Andy McNamara of goducks.com announced today that the Oregon Spring Game will be Saturday May 3 at 11:00 a.m.
For the past four seasons the Spring Game has been televised nationally on ESPN, and during the last two it was dedicated as a tribute to Oregon men and women serving in the Armed Forces.
Spring gains: Marcus Mariota and Byron Marshall master the mesh point in an offensive play from last year’s Spring Game. The Ducks will kick off the annual Mighty Oregon vs. Fighting Ducks classic at 11:00 p.m. May 3rd (Scott Olmos, USA Today Sports Images photo).
Fans paid their “admission” with cans of food, a fundraiser for the Oregon Food Bank.
While the details of this year’s format have not been announced, those traditions have been well received. Attendance in the last two seasons has topped 40,000, the highest in the PAC-12.
This year, the Spring Game will feature a look at a very promising Duck squad led by returnees Marcus Mariota and Hroniss Grasu, who announced last week they were passing up the NFL draft. The Ducks also return all five starters from the Alamo Bowl on the offensive line, 108 starts in all, and 10 of 11 starters on offense.
The defense returns starting inside linebackers Derrick Malone and Rodney Hardrick, defensive ends Tony Washington, DeForest Buckner and tackles Alex Balducci and Arik Armstead. Terrance Mitchell should be returning in the secondary, along with safety Erick Dargan. A duo of promising freshman who saw time on the field this year Torrodney Prevot and Tyrell Robinson should feature more prominently, and young players like Danny Mattingly, Chis Seisay, Tyree Robinson and Reggie Daniels will be auditioning for bigger roles.
The Oregon running game Byron Marshall, Thomas Tyner and Kani Benoit should provide some fireworks for the Spring crowd. Royce Freeman and Tony James are slated to join them in the fall.
Marcus Mariota will have some new targets next year with popular seniors Josh Huff and Daryle Hawkins graduating. The May 3 scrimmage will be fans’ first look at Chance Allen, B.J. Kelley, Dwayne Stanford, Darren Carrington and Devon Allen in expanded roles. New recruit Jalen Brown, an elite receiver from Arizona, has enrolled in school for winter term and will join the roster during winter workouts, eligible for spring ball. He’s a 6-2 leaper with great hands and ability after the catch, sure to challenge for immediate playing time, although it will be tough for a freshman to rise above this talented group.
The next evolution of the Oregon offense is promising indeed, particularly with Mariota and Grasu returning to set the pace.