In the Ducks’ final practice before No. 12 UCLA comes to town, head coach Mark Helfrich stressed that it has been another solid week of practice to prepare for perhaps the Ducks’ toughest opponent of the season so far.
Helfrich said that UCLA’s true freshmen on the offensive line performed well against Stanford.
“I thought they did a really good job against Stanford when those guys were in there,” Helfrich said. “It wasn’t a situation where you could watch the film and go, ‘Wow, number so-and-so is a true freshman.’ A lot of times when you see that many guys slotted in and out, you can tell. They’ve done a good job of mixing and matching their personnel.”
Helfrich began his address to reporters by quickly commenting on the arrest of former Duck Colt Lyerla’s.
“Before we get started, obviously, we are aware of Colt’s arrest last night,” Helfrich said. “Our only comment is the same as when he chose to leave the program, and that’s that we wish him well.”
Junior offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu told reporters that Lyerla’s arrest is unfortunate, but the team is focused on the Bruins coming to town.
“Just unfortunate. I just wish that I could’ve done more to help him,” Grasu said. “I just try to do as much as I can. I’ll text him and try to give him a call. Maybe he just wants his own time right now. Honestly, I’m not even focusing on that at all. I’m focusing on the game this week.”
With ESPN’s College GameDay coming to campus this week, Helfirch said that despite a couple of different obligations, he’s excited to have the show come to Eugene.
“If you’re playing in the right games, those guys come around and that’s a good thing,” Helfrich said.
He said that the spotlight on Oregon this week can help with recruiting of high school players.
“That’s what guys want to do,” Helfrich said. “They want to be the feature, so to speak. Those guys are picking the best game of the week. If they’re around, then you’re doing something right.”
Helfrich also praised true freshman linebacker Torrodney Prevot’s talents and contributions so far this season.
“Torrodney is a dynamic guy,” Helfrich said. “He’s kind of in the Thomas Tyner category of just a guy that is learning on the run and on the fly of developing as a true freshman. He’s a guy that is at times our most dynamic pass-rusher and just has a natural skill set that you can’t teach.”