Oregon offensive coordinator Will Stein reflects on Pac-12 title game defeat
Oregon roared back in the Pac-12 Championship Game earlier this month to take a 24-20 lead. It looked like the Ducks may have found the winning ingredients against the Huskies, but they couldn’t sustain the rally. A 14-0 third quarter gave way to a 7-14 fourth quarter and eventually a 34-31 loss.
With the Ducks preparing for the Fiesta Bowl, offensive coordinator Will Stein was asked this week what sticks with him about that game.
“There’s a lot of things,” he told reporters. “When you lose, you second-guess a lot more than when you win, just like the first matchup. The third-and-2, fourth-and-2 in the first matchup was something that haunted me all year. Tried to make the best out of that situation, moving forward, which we did, and we rolled off a lot of wins in a row.”
“But there’s a lot of things in the (title) game. The first third-and-1, which was a long third-and-1, we run a sprint out. That was not a great call. There was some things that I could control to get us more prepared in spots, but our kids played their tails off. They really played hard. It was not for a lack of effort. Everybody wanted that game as much as the entire state of Oregon wanted that game.”
Stein said he could have done better.
“There were coaching errors. Could have got our guys in better situations,” he said. “But I’m really proud of the way the guys have responded. This bowl prep has been outstanding. Guys came to practice every day flying around. They want to finish this year off the right way and beat a really good team.”
The eighth-ranked Ducks will have their leaders when they face No. 23 Liberty on Monday. Rather than skip a New Year’s Six bowl when the team was hoping for a Playoff spot, Oregon has, for the most part, seemingly been all-in.
Kickoff from Glendale is set for 10 a.m. PT on ESPN.