Marcus Mariota's Updated 2013 Heisman Outlook After Loss to Arizona

Jesse ReedCorrespondent INovember 23, 2013

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 23:  Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks throws a pass during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Marcus Mariota's Heisman Trophy stock suffered a humongous hit on Saturday during Oregon's embarrassing loss to Arizona. 

The Wildcats entered the game with a record of 6-4, having lost two games in a row, yet Oregon was helpless to shut down its Pac-12 rival, losing by a final score of 42-16, as noted by Pac-12 Networks:

Mariota wasn't to blame for his team's inability to shut down Ka'Deem Carey, who rushed for 206 yards and an impressive four touchdowns on 48 carries.

He also wasn't to blame for the interception that turned this game on its head from the outset.

His pass hit his receiver's hands, and the ensuing tip-drill interception by Scooby Wright was one of the most brilliant plays you'll see this year, as shown by College GameDay:

But when his team needed a brilliant performance, Mariota came up small. By the time he threw his second interception of the day at the 5:40 mark of the fourth quarter, the game was already lost.

Making matters worse, he hurt himself when taking down Arizona defender Shaquille Richardson, who intercepted the pass. Richardson's knee impacted Mariota's helmet on the tackle attempt, and he looked hurt afterward. 

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 23:  Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks is hugged by defensive tackle Ricky Havili-Heimuli #90 on the sidelines during the final moments of the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on N
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As noted by Andrew Greif of The Oregonian, the Heisman hopeful was being attended to on the sideline while being surrounded by about 10 people, and Rob Moseley of noted that Mariota was groggy as he left the field:

If his injury turns out to be substantial, then his Heisman hopes might be dashed completely. 

His final stats don't tell the story.

He finished with 308 yards passing, completing 27 of his 41 attempts (65.9 percent) with two touchdowns and two interceptions, adding another 52 yards rushing on eight carries. 

The real story is that Oregon's offense was unable to beat an Arizona team that shouldn't have had a chance to win. Not only did the Ducks lose, but it was a complete blowout, and the Mariota-led offense only managed two touchdowns against a defense that gives up 22.2 points per game on average.

WINSTON SALEM, NC - NOVEMBER 09:  Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles during their game at BB&T Field on November 9, 2013 in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

While Mariota was struggling against Arizona, one of his closest competitors in the Heisman race had himself a huge day. Jameis Winston threw four touchdown passes against Idaho before being pulled in favor of Sean Maguire when the game was out of hand. 

Mariota wasn't the only one who struggled, though.

Johnny Manziel had a miserable outing against LSU on Saturday, throwing one touchdown and two interceptions in a losing effort. Like we saw with Mariota, thanks to Manziel's poor effort, the Aggies only scored 10 points in the game, losing 34-10.

If Mariota is able to play next weekend against Oregon State, then he'll have an opportunity to improve his falling stock. At this point, however, it's hard to imagine he has a legitimate shot of taking down Manziel and Winston for the prestigious award.


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