The 24-hour rule that some coaches employ to give players one day to celebrate a win or agonize over a defeat does not exist at Oregon.
Win or lose, the Ducks have a Sunday schedule.
“On Sunday, there was not a lot of talking,” junior wide receiver Dillon Mitchell said. “There was a lot of work getting done.”
Following a 38-31 overtime loss to Stanford on Saturday night, the Ducks were back at the Hatfield-Dowlin complex the following day to lift weights, attend meetings and practice.
“It is about what you would expect, everyone was frustrated,” UO center Jake Hanson said. “But by that point, we had watched the film and the coaches said what needed to be said and we moved on.”
Some games are easier to move on from than others as the Ducks reflected back on a series of plays that may have altered the result.
If Jaylon Redd doesn’t hit the pylon on a touchdown run or Cyrus Habibi-Likio doesn’t fumble on the goal line, the Ducks likely lead 31-7 with just over 18 minutes left in the game. Instead, two plays later, Stanford’s Joey Alfieri went 80 yards on a fumble recovery that got the Cardinal within 24-14.
Oregon took a 10-point lead on Habibi-Likio’s touchdown with 4:39 left to play and led 31-28 before C.J. Verdell fumbled with 51 seconds left to set up Stanford’s game-tying field goal.
“It’s frustrating when you have a couple plays that were big momentum shifts, but that game is over,” Hanson said.
Cristobal looked to point the Ducks forward in the locker room immediately after the game and there was no players-only meeting necessary to strengthen that message.
“A few guys spoke up, but it’s pretty well known that’s not how we want to end a game,” UO quarterback Justin Herbert said. “Guys know that’s not how we finish.”
By Tuesday, the 19th-ranked Ducks (3-1) were looking ahead to Saturday night’s matchup at Cal (3-0), which entered the AP poll at No. 24 this week.
“Coming to practice after a loss always sucks, but you can’t let it get to you two days after the game,” Hanson said. “There hasn’t been a lag, we were ready to go.”
The players policed any lulls in practice.
“It is back to normal now,” Mitchell said. “If there was a part in practice where nobody was showing the kind of juice you want to see, that is when the leaders bring the group together to strike a fire back under us to be practicing like we should be.”
Oregon will find out just how well it moved on from Stanford when it takes the field in Berkeley.
“If we can bounce back after a tough, disappointing loss on the road against a real talented team, that will show what this team is made of,” Hanson said.