EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota has won the job as starting quarterback for No. 5 Oregon.
Oregon coach Chip Kelly announced Friday that Mariota had earned the job over sophomore Bryan Bennett, who was Darron Thomas' backup last season. Thomas left school early to declare his eligibility for the NFL draft.
Oregon went 12-2 last season and defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. The Ducks open this season at home against Arkansas State on Sept. 1.
Mariota is the first freshman to start in an opener for Oregon since Danny O'Neil in 1991.