The Oregon Ducks look like a freight train right now as they steamroll through anyone in their path in hopes of landing in Pasadena this January in the BCS National Championship game. If they make it there, it will be because of their quarterback and likely Heisman winner, Marcus Mariota.
“Marcus Mariota is the engine that makes this thing go,” Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said. “We would not be as good as we are without Marcus. No offense intended to anybody, we just would not be.”
In Mariota’s 20 games as a starter, Oregon is 19-1. He hasn’t thrown an interception yet in 197 attempts after tossing just six a season ago.
The Ducks have been regarded for their run-heavy spread offense over the years with mobile QBs like Dennis Dixon, Jeremiah Masoli and Darron Thomas. while these Ducks do rank No. 2 nationally in rushing, averaging 332.4 yards, the passing game has been just as effective. With Mariota, they’re averaging 310.7 passing yards per game.
Mariota is averaging 363 yards of total offense and has accounted for 28 touchdowns this season, despite not even attempting a pass in the fourth quarter in five of Oregon’s seven games.
With the UCLA Bruins next on their schedule, Mariota and Oregon will get a chance to display their greatness on the national stage Saturday night on ESPN.