The last time Tennessee and Oregon met on a football field, the Ducks cruised to an easy 48-13 win in Knoxville.
If margin of defeat is an indicator, the Vols are worse off than they were three years ago. Or the Ducks are exponentially better. One of the two.
Regardless, the No. 2 team in the country had little problem in disposing of their SEC opponents, passing over, through and around the Vols in a 59-14 win in Eugene. And yes, you heard that right: passing.
Marcus Mariota went 15-of-22 passing for 350 yards and three touchdowns… then came back out for the second half. “Super Mariota,” as UO officials like to refer to him, finished with 456 yards passing and five touchdowns — four passing, one rushing — as part of a Ducks’ offense that accounted for 687 yards of total offense.
While it was “just” the Vols, the performance is yet another indication that Mariota should be a player in the Heisman discussion right now and on into the future.
The Ducks, at least for them, actually got off to a slow start for what was such an easy win. failing to score on their first two possessions. The first UO score didn’t come until 5:45 was left in the first quarter, and that was on a field goal after the Vols had taken a 7-0 lead. A touchdown two minutes later, though, opened the scoring floodgates as the Ducks tallied a total of 35 points in 17 minutes to close out the half and essentially put the game away.
All told, the Ducks ripped off the 59 unanswered points after falling behind by a touchdown in the middle of the first quarter and before a UT touchdown in the middle of the fourth quarter.
On the Vols’ side of the ledger, it was UT’s worst loss in the modern era and its most lopsided since Georgia Tech 1905 — the school’s fourth year as a football program.
After the Ducks had taken a commanding lead late in the first half, the Autzen Stadium student began chanting “We want Bama!”
If both teams continue on their current trajectories, the UO faithful may very well get their wish. Stanford and LSU, though, may have other plans.