The University of Oregon Ducks have been close to a national championship for the last few years. The football program hosted media today (Monday) to preview the upcoming season.
Last year the Ducks finished 11 and 2, losing to rivals Stanford and Arizona. They won their bowl game against the University of Texas and conference media members picked the Ducks to win the Pac-12 this year. Second year head coach Mark Helfrich says it's great to talk in early August, but predictions don't really matter.
Helfrich: "We had a great discussion about that last night about our culture, our process, everything that we are all about, and it doesn't involve looking up and seeing who is taking note. When we go to meetings, and we go to train, [we're] totally locked in on our deal. That's what matters. We can look back at Stanford, we can look back at Arizona and if there's somebody who's maybe yawning and looking the wrong direction, they'll be put in line right quick."
The Ducks are welcoming back 3rd year starting quarterback Marcus Mariota, who decided to return to the U of O after flirting with the idea of entering the NFL draft.
Mariota: "For me, I wanted to come back and get my degree, come back and enjoy another year with the guys and just kinda experience college another year. That whole 'unfinished business' didn't really play a factor into why I came back."
The Ducks kick off their season at home against the South Dakota Coyotes August 30th.
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