How good is Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota?
When Oregon traveled to Corvallis for this year’s edition of “The Civil War”, the rivalry became an afterthought due to the Heisman hopeful’s dominant play.
The No. 2 Ducks easily handled the Beavers through the first half of play. Oregon leads 30-3. Mariota led the way to establish such a commanding lead.
A late field goal by Oregon State did nothing to take the luster off a dominant performance by Oregon and its quarterback.
Mariota was deadly with his accuracy. The junior signal-caller shredded Oregon State’s zone coverage. He threw with anticipation after manipulating the defense to his liking.
The Ducks quarterback finished the half 13-of-18 passing for 244 yards and three touchdowns. Mariota, who is the most dangerous dual-threat quarterback in the nation, also ran for 40 yards and another score.
His four-touchdown performance placed Mariota in elite territory:
The performance was so dominant that Mariota almost appears to be a lock to win this year’s Heisman Trophy at this point in the season.
Seriously, does anyone want to debate whether or not Mariota is the most dominant player in the country? If so, turn on your TV. Then shush.
— Chantel Jennings (@ChantelJennings) November 30, 2014
Mariota wasn’t the only player on the field for Oregon, though.
Freshman running back Royce Freeman continues to grow and excel each week. The young runner averaged 6.2 yards per carry on 11 touches.
Overall, Oregon remained balanced on offense. The team’s run-to-pass ratio was close to even with 19 rushing attempts and 18 passes.
Also, the defense stepped up against the Beavers’ experienced quarterback Sean Mannion. The senior was only 11-of-23 passing for a woeful 79 yards.
A pair of fourth-down stops helped the Ducks appear even more dominant.
With the Alabama Crimson Tide struggling against the Auburn Tigers, the second half could be very important for Oregon. A continued dominant effort may be enough for the College Football Playoff committee to rank the Ducks No. 1 overall this week. As a result, Oregon State shouldn’t expect their rival to let up during the second half.