Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
Oregon's redshirt freshman quarterback won the hearts of Duck fans months ago with his assured play and calm, cool demeanor.
On Saturday, he won the hearts and minds of casual observers all over the country. Mariota had a helluva game against Cal, tying the Oregon school record of six touchdown passes in a single game.
Six TD passes is certainly impressive, but what stands out is Mariota's box score: 27 of 34 passes for 377 yards, with no interceptions and no sacks. Tack on six rushes for 42 yards, and it adds up to an amazing performance by the Oregon QB.
Understandably, the day following Mariota's game shown nationally on ESPN (although with many East Coast viewers undoubtedly in their PJ's), there is the beginning of a Mariota buzz. Here is a Rob Moseley tweet you might enjoy:
One last note on Mariota: As of Nov. 11, he leads the country in passing efficiency. Oregon fans knew the dude was cool; now the whole country knows it.