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Colts find hope in 'outstanding' rookie Marlon Mack

The Indianapolis Colts have looked like a ghost ship in the absence of Andrew Luck.

Backup quarterback Scott Tolzien has led the club to a mere three points over two preseason appearances, leaving coach Chuck Pagano in a state of frustration following Saturday's loss to the Cowboys.

"We can't move the ball down the field. We can't get first downs. It's pitiful," Pagano said. "I don't care who's in there."

It's fair to ask if the Colts are top-five-pick material without Luck on the field, but the team has unearthed an intriguing asset in the backfield in the form of fourth-round runner Marlon Mack.

Mack slashed Dallas with 45 yards off five carries including bursts of 10, 13 and 23 yards. A subject of praise all summer long, the former University of South Florida star gave Pagano something positive to focus on.

"I thought he was outstanding," Pagano said of Mack, per ESPN. "He's going to be a heck of a football player, whether he's running the football -- I think he averaged nine yards a carry, made a couple of nice catches. He had a] screen called back because of a foolish holding penalty again on [offensive tackle [Le'Raven Clark]."

Pro Football Focus noted that the hard-running Mack generated five missed tackles on just seven touches for an outrageous elusive rating of 542.9.

Mack's arrival is timely for the Colts, who certainly can't ask 34-year-old Frank Gore to operate as the team's solo workhorse. Robert Turbin is also on the roster, but look for the rookie to play an emerging role for a team desperately in search of an anchoring force during a trouble-filled lead up to Week 1.

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