Now that the South Dakota game is behind his No. 3 ranked Oregon Ducks, head coach Mark Helfrich can now focus on No. 7 Michigan State.
And the primary focus of this behemoth national match-up is ‘can the Ducks move beyond the national perception of not being able to play …and win over a more physical ground and pound team’ like the Spartans – a style of play the Ducks have certainly had their troubles with in the recent past.
It’s what the Ducks players have been asked this week, and it’s what Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich was asked and discussed at his weekly press briefing on Tuesday.
In fact, the college football national media has its eyes trained on Eugene this week and most are calling Saturday’s match-up ‘ a statement game’ for both teams.
Helfrich certainly understands the significance of playing last years Rose Bowl and Big 10 champion and what a win could mean, however he views it simply as another challenge as part of the Ducks 2014 schedule.
“We need to prepare great, play hard,…and leave it all out there” explained Helfrich when asked about the difficulties of facing the Spartans.
“We’ve had a couple of games that we’ve won,…and we’ve had a couple of games that we’ve lost where that wasn’t necessarily the case. I think our preparation to this point has been really good flipping toward an opponent like this….and just going out and taking our best shot. That’s what it’s going to take….if you do that and give every single thing you have…there’s a call here…and a bounce there that may end up deciding the game,…and you have no doubts about how you’ve represented yourself, your conference or whatever other statement we’re trying to make.”
VIDEO; Watch the Mark Helfrich press briefing by clicking on the video box above.