Oregon Ducks: Dustin Haines
July, 23, 2012
By Brandon P. Oliver | ESPN.com
Jim Z. Rider/US PresswireRedshirt sophomore Bryan Bennett is no stranger to performing in tough situations. In high school he was forced to take the helm and led his Encinco (Calif.) Crespi team to an 11-3 record.
Many outside of the Oregon program are expecting the Ducks to take a back seat to USC in 2012, due in large part to the loss of Darron Thomas at quarterback. Following Thomas out the door are his experience, leadership and toughness. The Ducks have a lot of talent waiting in the wings at the quarterback spot, but no one with significant experience.
While losing a record setting quarterback is always tough to recover from, the Ducks have had no problem doing so in the past. After Kellen Clemens came Dennis Dixon. After Dixon came Jeremiah Masoli. After Masoli, Thomas stepped in and took over the job. Now Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota battle to take over the Ducks’ offense.
The good news for the Ducks is that both candidates have a redshirt year under their belts that helped them adjust to the Oregon. More good news is that the skill level around them is at an all-time high. It should make for a fairly easy transition, especially with the favorable schedule in the first two months of the season.