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Vernon Adams vs. Jeff Lockie: Breaking Down Oregon's Quarterback Battle

Jeff Lockie

Jeff Lockie

The battle to replace Marcus Mariota as Oregon’s starting quarterback is officially underway. Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams passed a math test on Thursday, allowing the senior quarterback to receive his undergraduate degree and join the Ducks in time for fall practice.

Adams announced his intentions to transfer to Oregon prior to spring practice but was unable to officially join the team until graduating from Eastern Washington. In three years with the Eagles, Adams recorded over 10,000 total yards and threw 110 touchdown passes.

Oregon started fall camp on Aug. 10, so Adams is joining his new team a few days late in fall camp. Additionally, Jeff Lockie had a good spring and was able to spend the summer working as the No. 1 quarterback and build a rapport with the supporting cast.

Here’s a quick overview of the Lockie-Adams battle:

Jeff Lockie

Pros

Enters fourth season on Oregon’s roster. Redshirted as a freshman but played as Mariota’s backup in each of the last two years. Has an edge in experience and grasp of system.

Working with the No. 1 offense in the spring was a boost for Lockie’s chances of winning the starting job.

Cons

Edge in talent goes to Adams.

Made strides within the offense in the spring but has just 41 career pass attempts with the Ducks.

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Not as dynamic of a runner as Adams or Mariota.

Vernon Adams

Pros

Dynamic playmaker and a good fit for Oregon’s offense as a dual-threat option.

Has an edge in overall talent against Lockie.

Most experience as a starting quarterback on the Oregon roster.

Cons

Late arrival to fall practice makes it difficult to win the starting job before the opener.

How quickly will it take Adams to adjust to the FBS level of competition?

Not the biggest quarterback (around 6-foot). Will finding throwing lanes against bigger and more talented defenses prove problematic?

Final Analysis

How’s this for a storyline? Oregon’s first game of the year is against Vernon Adams’ old team – Eastern Washington. Although Adams holds the edge in talent and is a good fit for the Ducks’ high-powered offense, Lockie’s experience within the system is will be tough to beat after a late arrival to fall camp. Although Mariota will be missed, Lockie and Adams are reliable options for coach Mark Helfrich. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see both quarterbacks play significant snaps in the first few games.

Prediction: Lockie opens the year as the starter, but Adams eventually takes over the job.