NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** Marcus Mariota has a new look – he's growing a mustache in November to raise awareness for prostate cancer.
So far, he's gotten mixed reviews, and that includes his girlfriend.
"I don't think she's too happy about (the look),'' Mariota said with a smile.
On Sunday in San Diego, the Titans quarterback will have some familiar faces in the crowd. And it sounds like a lot of them, from Hawaii to Oregon and beyond.
Turns out it's a perfect storm for Mariota's fan base at Qualcomm Stadium this weekend.
Not only is San Diego a shorter flight for his family, friends and fans in Hawaii, the University of Hawaii plays at San Diego State on Saturday night. Up the coast, Oregon plays Southern California on Saturday night as well.
Mariota is from Honolulu, and he won a Heisman Trophy at Oregon.
The Oregon Alumni Association bought a block of 200 seats from the Chargers, with buyers from Oregon, Washington, California and Hawaii. The buyers were sent green "once a Duck, always a Duck" T-shirts and will be given green pom-poms.
A group is also coming from Saint Louis High School, Mariota's alma mater, in Honolulu.
"It's nice to have an opportunity to play in front of some family and friends, people who have supported me since I was a little kid,'' Mariota said. "I am excited and looking forward to it. I am not totally sure (how many), I just kind of know the number of people within my immediately family.
"It is going to be fun to play in from of some of those people that helped me to get to where I am today."
They'll be catching him at a good time. Mariota has been on a roll.
At the season's halfway point, Mariota has thrown for 1,874 yards with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. Mariota is on pace for 3,748 passing yards, 28 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions this season. The passing yards total would be biggest in the "Titans era" and the most passing yards for a QB with the franchise since Warren Moon (4,690) in 1991.
Mariota has 10 touchdown passes vs one interception for a 120.7 rating in the past four games.
Mariota and the Titans hope to keep the momentum going on Sunday. The Titans (4-4) have won three of their last four games.
"I think guys are confident," Mariota said. "But at the same time guys understand it is only halfway through the year. We haven't done anything yet. We are in the thick of it in our division, but there is a long way to go and a lot of football to be played. It is good to have confidence and good to go out there feeling good about what we have done.
"And it is important that we continue to try and get better and find ways to execute on the field."
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)