Oregon will get some much-needed help on a depleted offensive line Saturday. Tackle Andre Yruretagoyena vowed that he’d return to action this season after injuring his left leg against Michigan State in Week 2. Yruretagoyena is making good on that promise and will take the field against Colorado State after missing the Ducks’ last eight games.
I had the opportunity to speak with Yruretagoyena at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in an interview for FishDuck.com after practice today.
Missing the last eight games hasn’t been the most enjoyable experience for Yruretagoyena. “It was pretty terrible, especially when it gets cold because you don’t stay warm from playing,” Yruretagoyena said, jokingly. He went on to say, “Sometimes it got frustrating, especially when the team needs you and you can’t really do anything about it.”
The offensive tackle hasn’t been able to partake in practice for the better part of the past two months, and Yruretagoyena explained how he felt participating in full practice sessions. “I thought that I was going to be a lot rustier going into it, but I felt pretty good going back into,” he said. “Obviously it takes a day to get back into things, to get used to the tempo, and to take over the full workload again.”
Yruretagoyena was surprised with how well-conditioned he was after being out for so long. “I thought that was going to be a big issue, but I honestly haven’t had any issues. I’m a 300-lb. guy, and I don’t really like running, so I’m pretty excited with how good I felt.” Yruretagoyena admitted that he felt a little rusty on the mental side of things, though. “There are some identification things that I’m not entirely set on, but that’s what film study is for, and I’ll be watching plenty of it,” he said.
Yruretagoyena made his intentions clear when asked how much he expected to play. “I’m hoping to start, but I’m willing to do whatever the coaches want me to do.”
Top Photo by Kevin Cline