Oregon cleared another significant obstacle on their road to the BCS National Championship Game, and quarterback Marcus Mariota solidified his position as the top Heisman Trophy candidate, as the Ducks defeated Washington 45-24. Oregon posted 632 yards of total offense, and the Ducks defense forced two Washington turnovers.
After Washington spent most of the first half going toe-to-toe with the Ducks, the Huskies defense cracked briefly late in the second quarter. An eight-play touchdown drive gave Oregon a 14-7 lead, and after a three-and-out by the Washington offense, Oregon again busted Washington open on a seven-play, 63-yard drive capped by a Byron Marshall 15-yard touchdown run. The Ducks held a 21-7 lead in the locker room, and Washington looked precipitously close to collapse.
Nobody told Bishop Sankey, who opened the third quarter with a 60-yard touchdown run:
Oregon answered back almost immediately with a 65-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to Josh Huff. The Ducks again led by two touchdowns. After the teams exchanged field goals, Sankey struck again. The junior halfback went 25 yards for his second score of the day, and the Oregon lead was down to 31-24.
It always felt like Oregon would eventually break the game open, though, and the Ducks finally did just that in the fourth quarter. Mariota ran for a 5-yard touchdown to finish a 66-yard touchdown drive early in the final period, then connected with Bralon Addison on a 3-yard touchdown pass on the next series to extend the Oregon lead to 45-24.
The Oregon fans in attendance did not go quietly:
And the Oregon fans below the press box break out a "Ten More Years! Ten More Years!" Chant. Ouch.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 12, 2013
Box Score Hero: If Marcus Mariota wasn't the Heisman Trophy frontrunner before Saturday, it's hard to see how he isn't after Oregon's win. He went 24/31 for 366 yards and three touchdowns through the air, and ran 13 times for 88 yards and another touchdown on the ground. That's 454 yards of total offense, 78 yards more than Washington managed against the Ducks defense. Mariota even had a Heisman Trophy moment with a meandering 35-yard scamper through the Washington defense.
Rankings Ramifications: Oregon has only one team to pass in the rankings, and voters aren't going to walk away from Alabama until the Crimson Tide actually lose a game. The Ducks could get a few more first-place votes as a result of Saturday's win, though. Washington acquitted itself well, and should not see a significant slide from its No. 17 ranking.
But Did They Cover? Oregon entered as a 12.5-point favorite, and covered the spread with relative ease.
Next Week's Schedule: Oregon hosts Washington State next week, while Washington travels south to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils.