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Oregon Ducks Football: Analyzing Pros and Cons of Marcus Mariota Starting at QB

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Oregon Ducks Football: Analyzing Pros and Cons of Marcus Mariota Starting at QB
Photo via OregonLive.com

After a tantalizing spring game at Autzen Stadium, red-shirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota has yet to learn if he will start for the Oregon Ducks.

Meanwhile, Marcus Mariota vs. Bryan Bennett has become the biggest question of the season for the 2012 Oregon Ducks football team. On September 2, Oregon fans will not only be aware which quarterback Chip Kelly gave the starting job to, but fans will also know exactly how that quarterback looked against Arkansas State (including pocket poise, scrambling ability, confidence and accuracy) in the Autzen Stadium home opener.

Yet while that game against Arkansas State does not feel terribly far away, fans all over the world still have no idea which direction head coach Chip Kelly appears to be leaning.

"There aren't many differences from a physical standpoint," said Kelly. "It's just now who picks it up, who can move the group the best, is going to be what the determination is based on when we get back to camp next fall." 

Of course, Oregon fans have already seen how 20-year-old Bryan Bennett performs on the field. He played in eight games for Oregon last season, threw six TD’s and no interceptions, had strong accuracy (25-for-46), ran for 8.7 yards per carry with a 49-yard rush against Colorado and even completed a pass on an option play to Darron Thomas in the Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin.

Even though Bennett is the returning candidate who received playing time with Darron Thomas under Chip Kelly last season, it was 19-year-old Marcus Mariota who seems to have won over the Oregon Ducks fans with his stellar spring play.

While some still may prefer Bennett, Oregon fans have yet to learn the legitimacy of Marcus Mariota. 

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