EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Marcus Mariota takes a lot of ribbing over his course load this semester: yoga and golf. But the light schedule means he'll be able to focus a lot more on football for the third-ranked Ducks.

Oregon opens at home on Saturday night against South Dakota.

Mariota averaged nearly 282 yards passing per game and threw for 31 touchdowns with only four interceptions as an early Heisman contender last season. He also rushed for 715 yards and nine scores.

All the while he was taking 20 units toward his science degree, with an eye on graduating early.

While he could have left this season for the NFL, Mariota decided to stick with the Ducks -- and it's one of the big reasons they're the favorite to win the Pac-12 title this season.