Byron Marshall made the worst mental mistake of his football career on his first carry of the 2014 season.
With one receiving touchdown to his name, Marshall took the ball from his own 46-yard and outraced the entire South Dakota defense down the right sideline and seemingly entered the end zone for a touchdown. However, before he crossed the goal line, Marshall dropped the ball. It wasn’t a touchdown. Instead, it was a touchback and a turnover for the Oregon offense.
The turnover, against South Dakota, was anything but costly for the Ducks. Oregon ran over the visiting Coyotes 62-13 at Autzen Stadium. Marshall totaled 228 yards and two touchdowns in an impressive season debut. Despite the success he had throughout the game, his touchback blunder will be the play that he remembers the most.
“Out of all the good that happened tonight that’s really the only thing replaying through my mind,” Marshall said. “Stuff like that shouldn’t happen.”
Contrary to his normal tailback position last season, Marshall experienced a lot of success in the slot, or when he motioned out of the backfield. Marshall’s ability to pickup and excel in the receiving game is a testament to his versatility. Something his quarterback loves about him.
“He’s very versatile,” Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota said after the game. “He’s done a great job of being able to make the most of his opportunity where he had that.”
Follow Joseph Hoyt on Twitter @JoeJHoyt