Marcus Mariota is back.
The Oregon quarterback, who was slowed by a knee injury during the latter part of the regular season, looked as good as ever in the first half of the Alamo Bowl against Texas. The sophomore put up 262 yards of total offense (130 passing, 132 rushing) as the Ducks jumped out to a 20-7 lead over the Longhorns.
Things didn’t start out well for Texas as quarterback Case McCoy’s second pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Avery Patterson. But the Longhorns hunkered down and got their physical run game going, with Malcolm Brown churning out 113 yards on 18 carries.
A close 13-7 game turned in Oregon’s favor late in the half when the Ducks drove 88 yards in seven plays and wound up in the end zone as Mariota found Josh Huff for 16 yards.
This Oregon offense is showing signs of that unstoppable force that was at one time a national title contender. The Ducks will get the ball back to start the second half, which means Texas is in danger of letting this one get out or control. Unless the Oregon starts making some mistakes, Mack Brown’s final game could end up being a forgettable one for the Longhorns.