Nov 30, 2014 1:29 AM
Mariota's 6 TDs lead Oregon over Oregon St. 47-19
The Associated Press
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Marcus Mariota turned what could be his last Civil War game into a Heisman Trophy highlight reel.
The junior quarterback threw for 367 yards and four touchdowns, and also ran for two more scores, leading No. 3 Oregon to a 47-19 victory over Oregon State in the 118th meeting of the rivals Saturday night.
"That guy is just such a stud," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said about Mariota. "It starts at the beginning of last week just in terms of his approach, which is infectious to everybody."
Oregon (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12), No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings, now prepares to face Arizona in the Pac-12 championship game on Friday at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
"We're just going to continue to approach it just like any other game," said Mariota, a junior who is likely to enter the NFL draft.
Freshman Royce Freeman rushed for 135 yards and also caught one of Mariota's touchdown passes. Fellow freshman Charles Nelson caught two TD passes and Byron Marshall had six catches for 131 yards and a score.
It was Oregon's seventh straight win overall and seventh in the series against the Beavers (5-7, 2-7), who lost six of their last seven games and failed to become bowl eligible.
Oregon State's Sean Mannion ends his college career as the Pac-12's all-time leader in passing yards with 13,600 and the school record holder with 83 touchdown passes.
Mannion threw for 162 yards and a 20-yard touchdown to Hunter Jarmon in the third quarter.
Afterward, Mannion embraced Mariota.
"I've played against him for a number of years and gotten to know him as a person, he's someone I consider a friend," Mannion said. "He's a great, great player."
Arizona (10-2, 7-2) clinched a spot in the championship game on Friday, when UCLA fell to Stanford and the Wildcats (10-2, 7-2) defeated Arizona State 42-35. Oregon's lone loss this season came to Arizona at Autzen Stadium back on Oct. 2.
Should the Ducks get revenge on Arizona on Friday, they'll be one of the four teams headed to the first college football playoffs.
"We talked a little bit about preparing to give somebody our best shot. I would have said it about whoever was next," Helfrich said. "But certainly our guys know the 'coulda, woulda, shoulda' of some of that night. And a lot of that night is Arizona is really good."
The six-touchdown night also all but assures that Mariota will be one of the Heisman Trophy finalists announced on Dec. 8. Mariota has thrown for 36 touchdowns this season, run for 11 scores and caught another.
His 36 touchdown passes set a new school record, eclipsing Darron Thomas' 33 in 2011. And it was his fifth straight game with at least four touchdowns.
"It was the week of preparation, and coach did an awesome job of preparing us for every look they were going to give us," Mariota said. "When you don't have to think about it too much and you just play naturally and instinctively, you play a lot better."
Mariota hit Nelson with a 29-yard TD pass on the Ducks' opening series, but the 2-point conversion failed. Matt Wogan added a 30-yard field goal to make it 9-0.
With the scoring pass, Mariota became the only quarterback in FBS history to throw at least one touchdown in each of his first 38 games. That's every game of Mariota's career at Oregon.
The Ducks extended the lead with Mariota's 12-yard screen pass to Freeman, who pulled the ball down with one hand before barreling into the end zone.
Mariota added a 77-yard scoring strike to Marshall to make it 23-0 before running for 23 yards to push the lead to 30-0.
The Beavers scored on a 39-yard field goal just before the end of the first half to make it 30-3. Wogan added a 22-yarder for the Ducks early in the third.
Storm Woods, who had been questionable going into the game, ran for a 3-yard touchdown for the Beavers that cut the Ducks' lead to 40-17.
Mariota found Nelson again with a 27-yard touchdown pass before Oregon State got a safety with 4:03 left for the final margin.
Woods finished with 128 yards rushing.
Somber Beavers coach Mike Riley said there was just one word to describe the season: Disappointing.
"Right now we're not a good enough offensive team to win a lot of games in our league," he said.
Oregon was without center Hroniss Grasu for the second straight game because of a knee injury, running back Thomas Tyner, who was seen wearing a boot on his right ankle this week, and receiver Keanon Lowe, who had an undisclosed injury.
Earlier this month, Oregon State played spoiler for Arizona State, beating the then-No.7 Sun Devils 35-27 at Reser Stadium and wounding their chances to take the Pac-12 South. But after falling behind early, they couldn't catch up to play spoiler for the Ducks, too.
The Civil War dates to 1894 and it is tied for the fifth most-played rivalry in college football. Oregon leads the series 61-46-10.