Washington State vs. Oregon reaction: Ducks cruise behind Mariota's mastery

Steve Dykes

Oregon held firm at No. 2 in the nation with a 62-38 win. This was a tale of two QBs — one who set records, and one who had the better day.

Washington State gave the pink-clad Oregon Ducks some fits on Saturday night, but the Ducks pulled away in the second half with a 62-38 victory. The Cougars scored two late touchdowns against Oregon's backups at the end of the game—more on that in a bit—so make no mistake, the game was well in hand in the second half.

Marcus Mariota continued his ridiculous season with a 327-yard passing performance and three total touchdowns in the win, and once again Mariota went the entire game without an interception, running his total to 197 attempts on the season without a pick.

On the other side of the ball, Washington State QB Connor Halliday rolled up 557 yards and four touchdowns, but he needed an NCAA-record 89 pass attempts to do so—and that infuriated Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, who called Halliday's two late TDs (remember those?) "total bulls--t" and "low class," which perturbed Matt Takimoto at Addicted to Quack:

Nick, we here at ATQ all love you. You're an Oregon lifer, a smart guy, and a hell of a defensive coordinator. If Oregon football is the Corleone family, you're Tom Hagen (which is ironic, considering you're the most Italian person on the coaching staff). And I'm sure you were just standing up for your players, who didn't really deserve to get trod upon like that after shutting out the Cougs for the entire third quarter. But all us fans know how pointless those late points were. And your players know it too. You don't have to whine about the opposing coach after you beat them by 24 points even after those late scores. It makes you look like the classless one.

Also, Halliday's day wasn't exactly good; he threw 31 incompletions, including four interceptions, and as Jeff Nusser at Coug Center notes, the game went out of reach when Halliday's mistakes mounted up:

When Oregon inevitably scored more points -- with touchdowns on the Ducks' first two possessions -- Connor Halliday did what Halliday does, imploding with a series of head-scratching interceptions that erased any doubt about the outcome. The final one was returned 51 yards by Terrance Mitchell for a touchdown.

Mariota's QB efficiency rating on the day was 55 points better than Halliday's, so there's just about all you need to know about the importance of throwing for 557 yards on 89 passes and losing by 24.

At the very least, though, Washington State did provide an immaculate Fat Guy Touchdown:


Chris Berman became a millionaire off calling plays like that. RUMBLIN BUMBLIN STUMBLIN etc. etc.

More from SB Nation college football:

The Top Whatever: Spencer Hall ranks only the teams that matter

New bowl projections: FSU or Oregon to meet Alabama?

All of Saturday’s scores: Top 25 shredded

BCS projections after a wild Saturday

What if we’d had this Playoff committee from 1998 to 2012?

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