Ducks legend Marcus Mariota leaves lasting impact on team

Olivia Trone, Bilingual Editor

If you’re a true Oregon Ducks fan, you know the famous Marcus Mariota. The Heisman-winning quarterback helped the team go to the BCS National Championship in 2011 and the CFP National Championship in 2014. He was seen as a legend, being the first player in Ducks history to win the Heisman. He led the nation in touchdowns, total yards and passing efficiency/accuracy. 

Although the Ducks lost both championship games they got to, they played hard and got further than anyone imagined they would. Since then, the Ducks have done pretty well, winning multiple Rose Bowls and Pac-12 Championships, but they’ve never again had a Heisman winning quarterback or done as well as they did with Marcus Mariota on the roster. 

There have been many outstanding quarterbacks, but no Duck has ever been as good as Mariota; very few have even come close. Honorable mentions include Dennis Dixon during the 2007 season and Joey Harrington in 2001, when he came in fourth for the Heisman. Justin Herbert was also quarterback for Oregon from 2016-2019, and he played outstandingly. But still, no one begins to match the skill of Mariota and the offensive flow he created with the team. 

There were many reasons why the team was so good with Mariota, including his throwing and running skills. But Mariota never would have gotten as far as he did without the help of his coaches. In 2011, the head coach was Chip Kelly, the offensive coordinator was Mark Helfrich and the defensive coordinator was Nick Aliotti. These three coaches were exceptional in their time, and they certainly contributed to the offensive flow and strong defense. In 2014, the head coach was Helfrich, the offensive coordinator was Scott Frost and the defensive coordinator was Don Pellum. At that time, all the coaches were pretty new, either in their first or second seasons of coaching. Despite this, they were able to end the season with a 13-2 (8-1, Pac-12) record. 

Sophomore Oliver Wolfe, an avid Ducks fan, said, “Mariota changed the game of Pac-12 offense. He helped develop and strengthen the QB position; he had a very unique play style. He could run almost as well as he could pass. Oregon has never had a better QB.” 

The legend Marcus Mariota was beloved and respected by all Duck fans. His talent was unmatchable and his impact was record shattering.