(PHOTO) Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota in action against Washington State on Oct. 19, 2013 at Autzen Stadium. Oregon won the one-sided contest 62-38. (Photo by Rich Kolbell).
The Ducks, wearing pink helmets, socks and shoes in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness, did as they pleased by scoring nine touchdowns and racking up 712 yards in total offense. While the game had its moments in the first half that saw Washington State come within 10 of Oregon, primarily because of three costly turnovers, all fumbles and two of those committed by Oregon signal caller Marcus Mariota. Both of Mariota’s fumbles led to WSU touchdowns and if this game wasn’t so lopsided in favor of Oregon it might have actually meant something.
However, Mariota threw for 327 yards on 23-of-32 passing, two touchdowns and still for the season, no interceptions. Mariota also dashed off a 57-yard touchdown run for the first score of the game. Mariota had a total of 67 net yards.
Mariota now has thrown at least one TD pass in every game he has played during his career.
Byron Marshall ran with a purpose by gaining 192 yards on 21 carries and crossed the goal line three times. Marshall’s TD runs were of one, 26 and 30 yards. Thomas Tyner had 99 net yards of rushing on seven carries including an electrifying 66-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Josh Huff was the leading receiver for Oregon with five catches for 75 yards including a 17-yard TD reception at the start of the fourth quarter. Keanon Lowe also had a scoring reception of 10 yards at the start of the second half. Lowe had four catches for 48 yards. Bralon Addison had five grabs for 41 yards.
Oregon’s final score was a Terrance Mitchell pick-6 in the fourth quarter that went for 51 yards.
Oregon had a total of 719 yards made up from 383 yards of rushing and 336 yards of passing.
In the same sense of meaningless statistics, what also may have meant something, somewhere else in time was WSU’s Connor Halliday throwing for an NCAA record of 557 passing yards on another NCAA record of 58-for-89 pass completions on attempts. Halliday hooked up with four different receivers for touchdowns, but two of the scores were made in the fourth quarter when the Ducks were playing the third and fourth strings.
Washington State stuck to its game plan of throwing a lot of short passes and anytime Halliday tried anything longer than 10 yards, it seemed he was picked off – four times to be exact. The bottom line was that despite racking up 559 yards of total offense of which 557 was from passing, it wasn’t enough to keep within a respectable distance of Oregon. Marcus Mason had 15 net yards of rushing on four carries and was the leading Cougar ground gainer. Teondray Caldwell had six yards on three carries but Halliday was sacked four times and lost 15 yards so the Cougars ended up with two yards of rushing.
Dom Williams caught the first Halliday TD pass good for 11 yards during the first quarter. Later in the second half River Cracraft pulled one in from Halliday that resulted in a TD that covered 12 yards. In the fourth quarter Gabe Marx had an 8-yard scoring reception and then with 11 seconds left in the game, Bobby Ratliff had a 3-yard reception for the final score in the game.
WSU also had a touchdown on a 29-yard fumble recovery plus Andrew Furney kicked a 49-yard field goal closing out the first half.
Defensively, Oregon was led in tackling by Avery Patterson with eight (four solos) and he had an interception. Derrick Malone had seven tackles (six solos) and in interception. Ifo Ekpre Olomu had an interception in the second half as did Mitchell, who scored on his 51-yard interception.
The Ducks had four sacks, two by Tony Washington and one each by DeForest Buckner and Taylor Hart. Joe Walker had a tackle for loss and Erick Dargan had a fumble recovery.
Oregon Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti was hot after the game about Washington State’s Mike Leach continuing to call passing plays, even when the game was well in the bag. Saying Leach was padding stats against players that are essentially Oregon scout team in practice and Aliotti didn’t mince words about how he really felt.
“I think it was complete bull shit,” said Alotti of WSU throwing the ball in the fourth quarter. “And you can tell him (Leach) I said so.”
Oregon, the No. 2 team in the country next faces UCLA next Saturday, Oct. 26 with kickoff for 4 p.m. (Pacific).