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True freshman running back Byron Marshall got some terrific experience in 2012. Because of the Ducks' blowout wins early in the season, Marshall saw real playing time.
In his collegiate debut in Oregon's win over Arkansas State, Marshall rushed for 64 yards and scored his first collegiate touchdown. He got his first 100-yard rushing game two games later against Tennessee Tech.
You remember that game. That's the weekend that Kansas State was supposed to play at Autzen, but they chickened, er, opted out (that was your first tart-tongued jab at Fiesta Bowl-bound Kansas State. I'm guessing there will be more between now and Jan. 3.)
My point, and I do have one, is that Marshall was solid each and every time he got in a game in relief of Kenjon Barner: 59 yards here, 67 yards there—all very respectable.
However, what we have here with Tyner coming in one year behind Marshall is not a LaMichael James/Kenjon Barner do-over. Where James was "the man", and Barner had to wait until His Greatness graduated, Marshall and Tyner will be the "co-man."
Marshall will be listed as the starting RB, at least for Oregon's first two games against Nicholls State and Nevada. But by the third game when Tennessee visits Autzen, expect Tyner to start. Both will play in Oregon's "run-first" offense because Tyner simply has too much firepower to leave him on the bench.
Where does that leave fellow 2013 RB recruit Dontre Wilson out of Desoto, TX? Either No. 3 on the depth chart, or a possible redshirt.