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Conversation with Mario Cristobal

Caught up with Mario after Thursday's practice. Here's what he said ...

So what did you get out of Wednesday’s scrimmage?

“A lot. We did it all. We went two-minute, four-minute. We put the clock at 4 minutes, 30 seconds. Our offense needed to get two first downs, our defense needed to get the ball back. One coming out from our own 1-yard line, the defense trying to stop us and make us punt from our own territory, the offense trying to get a first down, create more room and churn time off the clock as well. Then we went different scenarios in the two-minute; down by three, down by six. Worked every personnel group, three tights, two backs; five wides. It was our last full scrimmage before Rutgers. Then it’s Rutgers preparation. We started a little bit yesterday, and then it’s full-bore today.”

What’s the status of Jonathan Faucher?

“Faucher looks great. He’s full-go.”

How about Dudley LaPorte? Is playing against Rutgers a bit of a stretch at this point?

“I think it might be. It hasn’t been great progress with him. I know he’s frustrated. We feel terrible for him. He’s a real good football player, and he’s waited a long time to play football. But unfortunately, that thing hasn’t healed the way we’ve wanted it to yet.”

Is his foot just experiencing inflammation, or is it structural?

“You’d like to think it isn’t, but since it’s been broken twice before, you have to be real careful. He’s going for more tests, more MRIs, and hopefully it’ll be a good result.”

Do you think at some point, you might want to shut him down?

“We have in the past 10 days. What he got out there was minimal. We go with what the doctor tells us, and we definitely don’t want to risk anything with him, because not only is he a valuable football player, he’s had a couple of freak injuries. We hope and pray for the best. We want him playing football. We’re a better football team when No. 17 is out there playing with us.”

With the assumption Pooh Bear isn’t ready for the Rutgers game, what does your depth look like at linebacker?

“We’re OK, depth-wise there. We’ve still got [Gregory] Hickman, still got Aaron Davis, Kenny Dillard’s done a good job, Markeith Russell is doing a real good job, Chris Edwards is playing real good football for us. A good number of athletic guys that can run, are real smart football players. We want Pooh back. Make no doubt about it. That was a guy who was a co-starter in the springtime. But it’s not fair to throw him out there right now. He’s getting closer. Will he make it to Rutgers? I don’t know. I know it’s being approached aggressively, because structurally, he is fine. It’s a matter of flexibility, range of motion.”

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