Every year the top college quarterback in the nation receives the Manning Award sponsored by the Sugar Bowl Committee. The award was created in honor of the Manning brothers’ collegiate accomplishments and is the only quarterback award that considers candidates’ bowl performances. On Friday the committee released their 2013-2014 preseason watch list and second on that list of 30 is Oregon’s very own Marcus Mariota.
Last season the Ducks’ returning starter set the Pac-12 Conference record for touchdown passes by a freshman with 32. He also finished seventh in the nation for passing efficiency, completing 68.45% of his pass attempts for 2,677 yards. Mariota lead the Ducks to a 12-1 record in 2012 including a Fiesta Bowl victory over Kansas State.
Last year Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel won the award, and this year he is placed first on the list. Mariota will have to maximize his QBR to beat out Manziel. (The QBR Metric measures a quarterback’s total contributions to scoring and efficiency while also accounting for game context and adjusted for opponent strength.)