MARIO CRISTOBAL TALKS REDBOX BOWL AND PREP FOR MICHIGAN STATE – “Great game, great location, great opponent, obviously an opponent with a storied history”

In Mario Cristobal’s first full season as head coach, the Ducks are headed south to go bowling.

On Sunday afternoon speculation of where Oregon ( 8-4 / 5-4 ) would be traveling for post season play was running rampant through the Duck fan base and certainly through the Hatfield Dowlin Complex.

Shortly before 1 pm, the Ducks were notified they were selected to play in the annual Redbox Bowl at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara on New Years Eve against Big 10 opponent Michigan State. ( 7-5 / 5-4 )

“Certainly excited.  A lot of buzz around here about having the honor to be selected to play in the Redbox Bowl” said Cristobal in his opening statement Sunday afternoon.

“Great game, great location, great opponent.  Obviously an opponent with a storied history.  We know lots about ’em,…having played against them.

“Certainly a tremendous opportunity for us on a big stage.  Again, the excitement quickly went through our facility and through our players and our coaching staff so certainly looking forward to getting prepared for that game.”

Obviously the biggest questions of the day were the health of the Ducks and the speculation of players who may forego the bowl game to prepare for the NFL, most notably quarterback Justin Herbert.

“Justin is healthy and will play in the game.” said Cristobal.

“In terms of after the game, and decisions after that, it’s something we will discuss at a later time.”

Herbert of course left the Civil War game against Oregon State in the final game of the season and was thought to have once again severely injured his shoulder.   After tests, Cristobal confirmed the injury was a deep bone bruise and Herbert would be ready to play in the Ducks bowl game.

“You can expect him to play in the game” explained Cristobal.

“The injury in the game,…we held him out because he could not continue and there was the possibility of it being more severe than what it was.   He took a good shot on the play where he was sacked,…when he went to the ground and essentially it’s a really deep bruise.  He’s ok, he’s good to go and he’s looking forward to playing in the game.”

As for early entry into the NFL and where some of his highly rated players might stand, including Herbert, Cristobal told reporters he and his staff have put packets together for each player, ( Herbert, Dillon Mitchell, Troy Dye, etc ) and sent them off to the NFL Advisory Committee.

“After the last game of the season, we sent all their stuff to the NFL advisory committee” explained Cristobal.

“So we can have the most factual data that we could have to be able to sit down with not only them but their families.   Do our best to present information that’s valuable and relevant to making a great business and personal decision. And then do our best to advise them in terms of our thoughts as to how it’ll play out for them. So as soon as we get that, that process will start rolling.”



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