Caleb Couturie interviewed Arik Armstead at the Hatfield-Downlin Complex yesterday morning at the post-practice press conference for FishDuck.com.
Well our Ducks beat Stanford and that feels good and all that but it’s time to focus on what is ahead and our boys are definitely focused on their next game. It’s been a series of back-to-back games these past few weeks that require a lot of physical and mental preparation due to the unique dynamic of each opponent; Utah is no exception.
In yesterday’s interview with Arik Armstead, one of the first things talked about was his awareness of the danger that comes with being a football player every time he sets foot on the field. Armstead has been dealing with an ankle injury this season but said that he is starting to feel a little faster and that it is healing.
Washington State’s quarterback was recently injured pretty badly and Armstead said that he saw that and is thankful that nothing that bad has happened to him. “I can’t control when people fall so I just go out there and play.”
I think we as fans sometimes forget the consequences that can go along with being a Division 1 athlete in such a physical sport. Armstead said, “Anytime you go on a football field anything can happen.” Personally, there’s nothing I dislike more than seeing a player go down no matter which side he is on.
It was asked how the team avoids an emotional let-down heading into the Utah game, Armstead said, “Learn from the past, learn from history, learn from people being successful and falling off… just look at those examples and if we keep our main focus we can do some special things.” He also mentioned that they need to learn from their past last year, how they came back after losing one game.
Stanford and Utah have similar offenses and running game so it was questioned how the team is preparing for this weekend’s game compared to their preparation for Stanford. Armstead explained that it’s the same preparation. Another reporter mentioned that Utah’s run game is much stronger than their pass game and that they are somewhat of a one-dimensional team. Armstead disagreed saying that although they do have a much stronger run game because of Devontae Booker, they are far from one-dimensional and are still going to throw different challenges at our Ducks in this weekend’s game.
It looks to me like, as far as our defense goes, they are focused and working hard to prepare for what comes next. One game at a time, that is how our Ducks play. Every weekend they step on the field, whether it be in Autzen stadium or in another state, I see differences in how they have progressed from the last week. Our Ducks are stronger than they were at the beginning of the season, heck they’re stronger than they were three days ago! I cannot wait to see where this growing strength in each individual player and in the team as a unit takes them this weekend and the remainder of the season.
Top Photo by Kevin Cline