Marcus Mariota ran for 133 yards and passed for 253 in leading the Ducks to a 30-7 Alamo Bowl win over Texas Monday night.
The Oregon offense sputtered in the red zone and shot itself in the foot with missed blocks and untimely penalties, but pick sixes by Avery Patterson and Derrick Malone (37 and 38 yards) kept an inept Texas offense at bay. Oregon led 10-0 early, 20-7 after a pivotal 88-yard drive just before halftime, and added a field goal and Malone's interception return in the second half.
Super Mario: three weeks after being snubbed by the Heisman, only leg cramps could slow down Marcus Mariota at the Alamo Bowl. He accounted for 387 yards and a touchdown in a 30-7 win as the Ducks finish 11-2 and ranked in the Top Ten (Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports).
For Texas, Malcolm Brown bulldozed his way for 130 yards on 26 carries. The rest of the offense produced 106 yards in 41 touches, 2.6 yards per try. McCoy threw for 75 yards and two touchdowns to the Oregon defense; 48 yards to his own receivers. The Longhorns further aided UO with five dropped passes, two of which could have been big plays.
In Nick Aliotti's final game as defensive coordinator, his unit forced six three and outs, scored 14 points and pitched a second half shutout, holding Texas to just 236 yards for the game.
In Mark Helfrich's first year as head coach, the Ducks achieved an 11-2 record, a Top Ten ranking, and the Alamo Bowl Trophy, a solid B+ effort after struggling in November following Mariota's knee injury.
Healthy tonight, Mariota zoomed past a stop-the-running back defense, gashing the Longhorns for 8.9 yards a carry on his way to a career high in rushing yards. He was bothered by leg cramps in the second half and not nearly as effective, but the performance earned him Player of the Game honors.
Matt Wogan kicked three of four field goals for the Ducks and senior punter Alejandro Maldonado twice pinned Texas inside the 10.
In his last game as a Webfoot, De'Anthony Thomas was not a significant factor, grabbing two passes for 24 yards, running 3 times for 13 yards.
Oregon's 470 yards of offense added up to a new season high for total offense, despite a great deal of criticism throughout the year for Scott Frost's play-calling.
After Tyler Johnstone left the game in the first quarter with a torn ACL, senior Everett Benyard filled in admirably at left tackle, doing a steady job as the Ducks mounted one touchdown and three field goal drives. Spurred by Mariota's big night, the Ducks churned out 217 yards on the ground.
Josh Huff set a new single-season receiving yardage record with his 6th 100-yard game of the season, catching 5 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.
The Ducks got a determined effort from their defensive front seven that featured sacks by Joe Walker and Rodney Hardrick, and some tenacious inside play from Wade Keliikipi and Taylor Hart.
With Mariota, Grasu and possibly Ifo returning, along with a strong recruiting class, the win sets up the Ducks for a Top Ten ranking next year and a run at the PAC-12 and national titles. 10 of 11 starters return on offense, a reliable field goal kicker in Wogan, and the defense returns Malone, Hardrick, Buckner, Balducci, Armstead, Washington, Prevot, Robinson, Armstead, Ifo (possibly) Erick Dargan and Reggie Daniels. Some younger players will have to grow into larger roles, but it's a nucleus that could achieve great things, particularly if Helfrich makes an impact hire at defensive coordinator.
Drake Mallard: Does the university have any recourse with blatantly bad officiating? It appears Addison was penalized for having good reflexes. Mariota's helmet grab was ludicrous. Can the U petition the ACC to retrain some officials? Maybe have them install glass windows in their stomachs so they can see the field action when their heads are so far up their asses. It really is an issue of player safety when one team is given carte blanche on dangerous behavior. Behavior that tore Johnstone's ACL and almost broke Mariota's neck should be penalized. Impossible to post, hence the e-mail. thx, dm
I hear now that the hit on Johnstone was away from the ball, makes it even more unfortunate. Remember back in the 70's when you never even heard of an ACL? Benyard did a great job taking his place. You know, it really doesn't do any good, but I sure wish I could talk to Herbie now. More than any other ESPNer he really got on my nerves with how he talked about the Ducks after the Stanford game...rest of the season. He seemed like it was a personal attack against him that Oregon wasn't playing well' that he'd supported him, and now that made him look bad. Well, Herbie, it fits the Ducks just as Mark Twain said about himself,, "The reports of my demise were greatly exaggerated
Such a bitter-sweet feeling right now, so proud of Oregon and there great year, excellent play tonight, so bummed it so long until next season. Go ducks
A great way to start next season. It was bit sloppy, and ineffective in the red zone. But what a pleasure it was to see Mariota zipping around like he did at the start of the season; imagine what a difference having 2 functioning legs can mean to a quarterback.
It couldn't have been a better send off for Aliotti, The defense was dominant throughout the game. Texas couldn't throw in the best of times, and when situations forced it, they had no chance. The officiating was suspect at best. The non call on the helmet grab on Mariota was unbelievable, and the continuous offsides calls against the receivers just became ridiculous. But, the Ducks got past those and had the game well in hand. A rather anti-climactic probable last game for DAT, but Tyner showed great promise and improvement through the season. He is not just relying on speed. A lot of players are returning, looks great for next season!
Considering Oregon's play in the last third of the season, I thought this was a great finish. This should be a momentum game for recruiting and the next season. I am a bit concerned that Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner could not bring their game tonite. Marcus Mariota looked like a true All American. Truly great to see our defense crush Texas. What a way for Nick Aliotti to retire. Lets get a great hire for this position. How long do we keep Gary Campbell? I have heard rumors of a potential retirement here as well. This win was really important. This may even create a recruiting surprise or two for us in February. GO DUCKS!
