Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring Game Recap

A Pac 12 conference record crowd of 44,129 showed up to Oregon's spring game this past weekend.  Sadly, I wasn't apart of that crowd, as I had an unexpected situation come up that I had to tend to, so I was eager to find out how the team looked.

I watched the replay (three times), scoured the web for articles, and talked to fans for their perspectives.  Here are my thoughts.

Upon arriving to their seats on a warm Saturday afternoon at Autzen stadium, Duck fans were greeted with this image on Duck Vision:

 That, and many other reasons are why Duck fever is at an all-time high.  There were a few important position battles going in, none more important than the competition at quarterback.  Long time Duck fan Jason Sherrill  was among many of them who wanted to get a glimpse into Oregon's future: "I've heard so many good things about both, I couldn't wait to see who had the edge," said Jason.

It was considered by a lot of people, including myself, that Bryan Bennett was the leading candidate to become the teams next starter at QB.  But the play of Marcus Mariota may have changed that.

Mariota could be the perfect quarterback to fit Chip Kelly's system.  He can throw AND run, and looked spectacular at times.  To barrow a phrase from Chip Kelly, Mariota "won the day."

He was 18 of 26, threw for 202 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.  On one player in particular, he flashed his speed on an 82-yard touchdown run, resembling another quarterback from the past that flourished in Chip Kelly's offense.

I'm talkin' about Dennis Dixon of course, and I'm not alone:  "I had flashbacks of Dixon," exclaimed Matt Shelton, student and Duck fan, "Mariota was calm and collective the whole game, and looked much better," he added.

Mariota's team, Mighty Oregon, defeated the Fighting Ducks, 41-14.

Other position battles of interest for me was at receiver, and a long both lines.  The Ducks should be pretty deep at receiver this year (a lot of potential talent, but unproven) and one guy who looked impressive Saturday was Daryle Hawkins.

The junior wide receiver accounted for 4 receptions for 55 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown reception from Mariota.

DE #9 Arik Armstead
Arik Armstead looks like he's gonna be a beast, and will pair well on the defensive line with Dion Jordan.  And overall, the Duck defense could be pretty good this year, with the return of such key players as John Boyett, Michael Clay, Kiko Alonso, Dion Jordan, and more.

Overall there are still many questions left to be answered.  The battle for starting quarterback is far from over, there are still questions a long the offensive line and the receiving corps, but the future looks very bright.  The Ducks clearly have reloaded and are gonna be right back in the national title race next year.


  1. Let me ask YOU, the readers, what were your impressions from the spring game?

    1. Armstead is clearly a presents on the field!!!

    2. Marsha AndersonMay 2, 2012 at 9:45 PM

      Mariota looked fantastic, Bennett not so much.....

    3. I'm excited about our D. Our offense is gonna be great. I love both QBs. I honestly feel DAT will win the Heisman. BJ Kelley is an awesome WR. I'm excited about everything. We have a real chance for 4 straight conference championships and a run at the Natty! Lastly the Song "Gotta Get It" will be our anthem that will take us to the promise land. I love the Ducks! I think I love the Duck fans more though. Nah. Its a tie. WTD!

    4. Mariota was amazing...seems to have all the skills to become a GREAT QB...not sure what was going on with Bennett, but he had a serious QB Brain Fart!

    5. We only missed one thing this weekend! Chris rands!

    6. my feeling is this.. Chip gonna be running that fast pace no huddle...Defense looked pretty good on both sides...theres a clear qb controversy between Bennet and Mariota. my nod goes to Mariota for starter (based soley off what I saw) Bennet never got comfortable threw 2 picks etc. What I didn't get a good feel on was running back. Barner and DAT didn't really show us much. they had very limited roles in the spring game (clearly protecting them from injury) I think the ducks are solid but have some work to do. thats just my opinion