In addition to contributing 88 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown to the AP No. 2 Ducks' rushing attack, Mariota was efficient through the air in going 24-of-31 for 366 yards and three more scores.
Marcus Mariota should start practicing his Heisman pose.— ESPN (@espn) October 12, 2013
The sophomore signal-caller responded to the biggest phases of adversity that defined Saturday's game at Husky Stadium.
Who should be considered the Heisman Trophy favorite?
In a matter of three plays from scrimmage, a beautiful pass to leading receiver Josh Huff resulted in a 65-yard touchdown to put the Ducks back on top by 14.
The teams traded field goals thereafter, but Sankey again found the end zone from 25 yards out to bring the Huskies within seven in the final minute of the third quarter.
Mariota refused to waver, capping off a quick-strike drive to start the fourth with a five-yard rushing TD.
A punt by the Huskies gave the ball back to Mariota, and he didn't disappoint, leading the Ducks down the field in eight plays and 75 yards, tossing a three-yard touchdown to Bralon Addison to put the game out of reach.
B/R expert Matt Miller is drinking the Mariota Kool-Aid—even with regard to the star QB's NFL draft prospects:
Good time to mention that Marcus Mariota is my No. 3 overall player for the 2014 Draft.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) October 12, 2013
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit went as far as to label Mariota the best player in college football:
Mariota is a freak!! Not only produces, but with ridiculous poise. Best player in College Football!!!— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) October 12, 2013
That tends to be the perception of a Heisman winner.
The numbers Mariota is putting up this season are just ridiculous, as CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman pointed out after the game:
Oregon has been so unstoppable under Mariota's guidance, that the outcome of its games has rarely been in question with him at the offensive controls.
When Mariota was pulled late and the outcome was decided, it marked the 15th time in 19 starts he didn't need to finish the game:
Marcus Mariota has started 19 games & only played a complete game 4 times (Fresno, USC, Stanford & K-State) #GoDucks— Craig Pintens (@UOPintens) October 12, 2013
The No. 16-ranked Huskies were the Ducks' biggest test of the season to date. With 454 yards of total offense and zero turnovers, Mariota made the biggest statement of his Heisman campaign.