The Oregon Ducks will try to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 campaign to make national championship dreams come true this year. Mark Helfrich probably had the most scrutinized 11-2 first season in history, as a terrible November robbed the Ducks of a chance to be either national or Pac-12 champions.
The culture has been rebooted, and now everyone seems to be back in line for a title. The biggest return is obviously Marcus Mariota, who ensures that the Ducks will be in that national championship race to start off the season. The question becomes how far they can go.
Here are some highlight quotes from his press conference. You can read the rest by clicking here to view the PDF of the transcript.
On high expectations: "If our players are 100 percent committed to our culture, 100 percent to our process, that’s our mark."
On Mariota: "That guy turned down a lot, a lot, a lot of money." (John Canzano)
"He cares more about practice rep 13, period 12 than any guy I've been around." (Bruce Feldman)
On Heisman Trophy: It was comical that Mariota wasn't invited to New York City last year. He touched on Johnny Manziel going .500 in conference last season. (Dave Mahler) Players in other conferences got bigger breaks in name recognition (Joe Schad).
On Nick Aliotti joining the Pac-12 Network: "I'm a little concerned about the viewership. I think we need to go like HBO or Cinemax or something." (Ryan Thornburn)
On Chris Petersen: "I'll hate him on certain days. He'll hate me ... but that guy is a lifelong friend of mine." (Dennis Dodd)
On Stanford: "The Stanford element has been fun at times and competitive at all times ... They’ve gotten us the last two years, so we need to do something about that. They’ll be really good ... And I think David Shaw has rigged the first-place voting – I think they have a Stanford engineer in the background rigging the voting." (SF Chronicle)