ESPN Casts An Eye To Oregon Ducks QB Room Entering the Spring


It’s a different era in Oregon football. Dan Lanning is the head coach in his third year and has brought an enthusiasm that may be unmatched in college football right now. Oregon will be heading to the Big Ten conference, which is still weird to write, though Ducks will be opening up their conference home schedule against a familiar face in Jonathan Smith and his new program, Michigan State.

The Ducks have high expectations on them as Oregon will be a consensus top-10 team in the nation when the season starts and will be a top-five team in the minds of many. There really doesn’t seem like there will be many question marks heading into the spring, but ESPN college football writers picked the biggest question marks for the top teams in the nation.

Paolo Uggetti of ESPN wrote about Oregon’s biggest question mark heading into spring. Uggetti thinks there is a question in the quarterbacks room where Dillon Gabriel and Dante Moore both arrived via the transfer portal.

Who will win the quarterback battle?

“Bo Nix’s years of eligibility have finally expired, and Oregon will need to play a new quarterback this coming season. In some ways, the biggest spring question for the Ducks has already been answered as coach Dan Lanning & Co. pounced on the transfer portal to bring in not only Dillon Gabriel from Oklahoma but five-star recruit Dante Moore from UCLA. Coming off a 3,660-yard, 30-touchdown season at Oklahoma, Gabriel appears to be the likely choice to start, but Moore’s potential has clearly been unrealized through one season. Moore struggled to lead the Bruins in his first year but showed flashes of what made him one of the top high school quarterbacks in his class. Oregon has national title aspirations, and answering its quarterback question (as well as outfitting an offense around said quarterback) will go a long way toward helping the Ducks actually hoist the trophy.”

I get Uggetti’s point. Will Dante Moore be OK with coming off the bench when all you heard in his recruiting process out of high school was that Moore wanted to start right away at a Power 5 school? The difference here is that Moore already knew Dillon Gabriel committed to Oregon from the portal before Moore made his commitment. Moore has to know that Gabriel is going to be the guy and there really doesn’t seem to be any questions about it. It would be a huge shock to the college football world if Moore started day one.

If this is the biggest unknown heading into the spring for Oregon, I am not too worried. The starting quarterback issue seems like a forgone conclusion with Gabriel in the fold and not an issue that needs to be solved. Still, it is worth keeping an eye on Moore and his development while being a backup.

Read ESPN’s full article about the biggest question marks heading into the spring for some of the top college football programs by clicking here.