Monday, September 3, 2012

Did Mariota Outperform Barkley in Debut?

    Just how good was freshman Marcus Mariota’s collegiate football debut for the Oregon Ducks on Saturday, September 1, 2012?  Marcus completed 18 of 22 passes with 3 touchdowns and was taken out 23 minutes into the game with a 50-3 lead over the Arkansas State Redwolves at Autzen Stadium.  How does that compare with the preseason-leading Heisman-hopeful, Matt Barkley?

    Matt Barkley and the USC Trojans hosted the Hawai’i Warriors Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum.  Barkley, a senior, wasted no time with the first offensive play, hitting wide receiver Marquise Lee for 75 yards and a touchdown. Barkley went onto complete 23 of 38 passes for 372 yards and 4 touchdowns.  He played up until 12:58 remained in the fourth quarter.

    Matt Barkley played Hawai’i twice as long (47 minutes) as Marcus Mariota played against Arkansas State.  At 23 minutes into the Hawai’i vs. USC game, Matt Barkley had completed 12 of 22 passes for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns.  This included two incomplete passes on a couple of failed 2-point conversion attempts.  The score at this point of the game favored the Trojans 26-0, which isn’t enough of a lead to start pulling starters out of the game.  That wouldn’t happen until early in the fourth quarter, after Barkley connected with Randall Telfer for a touchdown to give the Trojans a 49-10 lead.

    Marcus Mariota achieved a quarterback rating of 203.2 after week one.  Matt Barkley achieved a quarterback rating of 168.8.  Barkley finished the 2011 season with a 161.2 QB rating, which was 8th best among NCAA Division I-A quarterbacks.  Even though Mariota shined with his 81.8% completion percentage, Barkley edged out Mariota when it came to plays for big yards and averaged 9.8 yards per attempt to Mariota’s 9.1 yards per attempt.  Which quarterback stat is most important to you - high completion rate? or big yards per attempt?

    If a freshman can achieve similar numbers to a senior Heisman-hopeful, then the Oregon Ducks have a lot to look forward to this season.

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