December 2, 2011; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks mascot celebrates with fans after the Pac-12 Championship game against the UCLA Bruins at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks defeated the Bruins 49-31. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Marcus Mariota Named Starting Quarterback

After amazing fans during the spring football game, they won’t have to wait much longer to see him play more.

According to many sources, including the official athletic website, Chip Kelly has announced redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota the starting quarterback for the Oregon Ducks. He beats out Bryan Bennett who filled in when Darron Thomas was injured last season, including getting the victory over Colorado.

Eight days from now, Mariota will be the first freshman quarterback in 21 years to start for the Ducks. Even without the collegiate experience, he was able to beat out Bennett. It turns out that the spring game wasn’t just a one-hit wonder.

I’ve always believed that Bennett had the edge for starting the season. No, beating Colorado isn’t impressive in itself, but gaining that experience of preparing for a start is. Mariota must have impressed and gained enough chemistry with the team to earn his spot.

Naming the quarterback before the game is also important. Declaring the leader sets a direction for the team, and having De’Anthony Thomas is enough for the opposing team to prepare for instead of keeping the decision closer to gameday.

Now that Mariota is the starter, the fan favorite, will have to live up to his explosive start to the spring game. He has the talent and ability to run the offense, now we’ll see how it plays out.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo, follow the site on Facebook and Twitter. Read his other work on the Iowa State blog, Clones Confidential, and Lacrosse the Web.

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