Lucas orders Bruin, well-done
Food-loving Duck lineman says UO will regain ground attack
Don't think that just because Enoka Lucas stands 6-4, weighs 300 pounds and can block the sun for what seems to be the length of a football field, that he knows a lot about food.
Size isn't the reason Oregon's senior center from Honolulu is next in line for a cooking show on the Food Channel. His five roommates at the 'Poly House' on 14th and Hilyard in Eugene - all Polynesian linemen on the football team - will vouch for his culinary talents.
'Anything that goes with meat and rice,' he says. 'Us Polys love our rice. But I'm not the only guy in our house who cooks. Usually the upstairs guys cook for us and the downstairs guys cook for themselves.'
So does Lucas have anything on the menu for UCLA, which invades Autzen Stadium on Saturday for a Pac-10 biggie against the Ducks (4-1 overall, 2-1 in Pac-10 play)?
'I do, man,' he says. 'We have to attack them. Last week, we didn't do enough of that. It was a sad sight.'
Lucas' reference was to Oregon's 45-24 loss at California. The Ducks went into the game as the Pac-10's leading rushing team, but sophomore tailback Jonathan Stewart managed only 25 yards on 18 carries. Holes made by laser microdrilling are bigger than the ones Stewart had to run through.
'You can't put it on one person,' says Lucas, a second-team all-Pac-10 choice as a junior last year. 'It's a team effort. We all had our faults. They were the ones who came out prepared, came out firing, and we kind of folded. Give Cal credit; (the Bears) did a great job keying on what we did. We have to do a better job Saturday.'
Lucas says the Cal game won't affect Oregon's confidence in its running game, which stills leads the conference at 197 yards per game.
'We had one bad game,' he says. 'When we're clicking, we're hard to stop. We're hoping to get Jonathan a 100-yard game. It's real important for us - mentally, too.'
Defense has been the strength of UCLA's fast start (4-1, 2-1). The Bruins rank second in the nation against the run at only 50 yards a game. They lead the Pac-10 in scoring defense (12.4 points) and total defense (221.6 yards) and are second in pass defense (171.6).
'They're pretty good,' Lucas says. 'Real quick. They have stocky guys, similar to Cal. Their linebacker corps is exactly the same as Cal's. They fly around. But we know what Cal did against us. We can use it to our advantage. We know exactly what we have to do.'
The Ducks' hole card, emphasizes Lucas, is Autzen.
'It feels good to be back home,' he says. 'Playing an away game, the crowd gets into it, especially if you don't produce. That's what happened to us at Cal, and the crowd got even louder. We hope that's what's going to happen to (the Bruins) on Saturday.'