Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost raised a few eyebrows after the team's loss to Arizona last week when he suggested that quarterback Marcus Mariota wasn't quite 100 percent healthy.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday after practice, however, the signal-caller dismissed those concerns and declared himself to have a clean bill of health heading into the team's massive showdown with UCLA on Saturday.
"I'm good. I'm good," Mariota said, according to the Oregonian. "Just typical football stuff. You kind of get banged up through the years and you just have to fight through it."
One could understand if he was a little nicked up after the loss to the Wildcats considering he was sacked five times in the game. That's on top of the seven sacks he took the week prior at Washington State.
In case it wasn't clear, while Mariota might be healthy heading into Saturday, his offensive line certainly is not. Starting left tackle Tyler Johnstone was lost for the season with an ACL injury during fall camp and his replacement, Jake Fisher, was hurt during the team's win over Wyoming. Add in right tackle Andre Yruretagoyena suffering a significant ankle injury against Michigan State, and the Ducks' line is a bit of a walking wounded unit at the moment with a true freshman left tackle and a walk-on on the opposite side.
"I trust these guys up front and we'll be fine," Mariota added.
Not that the injuries up front have truly hampered Mariota from doing Mariota things. Despite the loss and all the unnecessary hits, the redshirt junior is still putting up some impressive numbers to help carry the Ducks' offense this year. He leads the country in pass efficiency and has a sterling 15-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio on the season.
Those are just some of the reasons why many in scouting circles still think Mariota has a shot to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year's NFL draft. He'll have yet another chance to showcase his talents this weekend against a UCLA defense that has plenty of stars but hasn't put up the pass-rush numbers many expected this year.
That, of course, is subject to change given the current state of the Oregon offensvie line.