Marcus Mariota Breaks Pac-12 Record

Eugene, Oregon was more than just the site of a Ducks 44-10 win over the Colorado Buffaloes. It was a personal triumph in the career of Marcus Mariota.

The quarterback has had a fairly impressive season, and on Saturday night threw for 323 yards with three touchdowns, and also ran for 73 yards. These numbers propelled him past former USC quarterback Matt Barkley’s Pac-12 single season touchdown record (41).

As Mariota took to the field to make his first play of the fourth quarter, he was greeted with the overwhelming cheers of loyal fans at Autzen stadium. Well deserved praise, for a quarterback who has thrown at least one touchdown pass in every game he has played for the Ducks.

Saturday was also emotional, because it could very well be Mariota’s last time taking to the field wearing an Oregon jersey. While the junior will still have one season of eligibility left after the year’s proceedings conclude, it is highly expected that he will enter the NFL Draft this coming year.

“If this is my last game at Autzen it was truly special,” Mariota said, “and something I’ll keep close to my heart for the rest of my life.”

While Mariota has made no official announcement about this post-season plans, it is projected that he will enter the draft as a top-5 pick.

When asked about his accomplishments, the ever humble and level-headed Mariota commented:

“I couldn’t have done it without all those guys in the locker room. To me, it is what it is – – a number. I’m sure another guy will come around in the next couple of years and break it.”

Mariota also entered an exclusive quarterback club of players who have thrown for 9,000 yards and run for another 2,000. This esteemed group includes the likes of Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow. Mariota, a Heisman short-list contender, has a bright future ahead of him, but is still focused on being a leader for his team.

The Ducks have gained an unstoppable amount of momentum since their off-color loss to Arizona back in October at the beginning of inter-conference play. They have shown the selection committee how hard they are willing to work and are taking no prisoners.

Sitting with a 10-1 record overall and a 7-1 record in the Pac-12, Oregon clinched the North and will be headed for the conference championship game on December 5. The way things are looking now, the Ducks will also likely have a spot at the first ever College Football Playoffs with a reasonable chance of hoisting the winner’s trophy high above their heads.

*Section Photo credit to Thearon W. Henderson, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Scott Olmos, USA Today Sports

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