Even if you don’t like college football, the Oregon Ducks are fun to watch. Their offense is so unpredictable, so fast and so sudden that it is like watching a completely different sport.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota is the perfect example of the type of product the upbeat style of the Ducks’ offense produces – quick passing, intelligent decision making, efficient passing, and he can even turn it up the field and run.
In case you have only seen Oregon highlights, you might think that Mariota is a “run first” quarterback; you’re wrong. He was seventh in the country at completion percentage in 2012.
That was a better completion percentage than Alabama‘s AJ McCarron, Florida State‘s EJ Manuel and, Heisman winner, Texas A&M‘s Johnny Manziel. When you run as many offensive plays in a game as Oregon does, a high completion percentage is difficult to achieve.
As if his running ability and passing ability weren’t impressive enough, he did all this in his freshman season. As he gets older, he will only continue to improve at the quarterback position, and Oregon will get better and better with him at QB.
He reminds me of a less physical, more accurate passing, Cam Newton. That type of a player is a very scary thing, especially after realizing what Newton was capable of doing with a much less offensively talented Auburn team.
The Ducks may not make it to the national championship this year, but expect them to win the PAC-12 and be in the discussion for a national championship berth. By the end of the season, Mariota will be a household name (if he isn’t already). Expect Mariota to be the top quarterback in the country going into the 2014 college football season.