Oregon Football: 5 Things We Learned from the Ducks Spring Game
When the final whistle blew today in Autzen Stadium, the Ducks spring game had come to an end and while the game may be over, the biggest debate of the season is just heating up.
Today the Ducks finished up the spring with a spirited scrimmage held inside of Autzen Stadium and the Duck fans were treated to football for the first time since the Ducks won the Rose Bowl.
While the game as a whole is just another practice, it provided fans some insight to the team since spring practices have been closed to the public. With our first glance at the upcoming 2012 Oregon Ducks, here are five things that we learned from today's spring game.
Taking No Chances
With the departure of Tra Carson in the offseason, it became clear that the coaching staff is taking no chances with their prized backs Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas.
During the spring game today, both players saw limited snaps and the message was clear that the Ducks understand that for the first time in a few years they are thin on their depth chart and did not want to lose either of these players in the spring game.
Good but Not Great out Wide
Throughout the scrimmage, it became clear that the Ducks have a lot of raw talent and athleticism at wide receiver, but it is going to take some time for that talent to develop into weapons.
Coming into the spring game many fans were concerned about the depth, myself included, and while this game didn't show that the Ducks had deep threats all over, it did show that they have the talent to be effective and take the heat off the running game.
Arik Armstead Is Huge
One thing that became clear during this game was that Pac-12 offenses better start to prepare for Arik Armstead now because they will be seeing a lot of him over the next three or four years.
Throughout the spring game, Armstead was a handful for the offense to handle and while the upside physical potential for him is great, he is a true freshmen who will need time to learn how to play effectively at the college level.
Regardless of how far along he has come on learning the college game, Armstead's physical gifts will allow him to make an impact from his first year and on.
Marcus Mariota Is the Best-Kept Secret in the Northwest
For over a year now, Oregon fans have been waiting and waiting to get their first glimpse of Marcus Mariota.
Last year, Mariota redshirted and during the year, many reports would come out that he was way ahead of the curve and could be the future of the Ducks sooner than expected.
Today, the curtain was raised and fans got their first view of Mariota and it will be a lasting impression as the quarterback impressed everyone with both his arm and legs and proved that he is ready for the starting role.
The QB Debate Is On
Duck fans should be very happy right now. Last year, Bryan Bennett proved that he can handle this offense and be an effective leader inside of it. Today, Marcus Mariota proved that he is ahead of the curve and is ready to leapfrog his way to the starting position.
While Bennett did not have a great day today, fans have seen him in live game action and know what he is capable. Mariota, on the other hand, had a great day and showed fans what players had been taking about for so long.
Either way you slice this debate, there is one and it will rage on all summer long. The upside for all Duck fans is no matter who wins the starting job, it will be well-deserved and and will keep the Oregon offense humming along.