People might not know this, but it’s not just the Oregon players who might have a grudge against the Furd for ruining their national title hopes last season. The new Oregon starting quarterback is itching to go against the guy who always finished ahead of him in the Houston prep ranks, the guy who is now smelling the Heisman hype.
"Oh yeah, I was always No. 1 and he was No. 2 in the Houston area,’’ said Thomas, who will try to outduel his former prep adversary when Oregon and Stanford meet at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Autzen Stadium.
Thomas, who starred at Aldine High School, lost to Luck and the Spartans 34-24 on Oct. 5, 2007 at Stratford’s Tully Stadium. Luck was 13 of 25 for 149 yards; Thomas was 14 of 25 for 168 yards and ran for another 101 yards.
At the time, Thomas was committed to LSU but later switched to Oregon. Thomas said he stays in touch with Luck and his father, former NFL player Oliver Luck.
"Luck’s my boy,’’ Thomas said. "It’ll be a reunion.’’
Luck is clearly a better pocket passer, but Thomas is plenty capable of throwing it around himself. Luck's no slouch at scrambling when the pocket breaks down and his receivers get blanketed, but Thomas is definitely the better at running. More importantly, he doesn’t have to do the things Luck needs to do to make his offense hum. Both offensive lines are plenty experienced, so they’ll get all the time they need to put the ball in the air and deliver to their receivers.
It’ll definitely be the fiercest test for both quarterbacks in their short college careers. Perhaps since Luck vs. Thomas I.