And the Ducks are still in the hunt.
In what is always potentially dangerous territory, the Ducks met the Beavers in Corvallis for the 118th annual Civil War and came out the victor for the 7th time in a row.
With a 30-3 scoreboard leading into half-time, much of Reser Stadium cleared out and didn’t return. Despite some better production by the Beavers in the second half, a Mariota-led offense and successful Ducks defense proved too much for Oregon State. It just wasn’t the Beavers’ night and the Ducks and their fans now have bragging rights for yet another year.
Several Oregon playmakers stood out in the match up, but as expected, quarterback, Marcus Mariota, running back, Royce Freeman and wide receiver/running back, Byron Marshall, again stole the show. Despite being sacked 4 times by the Beavers’ defense, Mariota did well. . .what he does, attacking both through the air and on his feet, accumulating 6 total touchdowns- 2 rushing and 4 passing. Oh! And if that wasn’t impressive enough, he managed to complete 76% of his passes without throwing a single pick.
After the game, Mariota stayed true to his humble self and gave credit to his offensive line and to the other offensive playmakers saying, “This is a team sport. Without those guys, we wouldn’t be where we’re at today,” Mariota said.
“We have so many dynamic players, some of these guys up front that are solid and have gotten so much playing time now. Again, hats off to those guys and they really are the offense and how we play is related to them.”
That offense, led by the best quarterback in the country, did put on quite a show. Byron Marshall and true freshman, Royce Freeman alone managed to rack up 324 yards in total offense and snagged a pair of touchdowns. Though Marshall and his versatility have exceeded in so many phases this year, Freeman is dominating the headlines given his incredible first year with the Ducks.
“His play has said everything about how he is as a person, Mariota said after the game. “ He came in from the get go really wanting to make an impact. . . the ceiling is so high for that kid.”
And an impact he has made, breaking records and helping keep the Ducks on the path to the game of all games.
The Ducks now look to December 5th, where they will meet Arizona for the Pac 12 Championship in Santa Clara, CA. The match up will give Oregon a chance to redeem themselves after the Wildcats handed the Ducks their only loss of the season thus far. That same Wildcats crew will undoubtedly look to pounce on this Ducks squad once again. This time, however, they should have a tougher time as Mariota’s bodyguards are much healthier and the Ducks’ defense has steadily improved throughout the second half of the season. With Oregon’s victory over Oregon State, Arizona should be Oregon’s only remaining hurdle to the inaugural College Football Playoff and dare I say it…a possible trip to the National Championship. The dream is still alive Ducks fans, and perhaps more importantly, your quarterback is healthy and so very close to holding up that Heisman– something we all know he deserves already.