ESPN names biggest unanswered question for Oregon in 2024 spring season

The 2024 football season is still a long way away, but the hype around the Oregon Ducks is already starting to grow. In several national preseason polls (including ESPN’s), the Ducks are ranked as high No. 3 in the country, behind the Georgia Bulldogs and Ohio State Buckeyes.

On Wednesday, a crop of ESPN writers listed the biggest questions for spring football for each of the top 25 teams. For the Oregon Ducks, their choice was, “Who will win the quarterback battle,” and staff writer Paolo Uggetti had this to say:

Bo Nix’s years of eligibility have finally expired, and Oregon will need to play a new quarterback this coming season. In some ways, the biggest spring question for the Ducks has already been answered as coach Dan Lanning & Co. pounced on the transfer portal to bring in not only Dillon Gabriel from Oklahoma but five-star recruit Dante Moore from UCLA. Coming off a 3,660-yard, 30-touchdown season at Oklahoma, Gabriel appears to be the likely choice to start, but Moore’s potential has clearly been unrealized through one season. Moore struggled to lead the Bruins in his first year but showed flashes of what made him one of the top high school quarterbacks in his class. Oregon has national title aspirations, and answering its quarterback question (as well as outfitting an offense around said quarterback) will go a long way toward helping the Ducks actually hoist the trophy.”

Despite Oregon picking up two marquee QBs this offseason, all signs have pointed to Dillon Gabriel being the Week 1 starter. If you asked me, I’d say the odds of Gabriel not starting in Week 1 for Oregon are about 100-1. Still, Uggetti wasn’t far off with the premise of his question.

To me, one of the biggest questions for 2024 is how well Gabriel will fit into Oregon’s offense. In his first five years of college, Gabriel has proven he’s an elite QB, but we’ve still yet to see him in a Ducks uniform, running Will Stein’s offense. If the Ducks are going to accomplish all of their goals next season, Gabriel will need to be consistently exceptional.

Dan Lanning obviously believes Gabriel can help Oregon reach new heights, otherwise, he wouldn’t have brought him into the program. And with Gabriel under center next year, the offense will look much different than it did under Nix, which is a good thing. Gabriel will need to make this team his own, and if he does, Oregon will shatter their ceiling.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire