- David Lombardi, ESPN Staff Writer
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Oregon features a dizzying amount of offensive talent in the backfield and on the perimeter, so it's fair to assume that bursting through holes and getting open downfield won't be a problem for them.
Instead, the Ducks' primary challenge lies in replacing the battery that makes the gears of their electrifying offense turn. Center Hroniss Grasu and quarterback Marcus Mariota enjoyed a fantastic rapport last season, one that handled the pre- and post-snap nuances of the blur attack with nearly perfect efficiency.
The search for Mariota's replacement is grabbing headlines, but finding the next "quarterback of the offensive line" to replace Grasu is also integral.
"You've got to be the glue that holds it all together," Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood told The Register-Guard.
So on that front, Tuesday's news of Matt Hegarty's transfer from Notre Dame to Oregon is significant. The Ducks may be well on their way to solving their vacancy with some strong plaster at the center position, as Hegarty started 11 games there for the Irish last season.
If Vernon Adams wins the looming quarterback competition and Hegarty does indeed lock down Grasu's former job, Oregon's center-quarterback tandem will be comprised of two graduate transfers. Both will be tasked with adapting to a new offensive system on the fly, so the learning curve will certainly be something to be wary of. The early consensus, though, is that Hegarty's experience and versatility will allow him to mesh quickly with the Ducks and -- at the very least -- pad the interior offensive line with much-needed depth.