The first games of the new college football season are less than a month away, and the Oregon Ducks held their first practice on Friday.

With one practice day down, the Ducks have 14 more to go until their first home game against Bowling Green on Sept. 1.

The Ducks want to be in the Rose Bowl hunt and will face off against big opponents at Autzen Stadium this season, including former coach Chip Kelly and his UCLA Bruins.

New Day in Eugene. Fall practice No. 1.— Nick Krupke (@NickKrupke) August 3, 2018

Mario Cristobal, a two-time national champ as a player at Miami and former offensive line coach for the Ducks, is taking over as head coach this season after Willie Taggart left to coach Florida State.

Junior quarterback Justin Herbert continues to add strength after breaking his collarbone a year ago. Herbert should not just be the best quarterback in the Pac-12, but also a Heisman hopeful in what might be his final season on campus.

Turn & Go: Junior QB Justin Herbert returns healthy and larger for his biggest and perhaps last season as a Duck.— Nick Krupke (@NickKrupke) August 3, 2018
No more power back as Royce Freeman is in training camp with the Denver Broncos. Senior Tony Brooks-James will pace the #GoDucks tailbacks.— Nick Krupke (@NickKrupke) August 3, 2018

The recruiting classes have been stellar, but it's the grit and excellence demanded on the field now that matters the most for Coach Cristobal.

"You see the maniacal coaches that we have on this staff and the way they get after it, we've been waiting for this for a long time. The anticipation and the mental intensity is reflected on how do they come to the building and what time they get here. When your meetings can start 11, 12 minutes earlier because everybody's sitting down already, well that's a sign. If you have a team where guys are kind of stragglin' in a minute before, right a second before, well then you got the wrong kind of mental intensity," said Cristobal. "So it's there, you have to sustain it. We have to be very realistic about, we can't allow for human nature to kick in. You know, like we said this is camp time, it's a mind set. Camp mentality is very different than the other phases of the football season so we got to go to work."

Fan day will follow the Ducks practice at 11 a.m. Saturday. This event is open to the public.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


Sports reporter

Recommended for you