As if Oregon’s loss to the Stanford Cardinal wasn’t enough of a blow to Ducks’ quarterback Marcus Mariota in his Heisman campaign, the Cardinal did another ‘solid’ to Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel on Saturday night… maybe.
The Cardinal blew their chance to control their destiny in the Pac-12 North by losing to USC and more importantly for Mariota and his Ducks, gave Oregon their chance to make it to the Pac-12 Championship. That could go one of two ways in the grand scheme of things.
1: For this week, the performance and loss to Stanford hurts Mariota a little bit more. Cody Kessler had a pretty good night against the Stanford defense, so it would stand to reason that Mariota should have had a good to great night. Looking back, that didn’t happen in any shape or form.
2: On the other hand, the Ducks now get a shot at a Pac-12 title game, which means an extra game for Mariota to put up stats and prove his case. Eventually, people may look at the Oregon loss on the Farm as a better loss than it previously seemed. Obviously the Pac-12 is a tough conference, especially when you go on the road. After another week or so that Oregon loss will soften in the minds of the critics.
If Mariota can have a huge game against Arizona this week, he can catapult himself back into first place consideration. It’s going to get very interesting over the next few weeks.