Three-point stance: Oregon's Costa should remain ready

August, 30, 2010
8/30/10
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1. Oregon fifth-year quarterback Nate Costa won the starting quarterback job two years ago, but he wasn’t good enough to win it this year. Coach Chip Kelly named sophomore Darron Thomas as his starting quarterback, which makes it appear that the talent level in Eugene has increased. Kelly stressed to Costa that he has to be ready. “Every year I’ve been here, two quarterbacks have played,” Kelly said, according to The Oregonian. When you run your quarterback, you usually need more than one.

2. ESPN research’s guys came up with this stat, and it’s a stunner. Guess which quarterback finished second in the nation last season in red zone passing efficiency. The answer? Jordan Jefferson of LSU. He finished 36th in the category overall as a sophomore in 2009. He has acknowledged he has had problems making quick decisions. But in big situations, Jefferson delivered more than any of us realize. A fluke? Or a sneak preview of a big year to come?

3. The starting lineup that USC announced for its opener Thursday night at Hawaii is skewing younger. Senior linebacker Chris Galippo, a second-team preseason All-Pac-10 pick, is out. Sophomore Devon Kennard is in. Two freshmen, wideout Robert Woods and corner Nickell Robey, won starting jobs. Lane Kiffin may be a protégé of Pete Carroll, but the new coach always gives everyone a new chance. Either that or Kiffin didn’t find as much talent there as USC’s reputation would have us believe.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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