There wasn't a more underappreciated player in college football than Mariota in 2013. He quickly fell out of the Heisman race after Oregon's loss to Stanford, in which he played with a sprained knee. Mariota still put up staggering numbers for the season: 3,665 pass yards and 31 touchdowns against just four interceptions while completing 63.5 percent of his attempts, as well as 7.4 yards per rush with nine touchdowns. He led the nation in adjusted QBR (89.5) and surprised some by electing to return for his junior season.
■ Erik McKinney says DB Mattrell McGraw is the most important target for Oregon in recruiting that hasn't already committed.
■ Oregon continues to climb in the recruiting rankings for 2014.
■ Oregon released the official 2014 schedule yesterday.
■ Dale Newton says John Neal would be an obvious choice to replace Nick Aliotti but Todd Orlando might be a much better choice.
Orlando coached a group (Utah State) that allowed 17.1 points a game, 7th best in the nation while competing in the offense-happy Mountain West. They held USC to 17, shut out Colorado State, and topped Boise State 34-23.
He's a rising star in coaching who combines the intensity of Nick Aliotti with the vision, and attention to detail of [Chip] Kelly.