Tyler Shough had been waiting two years for his opportunity to take hold of the reins of the Oregon Ducks offense.
The 6’5”, 221-pound four-star quarterback from Chandler, Arizona was rated the No. 1 player out of Arizona in the 2018 class and enrolled early at Oregon. After utilizing a redshirt in 2018 and playing in ‘garbage time’ minutes in 2019, the Shough era has officially begun.
Oregon’s four-year starting quarterback Justin Herbert is now in the NFL (and playing quite well for the Los Angeles Chargers).
But during those two years of backing up Herbert at Oregon, the two developed a friendly and competitive relationship both on and off the field. The two learned a lot from one another and now it is Shough’s time in Eugene, Oregon.
After an impressive debut against the Stanford Cardinal last Saturday where Shough completed 17-of-26 passes for 227 yards, two touchdowns (one through the air and one on the ground) and one interception in Oregon’s 35-14 win at Autzen Stadium, he received a text from Herbert.
“He texted me after the game ‘good job’ and we talk a little bit after each game about how he’s doing,” Shough said on Tuesday. “I got a lot of feedback from former athletes and it’s always great to hear from them. I’m really close friends with a lot of those guys and it’s good to have that connection still there.”
It wouldn’t be the first time two Oregon quarterbacks connected with one another.
Last Sunday, the Los Angeles Chargers hosted the Las Vegas Raiders where Herbert and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2012-2015) embraced one another during pregame. Each lead their teams to a Pac-12 championship and a Rose Bowl win as well as being top-10 picks in the NFL Draft.
After another heartbreaking loss for L.A., Mariota was the first to console Herbert on the field.
Next, the Oregon Ducks (1-0) will travel to face the Washington State Cougars (1-0) at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington. It’s a place that Herbert never won at during his four-year college career.
This 2020 season is anything but normal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the Pac-12 conference with state regulations not allowing fans to attend games. Normally, Martin Stadium and the Cougars faithful present a hostile environment for any opposing team calling for silent counts because of the deafening crowd noise.
This season, it’s more of an equal playing field and Shough will have the opportunity to accomplish something that Herbert couldn’t in an Oregon uniform.
The Ducks and Cougars will kickoff at 4 PM (PT) on Saturday in Pullman, WA.