With fifth-ranked Oregon heavily favored in its nonconference schedule, Ducks coach Chip Kelly must strike a balance between playing his starters and giving his backups valuable live-game experience.
In the opener against Arkansas State, most of the Ducks' first team was watching from the sidelines by halftime after Oregon built a 50-10 lead. The reserves showed they could use some work when the Red Wolves found some soft spots to close the final margin to 57-34 on Saturday night.
''It's that fine line of making sure we're getting better and starting to grow,'' Kelly said. ''And you don't want to get guys hurt.''
Oregon hosts Fresno State on Saturday and Tennessee Tech on Sept. 15 before kicking off the Pac-12 schedule against Arizona at Autzen Stadium on Sept. 22. The Ducks don't play their first game on the road until Sept. 29 at Washington State.
Redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota worked less than a half against Arkansas State, but threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns. It w...