ESPN on Mariota: “The Dude is a Freak-Show”

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For long-time Duck fans, hearing the praise of the Oregon quarterback was fun from a group that has not always been as complimentary of Oregon as the writers on and you are. They also provided some insights about defending him and how other players may view him.

Rece Davis asked fellow ESPN sportscasters Jesse Palmer and Danny Kanell, “If you’re the Florida State defense … what’s the one thing you want to try to take away from Mariota?”

Kanell answered, “I would agree with Jesse and try to keep him [Mariota] in the pocket. That is one area where Marcus Mariota is under-rated. Thirty-eight touchdowns to two interceptions is just phenomenal when you look at the numbers. He is dangerous, and when your secondary guys have to cover longer, it is a losing proposition.

“Keep him in the pocket, try to harass him, and try to get pressure on him. Ideally in a perfect world, you can pressure him with four and still have seven in coverage … but that’s a perfect world.”

Kirk Herbstreit

From Video

Kirk Herbstreit

Kirk Herbstreit spoke about the weaknesses of the Florida State defense, and the problems the Oregon offense and Mariota present. “I’m concerned about the edges; it has been a concern for Florida State all year — being able to contain speed and get outside and between Freeman running into the interior and what Mariota can do to the outside … the jet sweep to the outside, the quick throws to the outside, the look passes — they’re [Oregon] going to test the Florida State edges a lot.

“I’m just anxious to see what Charles Kelly (DC for FSU) will put together to try to contain, to try to squeeze Mariota, which is much easier said than done. Once Oregon gets those quick throws going, they set up the pump and go. They test your discipline as well, which has been another problem from time to time for the Florida State defense.”

David Pollack

From Video

David Pollack

ESPN sportscaster David Pollack has been a critic of Oregon football over the years and his comments about Mariota started with the mindset that the Oregon coaching staff may have as it approaches the Playoff game with Florida State. “Once you get to the Playoff season and you got a guy like Mariota, what would scare me playing against him is now they’re going to run him, because it is do-or-die,” Pollack said.

“He doesn’t run the football a lot; he doesn’t take a lot of shots.” (Herbstreit interjects, “Out of necessity”). Pollack nods in agreement and says, “Because it is necessity time.” Pollack continues, “The dude is a freak-show as he’s 6’4, 225 lbs and he breaks tackles and is as fast as anyone on the field. Nobody can catch him when he breaks loose.”

Herbstreit offers more thoughts when he stated, “I don’t think people understand how fast he is until they get on the field with him. He’s so long [stride] that the Florida State secondary looking at him is thinking,’Its OK, he’s not that fast,’ and then zing — it’s goodbye!”

Panelist Joey Galloway explained, “It is hard to harass a QB and contain him. If your defensive linemen are in lanes, then there are offensive linemen between them and the quarterback. Harassing and containing and keeping him in the pocket sounds like a good idea and it sounds doable, but that is a tough thing to do with the best athlete that will be on the field.”

For me that was one of the most interesting and enjoyable segments by ESPN about Oregon football in a very long time. I *heart* Marcus!

Top Photo from Video

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Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks for thirty years and has written reports on football boards for over a dozen years. Known as “FishDuck” on those boards, he is acknowledged for providing intense detail in his scrimmage reports and in his Xs and Os play analyses. He and his wife Lois, a daughter, Christine, and their dog (Abbie) reside in Eugene, Oregon, where he has been a financial advisor for 30 years serving clients in seven different states. He does not profess to be a coach or analyst, but simply a “hack” that enjoys sharing what he has learned and invites others to correct or add to this body of Oregon Football! See More...


    FISH I concure totally with you on those ESPON SEC HONKS because they are so much for the SEC that it PUKE’S out their PORE’S and almost that you think the SEC Association is paying ESPON BIG BUCKS to do so and I was wondering if you caught another espon reject just last night in WARD who played QB for Houston and won the HEISMAN who actually had the nerve to say Gordon and then Cooper would win the Heisman over Marcus who hasn’t been a 1 year wonder he’s done this for 3 straight years and NO QB has been better in the History of College Sports. I think that guy is just Jealous of Mariota because I seen his stats for the Heisman and they were a JOKE and he has to know that Marcus will be the NO.1 pick W/O a doubt and he will have success as in I’m sure Marcus will be a Pro Bowl player for years to come in any Offense he plays in because that’s how good he is. Thank God Manziel went to A@M because Marcus is light years ahead of him also and I think he was lucky to be picked even in the 1st round from a Team that just seriously has NO CLUE anymore about the Game. Love it Fish and I seriously hope this is the year because between the other 3 teams they have won the NATTY a combined 25 times Oregon 0 and they need to step up this time and actually do it. Remember their biggest booster owns the Biggest shoe company in the world and we all know what that Motto is ” JUST DO IT ” GO DUCK’S and WTN!