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Friday, August 27, 2010
Darron Thomas is Oregon's starting QB

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

The biggest question in the Pac-10 has been answered: Sophomore Darron Thomas has won the starting quarterback job at Oregon, beating out senior Nate Costa.

The general consensus among the local media heading into Thursday's final scrimmage was that Costa led entering preseason practices but Thomas had been coming on strong. Still, most reporters thought it was too close to call and some felt a tie would go to the more experienced Costa.

But Thomas turned in superior numbers during the close scrimmage -- completing 14 of 23 passes for 125 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions versus Costa's 17-of-35 for 138 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

It's unlikely a single scrimmage decided things in coach Chip Kelly's mind -- he'll talk about his decision following practice Saturday -- but it probably made the ultimate decision easier.

Thomas will make his first career start against New Mexico on Sept. 4 in Autzen Stadium. His bigger test will be the following weekend when the Ducks head to Tennessee to play in front of 105,000 hostile fans in the southern humidity.

Of course, the 6-3, 212-pound Thomas is a native of Houston. Humidity might be his cup of tea.

Thomas saw his only action in five games in 2008, the vast majority of it when he came off the bench and led an impressive comeback against Boise State that fell just short. Thomas completed 13-of-25 for 210 yards and three touchdowns in the 19-point fourth quarter of a 37-32 loss. In his other four appearances, he had only three completions for 58 yards.

So what does this mean? Here's my reading before Kelly speaks.


For more, here's The Oregonian story.