Monday, September 3, 2012
Player of the Week: Pac-12
By Kevin Gemmell
Lots of great choices this week, but one stood out in the mind of the Pac-12 blog: Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.
What makes Mariota's debut so impressive wasn't the three touchdown passes or the 200 yards on 18 of 22 passing. Or even the fact that his Ducks dropped 50 in the first half on Arkansas State.
Most impressive was the way he handled his business; cool, patient and collected. There was almost no indication that it was his first collegiate start. He was poised and dangerously efficient with no interceptions and a sparkling 81.8 completion percentage.
As we all know, Mariota was involved in a very private, very intense quarterback competition with Bryan Bennett -- last year's backup and a lot of people's pick as the presumptive starter following the departure of Darron Thomas.
But Mariota won the job and showed why he's Chip Kelly's guy Saturday night, carving up Arkansas State (with a little help from his friends) and calling it a night before the halftime festivities. For anyone who might have been on the fence following Kelly's decision, it's time to get off. Mariota's performance left little room for second guessing.