PORTLAND -- Chip Kelly was asked who is performing best at fall camp just one week into a three-week journey to college footballs' opening day.
The Oregon coach with the 34-6 career record rattled off the names of 10 to 15 players, Marcus Mariota's coming before Bryan Bennett's. That Mariota's name came first of the two quarterbacks was no indication of the standings in the race to be the opening day starter at the position.
I knew that was coming! Kelly quipped. I actually thought about that (the order of the names) before I even said it.
Kelly said he likes what he's seeing from both and remains firm that the two players will decide this result of this race.
In Corvallis, the picture is much clearer for Mike Riley, at quarterback that is.
Riley essentially blew up the 2011 season by benching a veteran to play a rookie. Sean Mannion showed flashes of what the future might be like for Oregon State. Riley said the future is now.
No doubt about it, Riley said when asked if Mannion is a different player right now. Much more confident, and he grew some shoulders! He was one of the workout warriors during the off-season.
While Riley's situation is settled under center and Kelly's remains a work in progress, both have said they are pleased with what their respective teams have done so far in fall camp. Now the intensity will step up a notch or three.
Two-a-day practices began Monday, and Tuesday the Ducks will play with officials at top speed. Sooner, not later, Kelly will see which of his two QB's is ready to decide this race.
They've both done a good job, Kelly said.
With a little more than two weeks before the opener, Kelly has some time to think about which order to rattle off the names of his quarterbacks.
The Ducks and Beavers both open with home games. Oregon welcomes Arkansas St. to Autzen Stadium on Saturday September 1. The Beavers will host Nichols State at Reser Stadium.
There will be no overlap between the end of one game and the start of the next. But I-5 will have a lot of volume heading in both directions from approximately 4 to 5 p.m. that day.