a lot to the guys in this program.”

The Ducks will showcase their 2019 talent in front of a loyal fan base at Autzen Stadium next Saturday afternoon at 2:00.

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