September 15, 2012; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Bryan Bennett (2) and quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) on the side line in the second half against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon Football Heads into 2013 Without Experienced Backup QB, Bennett to Transfer for More Playing Time



It’s taken several years, but Oregon finally knows one thing for sure, Duck Football has a starting quarterback heading into this upcoming season. After a stellar 2012, Marcus Mariotta has pretty much cemented himself at the position moving forward. Now the bad news, the Ducks lost their backup, redshirt sophomore Bryan Bennett to transfer. Bennett is leaving the Ducks in search for more playing time. According to a report from the Register Guard, he may land at an FCS school, Louisiana State is a strong possibility.

Oregon has some solid young talent at quarterback heading into Spring. Freshman Jeff Lockie and Jake Rodriguez are in the running to compete for the backup spot. The Ducks are also recruiting a Junior College signal caller with Tanner McAvoy.

Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich should see his backup getting plenty of snaps in a game situation the very first game of 2013 against Nicholls State. One would hope the starters aren’t playing much past the first half as the Ducks begin their National Title run in 2013. Of course, the upcoming Spring Game will also allow some of these young players to showcase their talents, albeit against the Ducks Defense who can’t tackle their own quarterback.

In 2012 Oregon made it through with a solid starter behind the offensive line, with little time out for injury. Experience in practice and playing in front of the fans at Autzen can be a totally different experience. Redshirt Freshman QB Marcus Mariota wasn’t shaken or nervous playing in front of the Ducks faithful. We can hope he passes on that knowledge of how he handles the situation to the Ducks in waiting behind him, if they are called upon.

Justin Phillips is Sports Reporter for Newsradio 1120 KPNW in Eugene, Oregon. Follow @Autzen_Zoo on Twitter and Facebook.

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