Marcus Mariota leads Oregon to Civil War rout of Oregon State

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has done enough this season to merit an invite to New York City for the Heisman Trophy ceremony next month. Many consider him to be the front-runner for the award.


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Still, it probably wouldn't hurt his case if he put on a show Saturday night against rival Oregon State in the Civil War. Mariota did just that and more, posting big numbers and churning out several highlights in another rout that might have been enough to move Oregon up to the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff selection committee's rankings, considering what happened across the country in the Iron Bowl.

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Mariota appeared to start the game slow, with two incompletions on the team's opening drive, but those were just a few fleeting glimpses of negative plays from him. He had four touchdown passes, including a 77-yard strike to Byron Marshall in the second quarter, and he finished his night with just six incompletions, matching his number of total touchdowns. Mariota's final throw came on a beautiful corner route right into the arms of Charles Nelson from 27 yards out, capping another terrific effort

His final numbers: 19-of-25 for 367 yards and four touchdowns, and 39 yards and two more scores with his legs.

Mariota even hurdled a defender to pick up a first down for good measure. His first touchdown pass to Nelson allowed him to tie Russell Wilson's FBS record of 38 straight games with a TD pass, or every game of Mariota's illustrious career.

Freshman running back Royce Freeman played Robin to Mariota's Batman once again, running for 135 yards and catching two passes, including one for a touchdown.

If there was a negative for the Ducks, it might have come on the defensive side of the ball. On one play alone, a trio of stars in defensive end Arik Armstead, cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and linebacker Tony Washington were shaken up and had to be helped off the field. They appeared to be OK, but having top defensive players banged up before the Pac-12 Championship Game isn't what coach Mark Helfrich wanted to see.

Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion didn't have the ending to his career in Corvallis that he would have liked. Once considered one of the top senior signal-callers in the country, Mannion finished the night with just 162 yards passing and one touchdown after being under siege from an active front seven that recorded just two sacks but was constantly in his face.

Next up for Oregon and Mariota is a shot at avenging their only loss of the season as they'll take on Arizona next Friday at Levi's Stadium.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.