One of, if not the, biggest question heading into the 2020-2021 Oregon football season is who will be Oregon’s next starting quarterback?
The hometown hero Justin Herbert is off to the NFL and has left behind big shoes to fill.
Mario Cristobal enters his third season as head coach, the Ducks are coming off a Pac-12 Championship and victory in the 106th Rose Bowl. They landed the No. 1 linebacker in the country, Justin Flowe, along with the No. 13 ranked recruiting 2020 class.
The hype is no joke. But losing your quarterback and offensive coordinator in the same year is not always an easy transition.
Cristobal then hired Joe Moorhead away from Mississippi State to become Oregon’s next offensive coordinator. That's one hole filled. Next up, the heir to the Herbert throne.
It probably doesn’t come as a complete shock to hear redshirt sophomore Tyler Shough’s name continue to pop up.
At the start of spring practice in early March, Tyler Shough was the guy to beat. At the end of spring practice, which was cut early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tyler Shough remained the guy to beat.
I can’t emphasize enough how fired up we are about Tyler [Shough]. He entered spring football as the starter. He leaves the spring as the starter. — Mario Cristobal
Shough was Herbert’s true backup for the past two seasons. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound quarterback from Chandler, Arizona saw action in five games (53 snap total) last season and completed 12-of-15 passes for 144 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. The consensus four-star prospect has waited his turn and earned the QB1 spot. Not to forget he is the only quarterback on Oregon's roster with actual collegiate experience in green and yellow.
However, Shough taking over the reins may not be certain as Cristobal has also stated that competition only makes players better.
The Oregon Ducks land coveted Grad Transfer QB, Anthony Brown. Brown (6-2 220lb) started the past 3 seasons for Boston College and had a 154.5 QB rating in 2019. Over the past 2 seasons Brown threw for 29 TD’s & 11ints.— WestCoastCFB (@WestCoastCFB) April 1, 2020
The addition of the three-year starter at BC sowed some doubt into the presumptive status of Shough as QB1.
Not to mention, there's incoming quarterbacks Jay Butterfield, a four-star pro-style quarterback from Brentwood, California, and dual-threat quarterback Robby Ashford, another four-star prospect from Hoover, Alabama.
It's going to be a crowded and very talented QB room in the fall.
Once football starts up again, this will be a very interesting position group to follow.
But for now, it is Shough’s position to lose.