Oregon's worst season (4-8) since 1991 (3-8) led to a coaching change. Yet, the Ducks' cupboard is hardly bare for new coach Willie Taggart. We will take a position-by-position look at what the new coaching staff will have to work with while trying to turn things around in 2017.
Key loss: Senior Dakota Prukop started the first five games after transferring in from Montana State, and played quite well, completing 65.7 percent of his passes for 1,215 yards and eight touchdowns with just two interceptions. Nevertheless, Prukop proved unable to elevate UO's offense with his play. Still, he should be remembered as a solid quarterback who was placed into an impossible situation.
Projected 2017 starter: Justin Herbert, Soph., (6-6, 225).
What we know: Herbert is the truth. He has an NFL-caliber arm, great accuracy, deft pocket awareness, is elusive in the pocket, has deceptive speed for his size, is unflappable and gets it.
Herbert took over as the starter in week 6 and in seven starts completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 1,986 yards and 19 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Project those numbers out over 13 games (with a bowl) and you get 3,688-35-6. Those numbers are almost identical to what Marcus Mariota put up in 2013 (3,665-31-4) as a redshirt sophomore while playing on a much better team.
What we don't know: Herbert could finish his career as at least the second best quarterback in program history. That is, if he remains the starter under Taggart. That is not a given.
There is a chance that Wilson, a better dual-threat quarterback, could push Herbert for the starting job. Wilson, the No. 3 quarterback last season, is a better runner than Herbert and that could play well under Taggart, who just rode quarterback Quinton Flowers to a 19-7 record over the last two seasons at South Florida.
Flowers, in those two seasons, rushed for 2,518 yards and 30 touchdowns, including 1,527-18 in 2016. He also passed for 5,097 yards and 46 touchdowns with 15 interceptions over two seasons as the starter.
If Taggart is looking for a dual-threat quarterback to run his offense then he could lean toward Wilson assuming he improves enough as a passer to close the gap on Herbert in that area.
However, Taggart did not have a running threat at quarterback while at Western Kentucky for three seasons or during his first two years at USF. And it's not as if Herbert can't run well. He rushed for gains of 273 yards in 2016.
Taggart's greatest success as a head coach has come with Flowers working his dual-threat magic. This at least raises the possibility that the competition could be intense.
Final word: Chances are that Herbert remains the front-runner to start in 2017. But spring drills should be interesting when both players will be performing for Taggart for the first time. The side issue is that the loser in this competition could very well transfer.
Speaking of transferring, Jonsen hasn't, yet. Then again, he could feel that a new coach could allow him to get back in the competition after a year that saw him fall from No. 2 to No. 4 during fall camp.
Position grade: A. Oregon has three legitimate quarterbacks, including one potential superstar. Taggart walked into a great situation at this position.