Marcus Mariota's Updated 2013 Heisman Outlook After Win vs. Washington

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIOctober 12, 2013

Oct 12, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) prior to the game against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota made a strong case as the 2013 Heisman Trophy favorite with a magnificent performance in a 45-24 road victory over the Washington Huskies.

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.

The sophomore signal-caller responded to the biggest phases of adversity that defined Saturday's game at Husky Stadium.

When Washington running back Bishop Sankey scampered for 60 yards to paydirt and cut Oregon's lead to 21-14 on the first possession of the second half, Mariota responded.

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:

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit went as far as to label Mariota the best player in college football:

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:

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.