Marcus Mariota and the Oregon offense won the day in Oregon’s 10th straight victory over Washington, 45-24 in Husky Stadium.
It was 31-24 after UW tailback Bishop Sankey blasted right for a 25-yard touchdown run at the end of the third quarter. Sankey gashed the Ducks in the period, 11 carries for 117 yards and 2 scores, easily shedding some listless arm tackles as the home team threatened to make it a shootout.
But in the fourth Mariota and his mates were crisp and poised on a pair of scoring drives, building a lead that made Sankey a nonfactor. Getting pressure on Keith Price, Oregon’s defense woke up, forcing a pair of three and outs as the Ducks pulled away. (Marcus Mariota file photo, Steve Dykes, Getty Images.)
This may have been Marcus Mariota’s most complete game as a college quarterback, 24-31 passing (77.4%, with four drops) for 366 yards and 3 tds, 13 timely rushes for 88 yards and a 5-yard touchdown. He dissected a physical Washington defense with some pinpoint passing and great reads, taking off to run when receivers were covered, including a weaving, 35-yard scramble on 1st and 15 in the opening drive of the 4th quarter, getting his team out of a hole.
Receivers Josh Huff and Bralon Addison each went over 100 yards, Huff with a 65-yard bomb, shedding a defender as he neared the goal line, Addison with a couple of nifty catches in the right corner for tds, 8 receptions in all for 157 yards. The twin playmakers outside helped the Ducks compensate for the absence of De’Anthony Thomas, sitting out his 2nd game in a row after being injured during the opening kickoff versus Cal. Byron Marshall provided a capable inside running game, getting 106 yards on 19 carries.
Senior wide Keliikipi stood out on defense, stuffing a running play in the first quarter, throwing down Keith Price on a sack, combining with DeForest Buckner for another. Oregon’s secondary kept Washington’s receivers in front of them, holding the opponents to 5.7 yards per pass play, forcing them to piece together long drives to score, inducing enough negative plays to keep the game out of reach. Derrick Malone led the defensive effort with ten tackles and a sack.
In all Sankey had 28 carries for 167 yards and two tds, including a 60-yard scoring run bouncing left on a 4th and 1 play, but the Washington offense could not keep pace with a prolific Oregon attack. The Ducks outgained their hosts 631-376. Mariota has not been intercepted in his last 233 pass attempts.
Washington committed two turnovers, the first a fumble by Sankey at the Oregon 31 that the visitors turned into an 8-play scoring drive, Addison working the sideline perfectly on a 4-yard touchdown catch as Mariota scrambled out of trouble. Later in the quarter Erick Dargan ended a Washington scoring threat with an interception, swooping in from his safety position to pick off an errant Keith Price throw at the Duck 12 yard line on 3rd and 8.
The Ducks pressured Price into throwing several balls away, sacking him four times. In all he was forced to run 11 times for a net 18 yards. He responded decently to the pressure, completing 19-32 passes for 182 yards, but Mariota was masterful, the best player on the field today in a convincing Oregon win.