It was obvious early in this game that the football gods were not with Sean Mannion and his Beavers teammates in this, the latest installment of a series that started in 1894, this year pitting home team Oregon State against the No. 2 ranked Oregon Ducks.
The score was 30-3 Oregon by the end of the first half, via a 29-yard touchdown pass from Heisman front-runner Marcus Mariota to super-freshman Charles Nelson, and a 30-yard Matt Wogan field goal in the first quarter for a 9-0 Ducks lead. The second quarter saw Royce Freeman snag a difficult catch from Mariota for a 12-yard TD, followed by a spectacular catch and run of 77 yards by Byron Marshall and another touchdown. Oregon’s scoring in the first half was rounded out by a vintage Mariota quarterback keep for 23 yards to the end zone. The Beavers countered with a 39-yard field goal by Garret Owen with no time left.
Oregon Won… decisively, undoubtedly, obviously, by the end of the first half. The remainder of the game was essentially mop up time for Pac-12 North champs Oregon, and a scramble for respectability for all-time conference passing leader Mannion, and nice-guy Oregon State coach Mike Riley and his team.
The Tell of the Tape... Oregon finished with 565 yards of total offense, including 367 yards passing and 198 yards rushing. The Beavers managed 362 yards in the air and on the ground. The Ducks converted both their fourth down attempts, and thwarted the Beavers three times when they chose to go for it.
Mariota Watch… The magical, majestic Mariota was masterful, wracking up 367 yards in passing offense (19-25), and six TDs (four passing, two on the ground). Can you spel H-E-I-S-M-A-N?
Royce Freeman amassed 135 yards on 22 carries (6.1 average), while Byron Marshall snagged six catches for 131 receiving yards.
As usual, Oregon’s time of possession was meaningless – the Ducks held the ball for 26:31, compared with Oregon State’s 33:29.
Next Up… Arizona in the Pac-12 champion ship game.
Top photo Kevin Cline