Despite Oregon’s offense looking dominant in the last couple weeks, there has been an element missing from a year ago. On Saturday we got reminded what that was when Marcus Mariota ran for 71 yards in addition to his 221 through the air.
All in all, Mariota accounted for nearly 300 total yards and 4 touchdowns as the Ducks steamrolled the Cowboys 48-14 at Autzen Stadium. Mariota completed 19 of 23 passes to 10 different receivers throughout the game. However, one of them may be the most memorable for a different reason all together.
On first and goal from the 5 yard line, Mariota turned and found Johnathan Loyd near the goal line and the former point guard took the ball in for his first collegiate touchdown and first score in 5 years.
“I can’t really describe the feeling, once I realized where I was on the field emotion took over and I just started screaming. It’s a different kind of feeling [than playing basketball.] I’ve hit a good amount of shots, a good amount of ‘and-one’s.’ It was my first touchdown in five years, it’s a whole different kind of feeling,” said Loyd.
The Duck offense started out in dubious fashion as they were able to drive the down inside the 2 yard line but ultimately came up empty as Thomas Tyner was turned away giving the ball back to Wyoming.
I don’t think we had a slow start on offense. We drove the ball 80-something yards to the two. Now we have got to be able to get a yard on fourth and one, we need to be able to get a first down on fourth and one,” said offensive coordinator Scott Frost.
From that point on, it was the Marcus Mariota show. The Ducks trailed for only 1:07 as they drove the length of the field and answered the Cowboy touchdown with a 15 yard scamper from the junior quarter back.
Oregon would go on to score on their next 5 consecutive drives, totaling 41 points in response to the opening score by Wyoming. In that salvo, Marcus Mariota provided the play of the day.
After suffering a holding penality on first and goal, the Ducks were backed up to the 19 yard line. Mariota tucked the ball and took off toward the front corner of the end zone and launched himself over Keanon Lowe, Pharaoh Brown and a Wyoming defender as he somersaulted through the front corner of the end zone for his second rushing score of the day.
“It happened so fast. I’m kind of used to somersaulting like that from growing up in the ocean. I’ve had my fair share of somersaults from getting pulled down by a wave or something like that. Once I was in the air I just tucked. It didn’t feel awkward or anything,” said Mariota.
Oregon closes the non-conference season with a perfect 3-0 record and an impressive showing on the offensive side of the ball. Oregon was able to sustain drives and put up 41 consecutive points despite not having an offensive play for longer than 30 yards.
“That’s their defense. I said this leading up to it, they drop back in coverage and have 7 sets of eyes on the quarterback. Once the ball is thrown or run, they all rally to the ball. We had to be efficient and drive the ball. I thought we did a great job of that on quite a few drives,” said Frost.
The Ducks go on the road and open the conference schedule against Washington State. The Cougs have not impressed to this point in the season but they are always a tough out when playing in Pullman.
Mariota Magical as Oregon Corrals Cowboys
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