For the fourth week in a row the #3 ranked Oregon Ducks rolled to an easy victory at home, defeating Pac 12 rival Arizona 49-0. And for the fourth straight week in a row, quarterback Marcus Mariota turned in a Heisman worthy performance to lead the charge.
Mariota ended the game with 263 yards on 20 of 35 passing. He averaged more than seven yards per completion. The freshman play caller threw two touchdown passes, including a 55-yard strike to receiver Bralon Addison.
For once Mariota got to play much of the night. In their three previous outings, the Ducks built dominant leads and the first-string offense was pulled from the game early on. However, the Ducks only led #22 ranked Arizona 13-0 at half time. In the third quarter, though, Oregon racked up 15 points on the Wildcats and never looked back.
While it would be unusual to award the Heisman trophy to a first year quarterback, Mariota is making people pay attention to his skills. "I think Marcus Mariota is the most impressive freshman in all of college football," stated ESPN color commentator Matt Millen.
They are also paying attention to his stats. After four starts the 6-foot-4 red shirt from Hawaii has thrown for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has completed 69% of his throws and is averaging more than 234 passing yards per game for the U of O.
Mariota and the Ducks face another Pac 12 opponent, the Washington State Cougars, next week in their first away game. Heisman enthusiasts will be watching him closely to see if this rising star can take his talents on a traveling road show.