EUGENE — One week of spring football remains at Oregon.
The Ducks will practice Tuesday, Thursday and Friday before wrapping up with a spring game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Autzen Stadium.
“We will continue practicing and stay on course to finish more situational football,” UO coach Mario Cristobal said Saturday while previewing the final week on the field until fall camp. “Short-yardage, goal-line, red zone and two-minute drills, spend time on that.”
Oregon will also begin preparing for a few of its nine Pac-12 games.
“We’ll jump into two or three conference opponents and dedicate a couple of periods of practice to those opponents to get a head start,” Cristobal said. “We’ll spend 10 or 15 minutes on that, 20 to 25 plays, and then prepare to split up the teams and play the spring game. I don’t know exactly how we will do that, because we’re low on bodies.”
Oregon has a few starters, including center Jake Hanson and safety Nick Pickett, sitting out the spring while rehabbing injuries. Wide receiver Malik Lovette, cornerback Haki Woods, and running back Darrian Felix are among players who have been limited at times during practice.
Oregon has just six cornerbacks on the roster in the spring.
“We’re banged up, I wouldn’t say injured,” Cristobal said. “It has been a physical spring, we are mindful of that. We only really tackled three times, but we thud up and do it the way you should. A full-body thudded up, knock somebody back, and we’ve gotten tremendous dividends from that. We’re limited in our number of guys out there. It’s taking a toll on the number of guys, but they’re recovering fine.”
Oregon remains without freshman wide receiver Jalen Hall, who arrived for one practice before returning home nearly two weeks ago.
“He’s at home taking care of some stuff, and as soon as we do get an update, I’ll get that to you,” Cristobal said.
The Ducks scrimmaged at Autzen Stadium on Saturday, with a public scrimmage set to follow one week later.
“It’s very important that we take the next step in terms of communication, alignment, assignment, detail and execution,” Cristobal said. “We have to demand more effort from our guys. I think we have more gas in the tank and we need to expend ourselves more to become a dangerous football team.”
Cristobal also increased the workload on special teams Saturday.
“We have to develop and find more special-teams players,” he said. “If starters are getting every rep on offense and defense and every special teams rep, it could be exhausting and taxing and hurt you down the line. We need to make sure we find enough guys on special teams.”
Special teams coach Bobby Williams is one of five new additions hired by Cristobal during his first season as head coach.
“It’s been a steady buildup, a day-to-day challenge, and so far we’ve seen a lot of progress,” Williams said.