Make no mistake, Marcus Mariota rules the Beaver State.
The Oregon Ducks (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) trounced the Oregon State Beavers (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12), 47-19, in the 2014 Civil War matchup, taking home bragging rights and the Platypus Trophy to go along with their berth in the Pac-12 title game against Arizona.
Oregon coach Mark Helfrich's squad was in control of the contest throughout, but it was a 21-point explosion in the second quarter that put the game to bed early and has the Ducks looking like one of the hottest teams in the country as the season comes to an end.
Mariota turned in another superlative performance, completing 19 of 25 passes for 367 yards, four touchdowns and zero picks, while picking up 39 additional yards and two more scores on the ground. He also set a notable Pac-12 record, per The Daily Emerald's Twitter account:
The Beavers were hardly in this contest, but running back Storm Woods can be proud of his output. He put up 186 all-purpose yards and one rushing touchdown on 28 touches.
Here is a quarter-by-quarter look at the score:
|Oregon vs. Oregon State 2014 Score|
The Ducks aren't ones to waste time on offense, and they were at their quick-strike best on the game's opening possession. Mariota marched his team 71 yards down the field in nine plays, culminating in a 29-yard touchdown pass to Charles Nelson for a 6-0 lead (Oregon would fail the two-point conversion). Two minutes, 33 seconds and they were on the scoreboard.
SportsCenter provided a look at the play:
The Beavers would turn the ball over on downs after getting mostly nowhere on the next possession. Oregon's drive would stall out in the red zone, but kicker Matt Wogan would nail the 30-yard field goal for a 9-0 Ducks lead.
Oregon would mix in quick passes from Mariota and darting runs from Royce Freeman on the next possession—which bridged the first and second quarters—with the two converging for a 15-yard passing touchdown to the freshman tailback. Oregon Football passed along a nifty infographic after the drive:
It was more magic from Mariota on the next drive. This time, he found a streaking Byron Marshall for a huge 77-yard touchdown pass.
A quick three-and-out from the Beavers put the ball back in Mariota's hands, and he promptly capped a five-play, 67-yard drive with a 23-yard TD run of his own, giving the Ducks a 30-0 lead.
The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre noted he would much rather have Mariota as a pro than Florida State's Jameis Winston:
Oregon State managed to move just 24 yards on their next possession and failed to move the chains on a 4th-and-1 for the second time in the young contest. The desperation was palpable, but there was simply no contending with the Ducks on Saturday night.
The turnover didn't end up costing the Beavers. Following an Oregon punt, quarterback Sean Mannion finally put together a cohesive drive, which turned into a Garrett Owens field goal and a 30-3 halftime scoreline.
The Ducks appeared to put the game on cruise control in the second half. They would score 10 points in the third quarter, opening things up with another Wogan field goal and finishing the scoring for the quarter with a one-yard run from Mariota.
Mariota has had some ridiculous stat lines in his career, but not all of them came complete with an uncanny Heisman pose, via SportsCenter:
These touchdowns came on either side of a 20-yard touchdown pass from Mannion to wideout Hunter Jarmon.
With the score 33-10 entering the fourth quarter, the final frame essentially served as a victory lap for the Ducks. Give the Beavers credit, they played extremely hard right up until the final whistle, but there was no magic to be had in front of a supportive home crowd at Reser Stadium.
Woods cut the deficit to 40-17 with a three-yard touchdown run early in the fourth. The Bulletin's Grant Lucas noted he was pretty much the lone bright spot for the Beavers:
Mariota would again find Nelson for a touchdown pass with just over six minutes remaining, this time a 27-yarder. The game's final points came on a somewhat humorous note, as the Oregon center sent back a wayward snap that would fall in the end zone for a Ducks' safety, two points to the home side and a final score of 47-19.
As unusual as the play might've been, this fan noted no gambler wants to see shenanigans like that, even in a blowout:
It was the final collegiate game for Mannion, and ESPN.com's Chantel Jennings noted the result of his final pass as a Beaver:
It's a disappointing end to the season for the Beavers. Aside from a win over the Arizona State Sun Devils on Nov. 15, the team didn't put together too many complete games and will likely be at the bottom of the totem pole in the Pac-12 heading into the 2015 season. There is plenty of time for this squad to improve year over year, but it's going to be tough in a conference that looks to be one of the deepest in the country.
Oregon may be destined for bigger and better things with the Pac-12 title game and the College Football Playoff looming, but no Ducks season is complete without a win over their in-state rival.
The Beavers are a solid enough program to have given the Ducks a good tune-up before they take on the Wildcats. The state is firmly in the Ducks' control; in a few weeks, the entire country could be as well.