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QB competition alive and well in Oregon spring game

Bryan Bennett, Will Pericak AP

Prior to Oregon’s spring game, quarterback and apparent successor to Darron Thomas, Bryan Bennett, told ESPN’s Brock Huard that it was more a matter of “when” he was named the starter for the Ducks, not so much a matter of “if.”

Hold the phone on that.

Bennett got off to a slow start throwing a pair of first-half interceptions and looked uncomfortable most of the day as part of a 41-14 loss to the white team. Bennett didn’t get much help from his offensive line and was on the run most of the day, but watching the game, you could see the frustration building for the redshirt sophomore QB.

On the other hand, Bennett’s competition, Marcus Mariota, had a solid day throwing for a couple touchdowns and running for another. Mariota basically played a game of opposites with Bennett, getting off to a hot start before settling in  for a slow — at least, by Oregon’s standards — second half.

Of course, there’s the coaching cliche “it’s never as good as you think, never as bad as you think”, but this QB competition looks like it’ll go right into fall camp. There are plenty of other offensive holes to be filled as well with the Ducks losing running back LaMichael James and tight end David Paulson.

Keep in mind that plenty of offensive stars were either held out or limited during today’s game. But overall Chip Kelly looks like he has another batch of playmakers ready to step in.

The Ducks were impressive defensively, as well. The defense is almost always going to have some advantage in a spring game, but one thing that’s always been impressive about Kelly’s teams is the competition at every single position. Everyone on the field plays with an edge. The D-line got some good pushes and recorded a few sacks and the secondary, again, looks like it’s filled with ball hawks.

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4 Responses to “QB competition alive and well in Oregon spring game”
  1. uscatjerseyshore says: Apr 28, 2012 10:42 PM

    Darron Thomas declaring early for the draft worked out well for him and Oregon… NOT. Supposedly Oregon has a great deal riding on this year slate of selectees. Oh well…..

  2. papabush88 says: Apr 29, 2012 1:52 PM

    As a USC fan, I’m not wishing for Oregon to go back to being mediocre again, and I don’t think they will anytime soon….BUT you don’t lose James, Thomas, Paulson, Pleasant, and others and improve from last season. Oregon will be good in 2012…make no mistake about it, but I think 2013 is their year. USC will lose Barkley and maybe Woods and some O-linemen. Then, they’ll be back in 2014.

    Wish the Ducks luck (except in their visits to the Coliseum)

  3. uscatjerseyshore says: Apr 29, 2012 5:22 PM

    I agree with papabush and by the same token I hope all the PAC-12 teams improve. SEC’s reputation for invincibility is largely built on the rep of 3 teams, Arkansas, LSU and Alabama with the next there being strong and everyone else also-rans. That could be the case with PAC-12 and moving in that direction requires Oregon to stay strong.

    The problem is that many of Oregon’s fans seem to believe they’ve been good for twenty-three years rather than three and they’re starting to buy into their own press. That Darron Thomas declared for the draft this year is an example of this thinking and seeing how the NFL passed on Thomas in the draft should be a wake up call to the Oregon program that they’re not quite as good as they think they are. They run a gimmicky offense built on speed and a team with stong defense will negate that advantage.

  4. webfootking says: Apr 30, 2012 12:50 PM

    There are not many UO fans who are gonna brag about our history of 20 plus years ago. I appreciate your exaggeration (did you just start watching college ball when you enrolled at USC in 2010?) but we also have not been winning for only the past 3 years. The incline of success was not built overnight. This has built up over the past 20 years.

    But since you bring up the past 23 years, here is a history lesson. USC and UO have nearly split the series (9-8). Congrats on your 1 game edge in that span. Oregon has posted 3 losing seasons to USC’s 2. Again congrats. And has posted 7 double digit win seasons. USC has posted 9 (albeit 2 were vacated).

    Are we better than USC over that span? I don’t think you will find anyone who would argue this point but are we good? For sure. We compete. We put talent on the field. Get over your conceit.

    Oh BTW. Darron Thomas made his own decision. The program tried to persuade him otherwise. No one thought he would be drafted. He will find a home though. Not everyone is fit for the NFL.

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