The day has finally arrived Duck fans. The 10th ranked Oregon Football team takes on the Texas Longhorns in the Valero Alamo Bowl this afternoon(3:45pm PT, ESPN). Now that we know who is returning aka Quarterback Marcus Mariota it may be time to focus on some of the not yet known intentions as much as I hate to say it. The game is already the final one for Texas Head Coach Mack Brown. It was announced last Friday by Oregon Offensive Coordinator Nick Allioti that the game would also be his last. There are also several players to consider in this category.
Alamo Bowl Could Be the Last College Stand For Running Back De’Anthony Thomas and Defensive Star Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
Oregon would love nothing more than to have both of these players in uniform for 2014, considering Mariota has already said he will return. Since either player has yet to talk about the NFL Draft I don’t think that Thomas should consider leaving the Ducks, simply because the 2013 season was not his best. He was injured midway through the season and did not seem like himself when Oregon needed his playmaking ability the most. As for Olomu the decision to leave or stay would/could be made easier if his Defensive Coordinator stayed, which isn’t happening. Both players said they will make a decision following the Alamo Bowl and have until January 15th to do so.
Mariota Will Return to His Running Ways
In 2013 one thing that stood out was Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota’s ability to escape a Defense with his feet, something that was hampered due to an MCL injury that greatly effected his ability in the month of November. Now his injury has had a month to heal and the Sophomore Signal caller should be back to his speedy self for the Texas Defense.
With a Healthy Offense, Ducks Should Put Up 400+ Yards
The way the Oregon Offense has been this season one would think this would be expected in this game, but Texas has a pretty good Defense. A Healthy Mariota, Thomas, and Huff should certainly help their cause. If this feat is accomplished the 2013 Oregon squad would be among the best in the History of the Program, similar to last years.
Oregon and Texas take the field at 3:45pm PT in the Valero Alamo Bowl on ESPN.