After having a second bye week, the Ducks are back in action preparing for this Saturday’s afternoon game against Colorado. This is going to be quite a special night for everyone as it’s the last game home game of the season. However and most importantly, this is “Senior Night!” This Saturday will be a magical night for the seniors of the Oregon football team who will be playing their last game at Autzen Stadium as an Oregon Duck. Guard Hamani Stevens, a key player and redshirt senior of the Ducks, will be one of those who will be playing his last game as a Duck at Autzen Stadium.
Sports writer and reporter Ashley Young had the chance to chat with the Oregon guard on topics such as the game against Colorado, his view of how Hroniss Grasu is doing, and him possibly filling the void at center for the injured Grasu
The first topic that was brought up was the game this Saturday against the Buffaloes and what would it be like for him to play at Autzen Stadium on “Senior Night.” Stevens replied that he’s trying “to stay focus on Colorado and have a good game, despite it being my last home game.”
It’s completely understandable and also normal for Stevens, along with other seniors of the Ducks, to have high emotions flowing throughout their body. With these emotions come memories that bring a bittersweet feeling to players such as Stevens. With that being said, it’s smart for the redshirt senior to keep his mind honed in on the game and to not let those emotions stampede through his mind.
Another subject that arose was how Stevens felt about the recovery process that Grasu is going through after he suffered a devastating injury against Utah. The guard praised Grasu by mentioning, “Hroniss is a hardworking and strong guy who will fight through all the injuries he experiences.” It’s evident that Grasu’s impact on the team throughout his years with Oregon has paid off as other key players on the Ducks have recognized the dedication he puts in everyday whether it be at practice or during a game. Plus, Stevens’ comment strongly indicates the he believes Grasu may return for the Ducks before the season ends. However, that aspect is totally up in the air and should be determined in the future as Grasu is still working with doctors on recovery.
The last critical matter that was discussed was if Stevens expects to take some reps at center this Saturday against the Buffaloes. “Most likely, I probably will get some reps at center this Saturday.” This is great news! It makes sense for Stevens to replace the injured Grasu because he’s a veteran player who possesses great experience. Plus, the guard has proven that he’s a great player on the field and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him have a big impact for the Ducks against Colorado.
Although the Buffaloes are dead last in the Pac-12 South and have the worst overall record compared to all the other teams in the conference, the Ducks still need to be cognizant that upsets do occur in College Football’ to wit: Oregon State beating Arizona State last weekend. Furthermore, Oregon is vulnerable, as “the injury bug” has been biting the team constantly throughout the season. With all things considered, it sounds as if Stevens possesses a great attitude and is determined to “Win the Day” on “Senior Night” this Saturday.
Top Photos by Kevin Cline