On Wednesday morning Pac-12 Media Days kicked off from Los Angeles California and to start the day the Media Poll for the upcoming season was released and the Oregon Ducks were the near unanimous pick to take the Pac-12 North Division and the Conference Title for the 2014 season. Coaches and players were interviewed by the media as Fall Camp is getting ever closer and Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich said he had not had much down time during the summer. “I don’t think you ever settle in and just sit down and exhale and relax. There is another coach in this conference that told me when I first got hired that you won’t feel comfortable for two and a half years and I was shocked by that.”
Helfrich, along with his Coaching Colleagues in the Pac-12 Conference are all looking forward, “The importance of preparing for everybody is what I think our biggest focus needs to be. Obviously we’ve been asked a lot about the media poll that took place, and that is a good thing. It’s a good thing for the media and our fans and for everybody to talk about. Looking back to last year, it’s a great thing for our players to kind of slap ourselves in the face and go back to process, go back to culture.” One big piece that received a ton of media attention on Wednesday was Oregon Ducks Quarterback Marcus Mariota, who went through the gauntlet of media interviews and by days end talked to twenty five outlets.
The North is especially from our perspective, Washington, Oregon State, we’ve always hated each other. Then the Stanford element has been at times fun, and all times competitive. They’ve gotten us the last two years, so we need to do something about that.
Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich on the Pac-12 North rivalries
The Oregon Head Coach hopes Mariota is as successful on the football field this Fall, “He’s 100% true. He’s 100% dedicated to the team, and 100% credible. A lot of guys talk a good game. Everything that guy does is gospel…That’s huge. I think it speaks to the type of guy he is, the type of team he is, and certainly hopefully to the type of program that we have.” Aside from the Offense, the Oregon Ducks Defense was also represented at Media Day with Linebacker Derrick Malone, who according to Helfrich also means a lot to this team. “He can walk into every position meeting room and have instant credibility. He can talk to anybody on offense too and throughout our team. He’s a guy that kind of walks a walk and always talks the talk.”
Mariota and Malone will certainly have their opportunity to do just that starting on Saturday, August 30th when the regular season begins for the Oregon Ducks. Oregon will host South Dakota and Michigan State to start the season. The Coyotes come to Eugene for a 7:30pm Pacific Time kickoff on Pac-12 Networks. The following week, September 6th, the Michigan State Spartans enter Autzen Stadium for a 3:30pm Pacific time kickoff on FOX.