- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Coming into fall camp for the Oregon Ducks, we didn’t quite expect to be here, wondering which player was going to be named the starting quarterback for Week 1 against Fresno State.
However, that’s where we currently are, after true freshman Ty Thompson seemingly played himself into contention with Anthony Brown, who has also been dealing with some arm fatigue over the past week or so of practices.
The Ducks took to Autzen Stadium once again on Saturday morning to go through a scrimmage, their second of the fall, and while it was closed to media members and fans alike, all of the intrigue was about what happened at the quarterback position.
According to head coach Mario Cristobal, who talked to the media after the scrimmage, all guys involved put on a show.
“Anthony had a really good day today, Ty had a good day today, Butterfield had a good day, and Robby continues to get better and better,” Cristobal said on Saturday. “It’s tight, you know. It’s one of those deals where, look, somebody is going to be disappointed at the end, and that part is not fun. But it is real.”
Throughout the summer months, Cristobal was very public about naming Brown the starting QB going into camp, and with the bulk of experience that he has over the rest of the group, all either second-year or true freshmen, it was easy to tell why.
However, the bulk of talent that the Ducks currently have at the position is enough to understand why an open competition may be beneficial to the team in the long run, creating a meritocracy where the best player can ultimately come out on top.
If it ends up being the super-senior this year, that in no way closes a door for the others down the road.
“One thing, if you look at it from what it is, every one of those quarterbacks should be enthused about their future, because they’ve all got a shot,” Cristobal said. “They’ve all got a shot to be the guy, or to be the guy that’s competing against the guy. They’re all right there. We did a really good job of evaluating guys with high character who want to compete and we’ll find out. We’ll find out what we’re about here in a little bit.”
While position competitions in fall camp are common and encouraged, having an unknown at the QB spot just a couple of weeks before the first game of the season may not be ideal. While the Ducks could probably get away with some uncertainty against Fresno State, there is no room for hesitancy at the most important position on the field when traveling to Ohio State in Week 2.
Luckily for Oregon, they seem to feel that no matter who they end up sticking under center when the time comes, he will be able to get the job done. Yes, that includes being on the road, playing in front of 104,944 raucous fans.
“We feel if we played our quarterbacks, we’re going to win football games,” Cristobal said. “Anthony continues to get better, and he allows himself to get pushed really hard. That’s how we work. And we don’t cross the line of demanding and demanding, because we know that right now we’re playing in front of an empty stadium, and pretty soon that thing is going to be filled up, and we’re going to go places that are filled up and make a lot of noise and make things difficult. So we have to create that type of duress and that type of pressure to see what type of response we get.”
In short, we didn’t learn much about the QB competition on Saturday, other than the fact that one still remains. Without being able to watch the scrimmage, there is no telling who looked better, or who struggled. We don’t know the state of Brown’s arm fatigue, or if Thompson has taken a slight lead in the race for the No. 1 spot.
What we do know, though, is that the Ducks feel confident in who they have, and whenever they decide to ultimately name the guy, he has the support of the coaching staff and team alike.