Last year’s “monsoon” game against Cal holds a special significance for me. I had come up from California for my first ever Oregon football game. This Friday’s game hold’s similar value for DL Arik Armstead who nearly decided to play for Cal before opting to commit to the Ducks.
Caleb Couturie and Omar Garibay-Diaz of FishDuck.com interviewed Armstead at the The Hatfield-Dowling Complex to get some insight about the importance of this week’s game for the defense.
Before Armstead decided to migrate north he was ready to stay close to home and play for the Golden Bears “It was one of the top schools I was thinking about going to,” he said. Duck fans are glad he decided to come to Oregon and so is he. “It worked out for the best”. Playing in a divisional match-up, especially in the competitive PAC-12 North, gives Duck players plenty of reason to step up, and for Armstead he has the added bonus of playing opposite Cal OT Stephen Moore who attended elementary school with him.
The defense elevated their game last week against the Huskies, holding them to 133 yards on the ground and 184 through the air. They forced Cyler Miles into his first interception of the season. Armstead said, “We made them one dimensional which was our focus… we did our job”. Oregon’s defense won’t live in the past though. With a short week of rest they are making sure they’re ready for their game with Cal on Friday. The Golden Bears will throw the ball all over the field, so how will the Duck defense slow them down? Armstead discussed the defensive plan of attack “We gotta get after the quarterback… get the ball out of his hands quick, force him to make tough decisions”.
While Armstead saw limited duty in the Washington game, he is working hard this week to make sure he will be full speed for Cal. The Ducks look for a third straight conference win in their quest for the Pac-12 title.