As the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers prepare to meet in the Civil War for the 118th time on Saturday night, the longest college football rivalry on the west coast will include two great quarterbacks battling it out one more time.
The Ducks’ standout quarterback, Marcus Mariota, is undoubtedly the best player in Oregon’s football history and despite the fact that the Beavers’ haven’t matched Oregon’s level of success in recent years, Oregon State’s quarterback, Sean Mannion, is considered one of the best, if not the best quarterback in Oregon State history.
While each quarterback plays his position a little differently, Mariota and Mannion have been successful in their own ways. Oregon’s Heisman candidate is arguably the best dual-threat quarterback in the country which gives him the ability to avoid defenders and extend plays with his legs. Mannion, on the other hand, is not as athletic as Mariota, but his accuracy and arm strength make him a lethal offensive weapon.
Not only has the success of both Mariota and Mannion translated to victories on the field, but they have also etched their names in the history books as well.
Mariota, who became the Ducks’ starting quarterback in 2012, is currently third all time in Pac-12 history with 95 career touchdown passes, and he is also one of six players in FBS history to accumulate over 9,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards in his college career. The Ducks’ quarterback also owns eight school records and he is likely to become the first Heisman winner in Oregon football history this season.
Similarly, Oregon State’s redshirt senior has had a fine career as well. The 6’5″ and 212 lbs quarterback has produced 82 passing touchdowns, which is a school record. Also, Mannion is the Pac-12’s all-time leader in yards thrown with 13,438, and he also set the single season record for passing yards last season with 4,662.
Saturday night’s matchup will mark the last time that Mannion and Mariota will play each other at the collegiate level. While Mariota is projected to be the first pick in next year’s NFL draft, Mannion is expected to garner attention from NFL teams as well. Although the Ducks haven’t lost to the Beavers since 2007, both quarterbacks have admired each other from afar:
“You just look at what he’s done over the past few years and the success of their team and a lot of it should be attributed to him,” Mannion said about Mariota. Also, Mariota stated about Mannion: “To see how he throws the ball, I definitely appreciate and respect how he plays. His ability to make that offense go has been special.”
Another epic Civil War matchup awaits both the Ducks and the Beavers, but one thing is certain: both Mariota and Mannion have created lasting legacies.
Top Photo by Kevin Cline