Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/29/12
EUGENE, Ore — The Oregon Ducks returned to Autzen Stadium for the first time since winning the Rose Bowl last season in front of a conference-record crowd for the team’s annual spring scrimmage to honor the military.

Head Coach Chip Kelly split his squad up into two teams, Mighty Oregon and the Fighting Ducks, in front of a crowd of 44, 129 with Mighty Oregon coming out on top 41-14.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota stole the show with his three touchdowns. He led the game in rushing with 99 yards on five carries and two touchdowns, one of which was a 82-yard rush down the sideline. He also completed 18-of-26 passes for 202 yards and another touchdown.

“I thought (Marcus) Mariota did a really nice job,” Kelly said.

Ayele Forde, a sophomore running back from Victorville, Calif., also helped lead Mighty Oregon to the big win over the Fighting Ducks — which had Kenjon Barner, Bryan Bennett and the team’s top recruit Arik Armstead. Forde finished the game with 80 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Bennett, who is looking to lock down the starting job with the departure of quarterback Darron Thomas, led the way for the Fighting Ducks with 209 yards passing on 19-of-32 pass attempts. He threw two interceptions and one touchdown.

“It is April 28th and we play next on September 1st. Both kids did things today they can learn from both positively and negatively,” Kelly said when asked about who may start the season opener.

“They have a tremendous amount of upside, and it will be interesting how they will progress over the summer.”

Mighty Oregon entered halftime with a 38-7 lead and made it seam as if the team should have possessed all of the firepower from last year’s conference championship team and there was no looking back with the second half being a running clock with no time stoppages.

Oregon season-opener against Arkansas State is scheduled for Sept. 1 and time for kickoff is yet to be determined. 

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