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Marcus Mariota putting up big numbers despite not finishing games

Tennessee v Oregon Getty Images

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is off to a great start this season.

Through three games — all Duck blowouts — the sophomore has 889 passing yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. He has also rushed for 262 yards and four scores and is averaging 17.5 yards per carry.

All very good numbers to be sure, but perhaps the most impressive aspect is that Mariota is producing them while missing large chunks of games due to the margin of his team’s victories.

In No. 2 Oregon’s 59-14 rout of Tennessee on Saturday, Mariota threw for a career-high 456 yards while running and passing for a combined five touchdowns in about two-and-a-half quarters. He missed the entire fourth quarter the week before as Oregon crushed Virginia 59-10. Mariota had 199 passing yards and 122 rushing yards and three total touchdowns in that one. He also missed the fourth quarter against Nicholls State in the opener while passing for 234 and rushing for 113.

Totaled up, that’s four-and-a-half quarters that Mariota has spent on the bench this season.

In fact, Mariota has finished only four of the 16 games he has played in his career, which makes you wonder how his overall numbers would look with a full work load. ¬†Of course, many great players in college football have this same kind of statistical handicap, but given Oregon’s propensity for huge margins of victory, Mariota seems to be uniquely affected.

Even with his limited snaps, Mariota is on pace to have 3,848 passing yards with 30 touchdown passes, plus 1,131 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns — and that’s not counting a potential bowl game. That comes to 4,979 yards of total offense and 47 touchdowns, which just happens to be about what the last five Heisman-winning quarterbacks produced in their Heisman seasons.

These numbers combined with Oregon’s lofty poll position are the main reasons why Mariota is the current favorite to win the Heisman trophy.

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5 Responses to “Marcus Mariota putting up big numbers despite not finishing games”
  1. crazyfootballfun says: Sep 15, 2013 9:23 PM

    To top it all off, he is a humble kid at all, concerned about the Team and not his own stats.

  2. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 16, 2013 10:27 AM

    I’ve said since the before the year started… Mariota is my Heisman winner.

    If they beat Stanford and win the PAC12 and he has those numbers, it’ll be hard to deny him.

  3. oldforester says: Sep 16, 2013 12:08 PM

    We need the media to begin a new statistic, production per quarter or minute played to begin giving a better representation of players production. Dominant teams do not have key players playing in garbage time. How does Mariota compare using those metrics?

  4. tlmoon2112 says: Sep 16, 2013 3:10 PM

    No reason this guy shouldn’t be in the Heisman conversation.

  5. dhla16 says: Sep 16, 2013 6:02 PM

    Heisman voters may be thirsty for a class act to win the thing this year. Mariota is all that.

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