Chargers defender Justin Herbert grew up in Eugene, Oregon, so he was very familiar with Marcus Mariota’s exploits at the collegiate level before taking his steps as a defender at the University of Oregon.
That added something extra to Thursday night’s game against the Raiders. Mariota replaced Derek Carr when Carr injured his groin in the second possession of the game, which meant that Herbert dueled with one of his idols for the rest of the night.
Herbert won in overtime and then reflected on what it meant to him to be on the same field as Mariota.
“Pretty crazy experience,” Herbert said through Gilbert Manzano Los Angeles Daily News. “I grew up following Marcus. He was my favorite player. Just being from Eugene, I knew that program so well. To be able to play a few games against him, it was very nice just to see him on the field. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. “
Herbert equalized the record for most touchdown passes of a debutant in victory, but maybe this is not the lasting memory he took from Thursday night.