What we learned: Week 3

September, 15, 2013
9/15/13
10:00
AM ET
What did we learn about the Ducks during their 59-14 win over Tennessee?
David Ash

Mariota

Marcus Mariota is a Heisman candidate: Heisman Trophy candidates typically play for good teams and put up big numbers at key skill positions. Check every box for Mariota, who completed 23 of 33 passes for a career-high 456 yards with four touchdown passes and no interceptions in the blowout victory. He also rushed for 27 yards and a TD.

Oregon's defensive front proves rugged: The biggest question heading into this game was how the Ducks front-seven would handle a very big and very good Volunteers offensive line. They won the battle by a significant margin. Three new LBs? No worries. The Ducks can go mano-a-mano with anyone. And that bodes well for the showdown with Stanford.

It's probably time to stop wondering about Helfrich -- until a tight game: It's natural to worry about a new coach, even if just about every indication is he'll be just fine. Mark Helfrich was replacing Chip Kelly. Kelly's run atop the Ducks was simply stellar and unprecedented. So ... questions. Well, after three games, the Ducks have looked just about exactly like they did under Kelly. The only thing remaining is to see how Helfrich handles a fourth quarter with the result in doubt. Of course, if you blow everyone out, we might never know.

Ted Miller | email

College Football

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