May 3, 2014; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks Markus Mariota (8) exchanges his uniform with a US Military person at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 Media Days: Marcus Mariota and Derrick Malone Set the Stage for the 2014 Season

Pac-12 Networks sat down with Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota and Linebacker Derrick Malone on Wednesday entering the season as the pick to win the North Division and the Pac-12 Conference. Mariota talked about the pressure and ‘focusing on what we need to do and get better.” Mariota said he had a different focus as well, “to get my degree. That’s why we go to school as a student athlete, to get a degree.

Mariota is always looking to get better, “continuing to grow as a leader, as a player I want to work on my footwork. I want to get a better base so I can throw more accurately and consistently.” Nick Aliotti, former Oregon Ducks Defensive Coordinator, now working for the Pac-12 Networks launched the debate from last season looking at Heisman consideration from last season’s injuries plagued Mariota toward the end of the season.

Malone is also looking for a strong senior season. Aliotti discussed some ‘new tricks’ to the Oregon Defense, specifically with the nickel package and he talked about some of the differences in coaching, with Aliotti retiring and Don Pellum stepping in as Defensive Coordinator for the Oregon Ducks, “we have a little bit more attention to detail and that is what we are focusing on right now.”

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In preparing for a different animal like the Stanford Cardinal, of course they took down the Oregon Ducks the last two seasons, “We have to adjust our mindset, it’s a whole different scheme.” Aliotti talked with Mariota about the play of the year and the winning score against Oregon State that if you were there, you certainly remember. “It was crazy, Autzen was kind of quiet, I remember being called and told to take a breather. We took it one play at a time. It eventually led to a touchdown where Josh(Huff) made an unbelieveable catch to seal the victory.”

I love throwing it. For me it’s enjoyable to watch guys catch it and run it sixty yards and know that you started that whole deal

Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota on whether her prefers to run or pass the ball.

Marcus Mariota and Derrick Malone will look to make some memorable plays this upcoming season as well, with a some of the same names as last season, but also some new combers. Fall camp begins on August 4th with the regular season kicking off hosting South Dakota on Saturday August 30th at 7:30pm Pacific Time on the Pac-12 Networks.

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Tags: Derrick Malone Ducks General Marcus Mariota Oregon Football

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