Oregon’s first touchdown of the game against Washington State on Saturday was appropriately a Marcus Mariota run.
The Heisman hopeful – and in most circles leader – juked a defender and busted loose for a 57-yard scamper to the end zone.
Running back Byron Marshall then scored from 1-yard out and later in the quarter from 26-yards. Washington State managed a touchdown on a Connor Halliday 11-yard strike to Dom Williams, but that would be it for the Cougars in the quarter.
After one, 20-7 Oregon. Marcus Mariota, 10-12 for 140 yards and the 57-yard score.
The Ducks went right back to work to start the second quarter. Mariota stayed alive in the pocket with his elusive scrambling ability and connected down field to keep the drive going – a common theme for the redshirt sophomore.
Freshman running back Thomas Tyner completed the swift drive with a 1-yard jaunt to pay dirt and Oregon took a 27-7 lead.
Washington State drove down field but wide receiver Vince Mayle fumbled at the goal line, the ball punched out by an Oregon defender’s helmet — touchback — and the turnover parade began.
Oregon coughed it right back up on a Mariota fumble, his first turnover of the season.
Washington State faced a 4th and 5 from the Oregon 12-yard line, and Halliday delivered a pass to the corner of the end zone to receiver River Cracraft making it 27-14.
Oregon got the ball back, but not for long. Washington State’s Darryl Monroe forced another Mariota fumble and Xavier Cooper returned it 41-yards for a touchdown bringing the Cougars within 6.
The slim lead was to be short lived.
After a first down from the Ducks, Tyner broke out a 66-yard touchdown run to stretch the lead back to 13 at 34-21.
The Cougars drove to the Oregon 20-yard line, but Halliday was intercepted by Ifo Ekpre-Olomu with 2:42 left in the half.
Mariota completed a pass to a wide-open Byron Marshall for 35-yards, but the running back was stripped of the ball at the Washington State 12-yard line.
Connor Halliday drove the Cougars down to the Oregon 32-yard line and Andrew Furney hit a 49-yard field goal to bring Washington State within 10.
Halftime score 34-24.
Mariota finished the half going 18-of-23 for 270-yards and added another 70 yards with a score on the ground — but also fumbled twice.
Marshall had 12 rushes for 84-yards and two scores, and Tyner added 3 rushes for 71 yards and two TDs.
Washington State’s Connor Halliday went 26-of-42 for 306-yards with 2 TDs and an interception.