There was no question heading into the year that sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota was going to continue his dominance, but while the starting position isn’t in question, the spot for backup quarterback is still very much up for grabs. Both redshirt freshmen Jake Rodrigues and Jeff Lockie are still currently in contention for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart and with only 11 days until the season opener, there are no signs of who will back up Mariota.
If you flashback to last year, you wouldn’t believe that Mariota was actually in the same shoes that Rodrigues and Lockie are currently in. Before Mariota exploded to national heights, he too was fighting to be the next starting quarterback at Oregon. So as Mariota heads into a season where he is a contender for the Heisman Trophy, he had some time to give advice.
“I’ve talked to them a little bit,” Mariota said. “I just told them to go out there and have fun. They can’t really control what the outcome is, but if they can just go out there and have fun and do their thing, hopefully it will end up in their favor.”
When Mariota was asked about whether or not he understood the type of emotions the two quarterbacks may be feeling during this time of uncertainty, he had the following to say.
“Definitely,” Mariota said. “Especially with last year, you kind of have the nerves and anxiousness of the decision, but eventually they’ll know, and I’m sure they’re team guys and they’ll accept whatever happens.”
The Ducks start the season in 11 days against Nicholls State, a team Oregon is capable of putting up a wide margin on, so look for the two redshirt freshmen from California to get some snaps.