Hroniss Grasu was down, Doug Brenner got the call in the Utah game, and yet there was Hamani Stevens on Oregon’s opening drive snapping the ball to Marcus Mariota. More importantly Stevens, who hadn’t played center since his senior year of high school, played admirably in the Ducks’ romp over Colorado. Today I got a chance to talk to Stevens at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in an interview for FishDuck.com.
Stevens is prepared to play against Oregon State, a team that the Ducks haven’t lost to since 2007. When asked how important this game was to him he said, “We’re going to take whatever measures necessary to make sure we play to the best of our ability. I definitely don’t want to lose.”
What Stevens did say, however, is that his focus is starting to shift towards the possibility of playing in the National Championship. The Ducks’ path starts with the Pac-12 Championship game at Levi’s Stadium on Dec. 5th, a game in which the Ducks will play one of three teams: Arizona, Arizona State, and UCLA.
I asked Stevens whether the Ducks had a preference. He said, ”We played Arizona and UCLA already; it would be nice to play a team we haven’t seen yet.” The new challenge is appealing to the senior lineman, but he did say there would also be a certain charm to playing a team the Ducks have already seen. He mentioned that as a line: “You know the tendencies and how they play. You know the defensive front and what kind of players they have,” and ended by saying, ”It’s less stress than preparing for a new team.”
Finally, I talked to Stevens about his final game at Autzen. He smiled from ear to ear when he told me, “My last play as a Duck in Autzen stadium was a touchdown”
Top photo from Craig Strobeck