Holes are not quite as deep in Oregon.
Running back De'Anthony Thomas left early for the NFL, and receiver Josh Huff has moved on. The loss of two such big-play specialists could alter the outlook of most college football teams.
But in Eugene, there are always more Ducks on the pond.
Devon Allen could be that blur on your TV screens this fall.
Allen did, after all, win the NCAA 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.16, just off Renaldo Nehemiah’s record of 13.0.
Just what the Ducks needed. More speed.
“It’s going to be fun throwing him the ball,” Mariota said.
The Ducks’ don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it offense is predicated on such players.
Thomas was special. He’d touch the ball and defensive coordinators would begin to sweat. Huff was the type of clutch receiver that came up with big plays when needed. The Ducks will also be without receiver Bralon Addison, who suffered a knee injury in spring and will miss the season.
So what’s a quarterback to do without such go-to players?
“Oh, we got a lot of guys,” Mariota said.
Little wonder that the Ducks were picked to win the Pac-12 in a media poll.
Mariota pointed to receivers Keanon Lowe, Dwayne Stanford, Darren Carrington and Change Allen. Opponents might want to note running backs Byron Marshall (1,038 yards) and Thomas Tyner (711 yards).
And Devon Allen, who sat out as a redshirt.
“I had no idea how fast he was until track,” Mariota said.