Oregon Ducks: Marcus Mariota Marvelous in Debut

By Rich Seiber
September 02, 2012 8:16 am
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2,407 Views 7 Comments

Can a freshman win the Heisman trophy?

That may be the question on everyone’s mind after first year quarterback Marcus Mariota led the 5th ranked Oregon Ducks to a resounding 57 to 34 victory over visiting Arkansas State.

Mariota, a freshman from Hawaii, showed great poise in leading the high-powered Duck offense to 50 points in less than two quarters.  Oregon held such a commanding lead that Mariota and the first string offense were pulled from the game in the middle of the second quarter.

Still he managed to throw for 216 yards on 19 of 23 passing.  Mariota finished with three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his first ever college start. Imagine what his stats might have been if he had played the whole game.

Of course Mariota had some offensive help.  Running back Kenjon Barner scored two touchdowns and rushed for 66 yards on 9 carries. De’Anthony Thomas also had an explosive night on offense as both a rusher and receiver.  Thomas finished with 119 combined rushing and receiving yards and multiple touchdowns.

Yet it was Mariota’s performance that stole the show. Whether in the pocket or on the run, his passes were crisp and on-target. After his opening night performance it is hard to imagine that for a while there was speculation about who the Ducks starting quarterback might be, Mariota or sophomore Bryan Bennett. Saturday night’s stats should put that debate to rest.

The Ducks annihilated Arkansas State and after #4 Oklahoma’s tough 24-7 win over UTEP, Oregon could rise in the rankings. Their success this year could continue to rise on the passing shoulders of Mariota.

You’re going to want to learn his name quick. We’re going to be talking about Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks all season long. If he keeps playing like he did in his college debut, this Hawaiian could spark legitimate Heisman buzz.

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By Rich Seiber
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Previous Comments (7)

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2 years ago
http://www.footballnation.com/content/oregon-football-marcus-mariota-dark-horse-heisman-contender/16258/ you heard it first from me! day he got the job I picked him as my 2012 Heisman trophy winner! Good stuff. He really proved me right last night
2 years ago
Well considering a freshman QB from Boise State came into Autzen and beat Oregon in 2008, 13-1, then as a sophmore beat Oregon again and went 14-0, winning a BCS game, throwing 39 TD and only 3 picks...lets wait a bit on declaring him a winner. Remember you didn't play a hard team...like a Boise State, or an Oregon.
2 years ago

What does boise have to do with anything?
2 years ago

he didnt play a hard team like Oregon?...umm...hes on Oregon...
2 years ago
Uni's are SICK too!!! I really wanted to see them put up a hundred last night lol...
I was impressed with this kid, I don't watch a lot of college ball but husband from Oregon so we watch Beavers and Ducks and this kid impressed the heck out of me. I don't know if it was cuz Arkansas sucks or not, but this kid was good. Loved his dad's shirt too!
2 years ago
I don't think you could of asked for a better start than this!

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