After three dramatic quarters of college football, the No. 3 Oregon Ducks erupted to defeat the No. 12 UCLA Bruins Saturday, 42-14. It was a defensive battle for most of the contest, but the Ducks' top-tier offense took over late, and UCLA had no response.
Mariota was 21-of-28 for 230 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions and 18 rushing yards. It was the first time all season that Mariota failed to run for a touchdown, but it was also a continuation of a season in which he has yet to throw an interception.
It's been a long time since we've seen Mariota make a costly mistake.
If that doesn't impress you, how about his status as a comeback kid?
During Oregon's run from a 14-14 tie to a 42-14 blowout, Mariota led the Ducks to a magnificent second-half performance.
Mariota now has 2,381 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and zero interceptions on a completion percentage of 64.0 after eight games of action. Mariota also has 511 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, running for a score in all but one game during the 2013 season.
If you're a fan of efficient dominance, Mariota is a player you should adore.
Oregon is now 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Pac-12. This further establishes its status as one of the top national championship contenders.
At the heart of that success has been Mariota's extraordinary play. In Week 9, he proved he can extend that greatness into clutch moments.
What more could you possibly ask for from a Heisman Trophy candidate?