Don't flinch Ducks best in red zone defense

Don't flinch Ducks best in red zone defense

EUGENE, OR - Following the win over Arizona State on Saturday, head coach Chip Kelly said the one thing he loves about his players is that they don't flinch when something goes wrong.  When asked why they don't flinch in games, the player had a different reasons as to why they have that don't blink mentality.

"I think we have so much trust within our group, within our unit," said red-shirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota.  "No matter what goes wrong or what happens, we understand that we're good together and we've just got to move on to the next play."

Senior linebacker Michael Clay credited the coaching staff for the team's mental toughness.

"Our coaches don't flinch," said Clay.  "It's water off our back.  Big plays are going to happen in college football.  You can't dwell on that.  You've got to play the next play.  It's water off our back and (we) keep going."

Junior safety Avery Patterson thinks it stems from the team's preparation.

"If something bad happens in practice, we just move on to the next play," said Patterson.  "If something bad happens anywhere, we just get on to the next play and just keep moving."

Falling in line with that don't blink mentality, Oregon ranks first in the nation in red zone defense.  In 29 appearances in the red zone, opponents have scored just 15 times (9 touchdowns and 6 field goals).  The Ducks have also forced four turnovers in the red zone.