EUGENE — Thanks to an explosive and potent offense, Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota may be the heir to a new Duck dynasty at Oregon.
Not to be confused with the popular A&E reality show, Duck Dynasty, Oregon has a shot of establishing themselves as the dominant football power on the West Coast thanks to a Matt Barkley-less USC and no more Andrew Luck at Stanford, the Ducks have a legitimate shot to fly south in January to play in the BCS title game.
While the pesky and stout Cardinal could be the only thing that stands between Oregon and their fifth straight BCS bowl game, one player who may be able to help them is Mariota. While not as highly touted—or hyped—as fellow quarterbacks Johnny Manziel, Braxton Miller or Teddy Bridgewater, Mariota and his ability to make plays is something many Heisman voters will be sure to keep an eye on.
Whether or not it is due to playing in a different time zone or a case of stodgy East Coast bias, Mariota is one of the best—and most underrated—dual threat quarterbacks in college football.
The 6’4, 211-pound Honolulu, Hawaii native threw for 2,677 yards, 32 touchdowns and six interceptions and ran for another five touchdowns along with 752 yards rushing in 106 carries. With the age of the mobile and athletic quarterback now upon us, could Mariota be the next Colin Kaepernick?
With a tough schedule that has SEC power Tennessee trekking out to Eugene in early September, a prime-time clash down on “The Farm” against Stanford in early November and the annual Civil War rivalry game/grudge match against the always-tough Oregon State Beavers, Mariota will get his chance to stake his Heisman claim.
If Mariota manages to emerge victorious in these contests, then he can all but book his ticket to Manhattan and hopefully do what Joey Harrington could not—minus a giant Times Square billboard—bring home college football’s most prestigious trophy.
While Mariota is sure to have his eyes on the BCS crystal ball chalice, the Heisman wouldn’t be too bad of a consolation prize.
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Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] follow me on Twitter @RC_TheInscriber and follow The Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber