Culver City—Nothing has changed at Oregon, according to quarterback Marcus Mariota. Except there's one less voice yelling "faster, faster, faster."
There is a new head coach, of course. Scott Frost may be calling plays from the press box, according to Mariota. He's not sure. Because he's the quarterback. Just give him the ball. And let him rip it on the field.
Cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Mariota took time to chat with reporters at Pac-12 Media Day at Sony Studios Lot and offered some insight into what changes Pac-12 fans could expect this season.
Head coach Mark Helfrich is looking to find that "anchor" running back. Mariota said that De'Anthony Thomas won't be starting solely at running back. He also said that size or durability was not the issue. If the Ducks feature him as the starting running back, all eyes would be on him.
Defensively speaking, there is also not a lot of change.
Will the defense improve? Check that. Does the defense really need to improve?
Ekpre-Olomu said that he hears the disrespect his defense gets from other fans or players. "Most teams who say that don't actually watch our game," he said. "They just see the ending score."
"Our program is really meant to make sure that the players behind the starters are ready to play when they are starters," he added.
So lots of substitutions will continue. When asked what will be the biggest change fans will see this season, Mariota did not even hesitate. "The uniforms," he said with a laugh.
Anything else, fellas?
"Everything's pretty much the same," Ekpre-Olomu said. And then he paused. "We might be faster."
That's a frightening thought.
Note—all quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated