Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 9/11/12
Super Mariota

The departure of quarterback Darron Thomas to the NFL Draft was more than surprising for many Oregon Ducks fans.

Not only did Thomas have a year of eligibility remaining at the program, most college football pundits did not see how his college statistics and skills could translate to the NFL.

His departure made way for a highly publicized quarterback battle between Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota that lasted from spring ball all the way up until a week before Oregon’s season opener against Arkansas State.

And so, just about a week before Oregon kicked off their 2012 college football campaign, Marcus Mariota was named the next starter of one of college football’s newest powerhouses.

Two games into the season, Mariota has looked the part of the next great Ducks quarterback. Just a redshirt freshman, Mariota has a skill set that mirrors players later on in their football development.

Mariota shined in his college football debut as he led the Oregon offense to touchdowns on his first seven drives, accumulating 200 yards through the air and three touchdowns.

Marcus Mariota is the next great Oregon quarterback.

Though he did not put up the spectacular statistics in the Ducks’ Fresno State game, Mariota was just as impressive as he completed 19 of 27 passes for 166 yards and one touchdown.

With two games under his belt, Mariota has completed 37 of 49 passes for 366 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions.

The kid can clearly play football.

Here is what to love about Oregon starting quarterback, Marcus Mariota.

Deadly Accuracy

As was documented above, Mariota has completed 37 of 49 passes he has thrown this year. While some of these are safe passes to get him comfortable throwing the ball against college football defenses, a 70.4 completion percentage is still an excellent statistic.

In his first game, Mariota showcased the ability to fit the ball into tight spots where only his receivers could catch the ball while also getting the ball to his playmakers efficiently.

Though it is still early on in his career, Mariota’s accuracy is something to rave about and something that should have Duck fans excited for years to come.

Leadership Qualities

Just a redshirt freshman, Mariota has already demonstrated leadership qualities that will be essential in leading his talented team down the field.

Coaches and players alike have raved about his calm demeanor and leadership by example quality that can be hard to find in players such as young as himself.

He Can Take a Hit

Sure, your quarterback being sacked is not the greatest of things, but it was good to see that Mariota can bounce up from a hit as he was put on the ground three times in the Ducks’ contest against Fresno State.

Like past Oregon quarterbacks, Mariota will be exposed at times when he executes the read-option and will need durability to remain a healthy starter for the full season.

Deceptive Speed

Being a read-option quarterback, Mariota has to keep the ball at times to really execute the offense the Ducks run.

Fortunately for the Ducks, Mariota has already shown his breakaway speed that he has become so heralded for during his time at Oregon. He is rumored to have around 4.4 speed and has showcased some of his athletic ability breaking runs to the outside.

Though he has not rushed too much yet, expect Mariota to really start showing off his legs as the Pac-12 Conference begins play.

Four Years Left to Play

That is right, Duck fans. Mariota has four years left of eligibility, including this season.

This means that there are plenty of great things to come for the Ducks in the future and that they will have quite an exciting player to watch develop into a great athlete.


© Chris Anderson for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share NWSportsBeat.com on Facebook

Post tags: Marcus Mariota, Marcus Mariota Skills, Marcus Mariota Traits, Oregon Ducks, Oregon Ducks Blog, oregon ducks football, Oregon Ducks football blog, Reasons to love Marcus Mariota

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

DeMar DeRozan: It will be ‘pretty tough’ for me to leave Raptors

Super Bowl referee says Cotchery play could have been a catch

The NBA is one step closer to putting ads on jerseys

Archie Manning defends Cam Newton over press conference

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture


Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker