“We could have executed a couple of things on special teams a little bit better and gotten touchdowns instead of field goals,” said Mark Helfrich of his team’s effort in the win over Oregon State. “But I’m really proud of how we came out in all phases. We knew what kind of the challenge we were up against in a bunch of great guys here that are ending their careers.”
Marcus Mariota was 19-for-25 passing for 376 yards and four touchdowns. Mariota found multiple targets among the Duck receivers including Byron Marshall who caught six passes for 131 yards including a 77-yard reception for a touchdown. Marshall is now tenth on the all-time single season list at Oregon for receptions at 56. Charles Nelson caught two TD passes of 29 and 27 yards. Royce Freeman also had a TD catch of 12 yards to go along with 135 yards of rushing on 22 carries. Freeman now has 1,185 yards of rushing for the season.
“It was the week of preparation,” said quarterback Mariota of the Duck offense. “The coaches did an awesome job of preparing us for every look that they were going to give us. When we came out on that field today we were able to just play our game.
Mariota was virtually unstoppable in the first half as the Ducks scored on their first five possessions and went into the lockerroom at halftime leading 30-3. Oregon State’s only scoring in the first half was a 39-yard field goal from Garrett Owens. With the four passing TDs and two rushing TDs, Mariota has extended his own Pac-12 Conference record of total touchdowns for a single season. He now has 48.
“He missed a couple of throws today,” commented Helfrich of his quarterback Mariota. “Unbelievable. That guy is just such a stud. It starts at the beginning of last week just in terms of his approach, which is infectious to everybody else. When your best player is the guy setting the tempo of improvement of better of just that whole mindset, that’s big, that’s really important. He did some things with his legs tonight, he did some things with his head tonight that make him the player he is.”
The Beavers played better in the second half though the Ducks extended the lead to 33-3 early in the third quarter. From that point on Oregon responded each time Oregon State got some momentum in the game. Oregon State finished the game with 362 yards of total offense compared to Oregon’s 565 yards.
Sean Mannion was 19-for-39 for 162 yards and one TD to Hunter Jarmon covering 20 yards. The Beavers had struggled all year with running the ball but on Saturday, the running game came back to life with Storm Woods rushing for 128 net yards of rushing and one touchdown on 22 carries; in all Oregon State had 146 yards of rushing to the night.
“I’m disappointed but then again this is one of the best Duck teams I have ever played against, they fired on all cylinders and I wish them the best of luck in the National Championship,” remarked Oregon State’s Mike Riley of the game.
Defensively, Oregon was led in tackling by Tyson Coleman with four solo tackles including one tackle for loss. Reggie Daniels also had a TFL which was a sack. Juwaan Williams had Oregon’s other sack. The Ducks managed to record two other TFLs, one by Tui Talia and the other by Joe Walker.
“I think today they played hard and ran to the ball really well and tackled better,” Helfrich said of his defense. “It’s still not exactly where we want it to be. But anytime you can limit those guys to those points and numbers is big. But just the back and forth of us scoring either touchdowns or field goals in the first half and stopping them to nothing, that’s the way you like that ratio from our standpoint. A new challenge and a different big challenge next week with Arizona with them playing the way that they have been lately, our guys will be excited to prepare for that one.”
Oregon’s win marked the seventh straight Civil War win and the fourth straight win in Corvallis. The win is also the seventh straight win after losing to Arizona 31-24 at Autzen Stadium on Oct. 2. The Ducks will face Arizona next week at Levi Stadium, in Santa Clara, Calif., for the Pac-12 Conference Championship. Arizona wrapped up the Pac-12 South Division on Friday with a 42-35 win at Wildcat Stadium in Tucson.
•The Ducks have now won 11 or more games in five straight seasons, tied for the second-longest streak of college football’s modern era.
•Marcus Mariota passed for a touchdown for the 38th straight game - every game of his career - tying Russell Wilson for the second-longest streak in FBS history. He’s the first player to do so in his first 38 games played.
•With six total touchdowns (4 pass, 2 rush), Mariota extended his own Pac-12 single season record for total touchdowns to 48 (36 pass, 11 rush, 1 rec). His nine games with four or more touchdowns is the most in the FBS this season.
•Mariota set a new UO single-season mark for TD passes with 36, breaking Darron Thomas’ former mark of 33 in 2011.
•Byron Marshall had his third 100-yard receiving game of the season, which included a career-long 77-yard touchdown reception. He finished with six catches for 131 yards.
•Marshall tied Tony Hartley (1999) for 10th on Oregon’s single-season reception list with 56.
•Oregon improved to 19-0 all-time when Mariota runs for at least one score.
•Royce Freeman tied LeGarrette Blount for fourth on Oregon’s single-season TD list at 17. The true freshman had his first receiving score of the season.
•Freeman had his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season, finishing with 135 on 22 carries. His 1,185 rushing yards on the year are the fourth-most by a freshman in Pac-12 history and 12th-most in a season at UO.
•Freeman became the 12th different Oregon receiver with a touchdown reception this season, which is tied for the most in the FBS.
•Jake Pisarcik made his second career start and first at left guard.
•Mariota has passed for multiple TDs in 12 straight games - the longest active streak in the FBS. It was also his 21st consecutive game with 200 or more passing yards.
•Mariota now has 4,106 yards of total offense on the year. He ranks second to himself (4,380 in 2013) in a single-season at UO.
•Troy Hill recorded the 30th pass breakup of his career, tying Cliff Harris (2009-11) for seventh on the Ducks’ career list. Hill’s 16 breakups on the year are tied for ninth in a season at UO.
•Three of Oregon’s six touchdowns were scored by freshmen as Charles Nelson had two TD catches to go with Freeman’s one. Freshman have now accounted for 43% (32 of 74) of the Ducks’ TDs this season.
•The win was UO’s seventh straight in the Civil War and fourth in a row in Corvallis. The Ducks improved to 30-9-1 (.763) against their instate rival since 1975.
•UO improved to 58-7 this decade - the most wins in the FBS - and have won 51 of those games by 14 or more points.
•The Ducks finished the regular season with the best overall (11-1) and conference record (8-1) in the Pac-12.