Frost told Rob Moseley that it was a rotation, but he did seem to get lost in the shuffle over the last half of the season. Kelly had a way of featuring him and finding the right 6-10 plays to maximize his talents and impact.
@RLWirtz Just one of many questions about the game plan the Ducks used. Funny but the offense doesn't do the unexpected anymore. The offense produced 1 td. That is staggeringly low production. The oline simply isn't producing the running game that Oregon has become famous for and isn't particularly good at pass blocking either. Mariota is an incredible qb but he won't last a full season doing what he did yesterday. He just won't hold up. Also, greatly impressed by the defense. However, Texas was even more one dimensional than was Colorado in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl. Clearly DAT is in someone's doghouse. If he is still a rb in his mind then there may be no role for him anymore. He is simply too small and there are two better options now in Marshall and Tyner. And, another great option arrives next year.
Interesting question R.L. Thomas apparently isn't considered the top option at running back (Marshall, Tyner) or receiver (Huff, Addison). He got 5 touches in the offense and wasn't a big factor.
@Dale NewtonYes like that Pass interference BOGUS Call on Ifo where the Ball is under thrown and it clearly shows the Receiver with his hands on Ifo and pushing off just before the Ball comes to him and what gets me is that DERELICT ACC REF is looking right at the action and called Ifo. Terrible Reffing and It made me think our own PAC 12 crew was in Attendence.
Drake, I don't have a sense of the officiating being better or worse than normal.Texas did seem to play with a physical edge that crossed the line at times, and the shots Johnstone and Mariota took were great examples. Texas seemed to have a twin strategy with Mariota, rip at the ball and rip at his head. As classy as Mack Brown is, his team really didn't play that way, also reflected by the live mike that picked up a racial slur by one of the Texas players.
ACL tears are a long and difficult rehab. This game unfortunately wouldn't do anything to change Herbie's mind. The Ducks struggled in all the areas that plagued them during the November malaise, against a Texas team with serious deficiencies at quarterback.
The 8 months will go by quicker than you think. There's recruiting, spring ball, the coaching search, off-season workouts and opinions, commentary, retrospectives and analysis to fill your Duck jones, and in the meantime, the basketball team is pretty good. Got to get Tyler Johnstone healthy, so they need the whole 8 months.
Good observations, Ducko. Definitely sloppy, but they are taking home the trophy and their 11th win. They sent off Aliotti with a great defensive effort. Mariota and Tyner showed promise for next year. Josh Huff finishes up with another warrior performance. They won. In the first half Mariota showed what a wonderful, dominating talent he can be. Training staff needs to work on preventing and treating those cramps!
Campbell has been a tremendous asset to the Oregon program as a mentor, a recruiter and an ambassador. Hope he stays for another few years, long enough to coach up Tyner and Royce Freeman. Not the best performance from the tailbacks or their blockers, but Texas committed hard to making Mariota beat them and he did. Definite momentum builder for next year. Not an artful win but a great effort by the defense. And hey, three field goals. As Ducko pointed out, DAT was largely a nonfactor in his last game. Still, a great Oregon career.
@SonomaDuck Agreed that Tyner and Marshall didn't get breakaway runs. But I was actually quite impressed with Tyner's game. He is not looking like a freshman anymore, running with authority. There were a couple of plays I remember when he just left Longhorns grasping in the air. Marshall generally had runs seemingly designed to head straight into the defense.
Good observations. With a month to plan the Ducks really didn't have any game-breaking plays or red zone surprises for Texas, other than the shovel pass to Huff. Cramps, penalties and fumbles cost them some other opportunities. That fade they've run unsuccessfully might have a better chance throwing it to Dwayne Stanford, Chance Allen, Darren Carrington or Jalen Brown. Offensive line play was inconsistent and must improve next year. Haniteli Lousi should help them at guard. Tyler Johnstone's rehab is critical.
@Dale Newton@RLWirtz De'Anthony became a real enigma. His value to the Ducks can not be ignored. Getting him, a player USC always thought was there's, was huge. His play on the field was Oregon at its best during Kelly's reign, fast and shockable, teams simply had no idea what to do about him.
But this season was not suited for him at all. He's not a 25 carry RB, and it was harder to give him the touches; especially with the emergence of the passing game, and the talented receivers. His injury set him back even more.
By the end of the season, it seems like he just wasn't integral in the game plan. Just as other coaches couldn't 'figure out what to do about him, now, Oregon's coaches couldn't figure out what to do with him. Without a back like James or Barner, DAT's value lessened.
Johnstone was not injured by a hit. http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2013/12/alamo_bowl_left_tackle_tyler_j.html
Regarding those cramps, if the players drank sufficient amounts of coconut water it wouldn't be a problem. It is much superior to Gatorade for electrolyte replenishment. Simple, natural fix. How do I know, I play tennis 12 hours a day for a living.
Tyner had a couple of nice pass plays and finished his runs driving forward. Marshall looked rusty and shuffled and danced when there wasn't much there. Never found his rhythm, but looked better in the fourth quarter. Still, he got his 1,000-yard season, and that's a great accomplishment.
Duck fans are going to like what Budda Baker, Tony James and Darren Carrington can do in DAT's role. Very solid, talented guys with great focus. Frost has said Marshall and Tyner also have the ability to run any of the plays they've run for DAT, even the pass routes. Good hands out of the backfield. Tyner in particular really accelerates into an opening.
That's good information. The Ducks miss James Harris, who used to see to things like that, and know those simple, natural fixes.