Oregon Passes Civil War Test

The Ducks used a big first half to separate themselves from an overmatched Oregon State team.

If it wasn’t obvious before, it’s painfully obvious now. Marcus Mariota is the best player in college football and his 6 touchdown performance against the Beavers all but sealed up the award for the Junior. Mariota threw for 367 yards and 4 touchdowns while running for another two as Oregon got up big early and never looked back, beating Oregon State for the seventh straight time, this time 47-19.

“I think Marcus had one of his best games. That’s tough to say when he has had so many great games but his throws were on point. When he took off and ran he was a weapon, I think he managed the game well,” said offensive coordinator Scott Frost.

The Ducks wore their home uniforms in Reser Stadium and played like they ran the place as Mariota threw for 367 yards and Royce Freeman went over 100 yards for his 5th game this season, leading the Ducks with 135 yards.

One of Mariota’s highlights of the game came from Byron Marshall. On 3rd and 7, Mariota found Marshall on a seam route, who would shake off the tackle of Ryan Murphey. The OSU defenders got to their feet but all they could do was watch as Marshall streaked the rest of the 77 yards into the end zone to deliver what felt like a knockout blow to the Beavers.

“We definitely had more work to do but after that touchdown, they were just down. They had been getting beat, dominated and to give up a long play like that as the defense, it just sucks. I think that touchdown definitely helped us with the momentum shift,” said Marshall.

Marshall’s 77 yard reception was part of his game high 131 receiving and the touchdown was part of a 30-0 run to open the game for the Ducks. The Ducks decided to take the ball to start the game and promptly took a 6-0 lead after a touchdown pass to Charles Nelson. The Ducks would settle for a field goal on their next possession but a 21 point second quarter gave the Ducks the separation to make this game a laugher before halftime.

It’s a bit of a challenge to grade out the offensive line. They did give up four sacks to the Beavers but almost all of those were after the game had been decided and they also allowed the offense to operate at a high level when it had the green light.

It feels like a bit of poetic justice that the Ducks will be facing the one team able to knock them off this year in the Arizona Wildcats. On Friday, the Ducks look to exercise the Wildcat demon and cement their place in the college football playoff.

“We just laid an egg when we went out there and played them. We did not play like ourselves, I feel like at all. So as long as we come out and play the way we have been playing then we should be good,” said Marshall.

It is certainly going to take the Ducks’ best effort as they look forward to taking on Arizona again. It’s no secret that the Wildcats have beaten Oregon the last two meetings since the Ducks pasted the ‘Cats 49-0 in Autzen Stadium. It’s pretty simple for the Ducks. Win this next game and they are in, lose and they will be settling for a lessor bowl as Arizona raises the conference championship banner for only the second time in program history.

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