Oregon Football

Wednesday Mario Cristobal Press Conference

November 6, 2019

Mario Cristobal opened Wednesday's press conference by promoting the men's and women's basketball teams. Then he addressed the week's hottest topics.

On the week off: Using this bye week to heal up and using it wisely to improve ourselves schematically, technically and fundamentally. Also want to have a great week academically and through community service standpoint.

On CJ Verdell, Cyrus Habibi-Likio and Dallas Warmack: We thought Dallas was going to be OK, had a hip flexor (injury) against WSU. Strained that thing pretty good; all week long he was halfway there. About Thursday, Friday we thought it might be better to rest him.

CJ had a mild groin strain, but it’s not going to keep him out of practice or our game plans.

Cyrus’ quad swelled up last week, (so he) didn’t get to play special teams or running back. Just watching him run and practice today we feel he is back to 100%.

We see all those guys playing next week.

On Verdell’s durability: Whatever happens in football you gotta deal with it; we do our best to get our guys healthy. He’s tough; he battles through it.

We stand by him. If he gets nicked up, next man has got to go up until he’s ready to roll.

On being No. 7 in CFP rankings: I think its always an honor to be talked about and to be in that conversation. The focus will continue to be on us taking care of our own business -- that’s all that’s got to matter.

It absolutely plays zero role and has just no effect on the way we prepare and our mindset. Our entire focus is on us. We all feel if we ever get off of that mindset, that path, mindset, we won't be very good.

Everything will take care of itself.

On Lance Wilhoite and JR Waters: JR did individual (drill)s today, special teams, some light work with the wide receivers. He’s been out about 10 weeks now. He’s close, and we feel he will be able to give us something at least from a practice standpoint; he’s not ready to play in a game.

Lance looked really good today. He looked like he’s close to being healed up and almost ready to go.

Those are two big, athletic guys that can run and certainly make a difference in the passing game. We have started to integrate them into what we do from a team period and work standpoint.

On the secondary’s play against USC wide receivers: Per our grades they did really well; the eye discipline improved. We had lost our way a bit in previous weeks. They had tremendous leadership and accountability back there. Played an excellent football game from top to bottom; kept everything in front of them, tackled a lot better.

They changed the momentum of the game with turnovers.

On how staff is spending the bye week: It’s probably a longer week because of the travel involved in getting to the prospects we’re trying to see.

We use Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday on the field, Friday in the weight room. Went in pads today, full pads again tomorrow; we’re going to stay sharp at the things we feel we’re doing well; we’re going to tweak on things we feel we need to improve upon.

Grind on the fundamentals, mainly blocking and tackling. Developing guys on both sides of the ball, special teams that will help us win games.

On how the win over USC affects So Cal recruiting: You can visit the schools but can’t talk to people in person.

It’s an area we’ve made a super priority for us. A lot of people realize this is just the beginning; we’re a young football team. We’re going to continue to work on development and enhancement of the roster. That area is a huge part of it, as well as the West Coast.

We haven’t strayed from our message. We do what we do and let the body of work speak for itself. We haven't played our best football yet.

On the match-up problems presented by Juwan Johnson: He had a big game. He had some big plays in the previous game as well. He brings a lot to the table, unquestionably. That's a large man running down there and making things happen.

We aren’t a one-man operation. We spread the ball around, which makes for a good dynamic. There's only one ball, and you'd like for different guys to touch it.

It makes us harder to defend. We feel like we have a good amount of answers on offense.

On potential redshirts: We haven’t completely decided. There's a lot of football to play. Depends on how injuries occur or do not occur.

In terms of (offensive linemen (Chris) Randazzo and Dawson (Jaramillo), they both had pretty significant injuries. Randazzo has been out for a while and might be back in about three weeks. Dawson will join us in the springtime.

On the USC ejections and Brady Breeze stepping up: Brady played a great game and made big-time plays. He changed the momentum of the game.

I don't think people realize the amount of hustle behind that fumble recovery. He outworked the offensive player for that football.

He’s earned the right to be on the field more, and we have to make sure we make that happen.

Tags: Football
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