This evening, Oregon was selected by the Alamo Bowl to face off against the Texas Longhorns- a team they last met in 2001. Mariota spoke to Media this evening saying the selection was “An honor and a blessing.” When asked if there were any concerns about the team rallying for this game, Mariota shared that the “For the most part, guys are going to be excited.” He went on to compliment the Texas Longhorns by referring to them as one of the “Most Traditional programs in the country.”
Mariota was asked about any disappointed about not being selected for a BCS game (some projections put Oregon in the Sugar Bowl against the Alabama Crimson Tide). Before again showing gratitude for Oregon’s selection by the Alamo Bowl, he replied,
“To be Honest, it was tough and it was unfortunate, but we’ve put ourselves in this situation.”
In the midst of the Alamo Bowl questions, Mariota did open up a bit about his recent decision to return to Oregon next year. He acknowledged making the decision, along with his family, was tough, especially because the “finances” would have helped his family. But in typical Mariota fashion, he shared how much the memories and experiences yet to come were important. He added that
“The community and University mean a lot to me and I’m glad I made that decision”.
Looking ahead to the match-up with Texas later this month, Mariota said the team was practicing well and was really focused, adding they just had one of their best practices. In regards to his knee, Mariota said he’d like to think he’ll be a hundred percent, but he couldn’t predict how his body would feel 3 weeks from now.
When asked about improvements needed to be made in the next three weeks, Mariota noted Chemistry, Rhythm and taking care of the ball. Again, in Typical Mariota fashion and being the leader he is, he referenced his own fumbles and interceptions in the last couple of games. Now if that’s not the humility, I don’t know what is.
Welcome back Marcus, welcome back.