Quarterback Marcus Mariota earned himself a bit of additional respect on Saturday. After taking some big hits from UCLA linebackers in Oregon’s 42-14 win Saturday, his demeanor impressed even Anthony Barr.
“I think people don’t give him enough credit for his toughness and his competitiveness,” the Bruins’ All-American said. “There were a couple of plays where he got hit probably late. I think the one, Jordan (Zumwalt) hit him on the sidelines, and he was actually telling the ref, ‘Don’t throw the flag. That was clean.’
“It’s cool to hear from quarterbacks. Usually, they’re the ones complaining the most.”
Barr himself is no slouch. On Monday, he was named one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, given annually to the best linebacker in college football. With 13 tackles for loss, six sacks, four forced fumbles and three recoveries, the senior is likely the favorite to win.