Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Reality Check for the Ducks as They Prepare for Colorado

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Reality Check for the Ducks as They Prepare for Colorado

Article excerpt

Its post-Utah reality set in, Oregon is moving on with some uncertainties.

Now unranked for the first time since 2009, Oregon heads into this weekend's game at Colorado looking for answers to the many questions that the 62-20 loss to the Utes brought forward. It could start at quarterback. The Ducks' depth chart for the game lists Vernon Adams Jr. or Jeff Lockie at quarterback, the key there being the word "or.

Adams, a transfer who was deemed Oregon's starter just prior to the start of the season, has been struggling since he broke his right index finger in the season opener against his former team, Eastern Washington.

Despite the injury, he started in Oregon's loss at Michigan State in the second week, before sitting out the next week against Georgia State.

He started again against the Utes, but didn't last the half, making just two of his seven pass attempts. Lockie threw for 139 yards with one touchdown for the Ducks, who fell to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the Pac-12. He was intercepted twice and sacked four times.

If the training staff tells coaches that a player is not ready to go, that's one thing, coach Mark Helfrich said about the decision to name a starter. Otherwise, the decision is based on who gives the Ducks the best chance to win.

"In general, when you're trying to get into the psychological side of things, the confidence side of things, that's where it's most difficult, he said at his weekly press conference. "A lot of these guys are very competitive guys. They want to be out there no matter what. You weigh that. And we're always gonna put who we think gives us the best chance out there.

While the starter at quarterback is uncertain, Byron Marshall will not play at receiver following an injury against the Utes.

Marshall left the game Saturday night with what appeared to be a right ankle injury. He was hurt on a kickoff return early in the second half and had to be helped off the field by trainers then taken to the locker room by cart. …

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