EUGENE — For all intents and purposes, Oregon’s fall camp is over and game prep is under way for next week’s season opener.
But the Ducks’ starting quarterback is still yet to be named.
“We’re working ourselves through that,” Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said Friday. “At the right moment, respectfully, we’ll make that announcement.”
Tyler Shough and Anthony Brown continue to vie for the starting job, though by all accounts the redshirt-sophomore has gotten the overwhelming majority of the reps with the first-team offense.
Friday was the first time Cristobal hinted, even vaguely at the possibility of both Shough and Brown playing.
“The rep count will be what it always will be for us in terms of the game week and the quarterbacks handling it,” he said. “With that being said, a big part of that even going into this final week we feel that both these quarterbacks are going to be prepared to play and play winning football for us.”
It certainly wouldn’t be out of the question for Oregon to at least have a personnel package for Brown. While two-quarterback systems are mostly of a bygone era, of all the years a backup is important, it’s 2020.
The deepest group on offense is the running back corps though and Oregon will more than likely still be a run-first offense given CJ Verdell, Travis Dye, Cyrus Habibi-Likio, Sean Dollars and Jayvaun Wilson return and Trey Benson adds to the group.
“The running back position has built not only depth but more than quality depth,” Cristobal said. “These guys, they all have a role and they’re all going to play and they’re really good football players.”
Though Cristobal has been reluctant to declare anyone a starter to this point, he said the offensive line is “at eight approaching nine and goal 10 players that can play winning football and win a championship for us.” The group clearly includes Alex Forysth at center and tackles Steven Jones and George Moore and guard T.J. Bass have received heaps of praise throughout camp. The last battle for starting jobs might come down to Moore, Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu and Ryan Walk.
Oregon will practice again Saturday with more game-like situations, which it’s spread out over this week after last week’s scrimmage was canceled.
Cristobal said “sudden change is part of the season” in 2020 and while obviously the program didn’t want to cope with any false positive antigens last week, the experience did serve as a reminder that things are still not fully normal.
“Part of me is glad that we had to deal with a situation that didn’t have any consequences,” Cristobal said, “and yet prepared us for the reality of what the world is right now.”
With Tuesday a mandated day off for Election Day, the Ducks will flip their Monday and Tuesday practice routines.