Five weeks ago I began following the college career of Marcus Mariota and asked the question, "Can a freshman win the Heisman trophy?" Five weeks later the answer remains YES.
In their first away game of the season Mariota led the #2 ranked Oregon Ducks to a 51-26 win over the Washington State University Cougars. With a nearly flawless third quarter the first-year play caller helped the U of O put 21 points on the scoreboard and pull away from Washington State.
Mariota ended the game with two touchdowns, one on a 13 yard scamper into the end zone, and one in the air. He threw for 169 yards on 21 of 32 passing. Mariota hit eight different receivers in the game with an average of eight yards gained per completion. As in three previous wins, because of a large lead, Mariota and the first-string crew were pulled from the game before it concluded.
For the season Mariota has now thrown for more than 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns. His eleventh touchdown pass came on a 30 yard strike to running back Kenjon Barner in the first quarter against the Cougars. The red shirt quarterack from Hawaii is averaging just over 221 yards passing per game.
The Ducks advance to 5-0 on the season and 2-0 against Pac-12 opponents. They return to Autzen Stadium next week with a home game versus the University of Washington Huskies. Mariota wants to make sure we are asking the same Heisman question next weekend after game six.