Sports

RB Byron Marshall is the vet of Oregon's 'three-headed monster'

Oregon running back Byron Marshall makes a touchdown catch in the end zone during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against South Dakota in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. At right is South Dakota's Jacob Warner. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

Oregon running back Byron Marshall makes a touchdown catch in the end zone during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against South Dakota in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. At right is South Dakota's Jacob Warner. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)  (The Associated Press)

Oregon's Byron Marshall is picking up where De'Anthony Thomas left off.

The speedy running back showed a new dimension in the No. 3 Ducks' opener, leading the team with eight catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

His expanded responsibilities on Oregon's hyperdrive offense are reminiscent of Thomas, who also became a versatile threat for the Ducks before going to the NFL.

Marshall, and the rest of the Ducks' offense, will face a considerable challenge on Saturday when Oregon hosts No. 7 Michigan State in one of the more anticipated nonconference contests of the season.

The defending Big Ten and Rose Bowl champion Spartans are known for their stalwart defense, which was ranked fourth in the nation last season, allowing opponents an average of just over 274 yards of offense per game.