Oregon Football: Ducks Starting Quarterback About to Emerge out of Fall Camp

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2012

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 29: Quarterback Bryan Bennett #2 of the Oregon Ducks avoids the diving tackle of Deone Bucannon #20 of the Washington State Cougars in the third quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon won the game 43-28.(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Since the Spring Game ended, Duck fans around the nation have been debating back and forth about who should be Oregon's next starting quarterback. 

During the Spring Game, fans were able to see the cool demeanor of Marcus Mariota and also the rising frustrations of Byran Bennett. It was only a scrimmage, but for Duck fans, it's been the only look at the quarterback competition to date.

Coming into the start of August, it appears that Chip Kelly has his hands full with this decision. On one hand, you have Byran Bennett, who has experience in live action and appears to have the spread offense down pat. On the other hand, you have Marcus Mariota, a young quarterback who kept the competition alive by playing well beyond his years.

Unlike fans and prognosticators, Chip Kelly has the benefit of being able to see these two quarterbacks on a daily basis. In the past, Kelly has been successful transitioning between two quarterbacks. Most recently, Kelly has turned to Dennis Dixon, Jeremiah Masoli and Darron Thomas, all players who have elevated the Oregon program. 

While speculating on the new starter is fun, the time for guessing will soon come to an end. The Ducks have a little over one week remaining before they begin to prepare for Arkansas State. Kelly has made it known that going into that week, he will have announced who will be under center for the Ducks come kickoff.

Duck fans need to rally behind the new quarterback, regardless of who Kelly picks. Neither candidate has started a game for Oregon before, with the exception of serving as a fill-in for the actual No. 1 quarterback.

While the debate may continue all year long, on August 27, the Ducks will have a starting quarterback who will have fought all offseason for that title. Come opening kickoff—whoever it is—he will have earned it. 

Joe Penkala is a B/R National Featured Columnist who covers college football. You can contact him @joepenkala.