For Mark Helfrich, This One Isn’t as Sweet

Caleb Couturie FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

Every Sunday I get a chance to talk to Mark Helfrich at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in an interview for FishDuck.com. Normally the talk is pretty good; he mentions a few of the pros and cons from the game, and all the media get to go home happy. This time though, the air in the room felt different. Helfrich, normally a pretty cheerful and joking man, was quiet. He’d seen what we all had, but he’d also heard the screams of Pharaoh Brown following his leg injury. He watched WR Tim Patrick of Utah shatter his leg. This was a hard game to come out of feeling good about, no matter the circumstances of the win.

When I asked Helfrich about Brown’s condition, he said, “Pharaoh didn’t travel with the team. He wasn’t allowed to travel due to the nature of the injury.” Brown, who is of course devastated, is most likely resigned to a hospital in Salt Lake City for the next week while being kept company by family and members of the training staff. Helfrich looked pale, summarizing the game by saying, “It was a tough game. Thankfully the medical staff did an excellent job under horrible circumstances.”

Pharaoh Brown is out for the season with an undisclosed leg injury.

Kevin Cline

Pharaoh Brown is out for the season with an undisclosed leg injury.

Helfrich went on to mention some things from the game he felt the team still needed to work on, mentioning primarily, “Eyes were off…pad level on both sides of the ball, edges on defense…and offensively we had a ton of drops.” He did attribute some of the mistakes to the fact that with so many injuries this team seems to keep getting younger and younger, but he also said that watching fellow players go down can cause a few slip-ups just because a player’s emotions will get the best of him.

Helfrich did give a lot of credit to his team though, saying, “[Utah] is an excellent team. Unbelievably physical, unbelievably relentless…to beat them there was something special.” Coming out with a win there will most likely be the hardest game the Ducks play all season, but it also secured the Ducks a spot in the PAC-12 Championship game.

Finally, Helfrich mentioned the players of the game. Not surprisingly, Marcus Mariota took offensive honors. On the defensive side of the ball, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead shared honorable mentions while Joe Walker took the defensive player of the game credit. On special teams it was Juwaan Williams and Aidan Schneider.

Needless to say, everyone on the team is eager to put this game behind them and move on. It was a big win — there’s no denying that — but the losses of Pharaoh Brown and Hroniss Grasu will be a huge hit to the Ducks’ success. Needless to say, this bye week could not be coming at a better time.

 Top photo by Kevin Cline

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

FishDuck Has New Off-Season Schedule and see the OUR BELOVED DUCKS Forum!

FishDuck articles will now be on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday only during the off-season, and then we will go back to seven days a week during the football season beginning in August.

We will have some occasional guest articles later in the week, but the hottest Oregon football information will be posted in the OBD forum!

The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there.  At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.

Be a part of the forum and stay caught up!  When you wish to post there, do know that you are protected just as you were on FishDuck. Join us on the free forum right here!

Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

OBD Forum members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!