CORVALLIS, Ore. – Marcus Mariota turned what could be his last Civil War game into a Heisman Trophy highlight reel.
The junior quarterback threw for 367 yards and four touchdowns, and also ran for two more scores, leading No. 3 Oregon to a 47-19 victory over Oregon State in the 118th meeting of the rivals Saturday night.
“That guy is just such a stud,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said about Mariota. “It starts at the beginning of last week just in terms of his approach, which is infectious to everybody.”
Oregon (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12), No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings, now prepares to face Arizona in the Pac-12 championship game on Friday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
“We’re just going to continue to approach it just like any other game,” said Mariota, a junior who is likely to enter the NFL draft.
Freshman Royce Freeman rushed for 135 yards and also caught one of Mariota’s touchdown passes. Fellow freshman Charles Nelson caught two TD passes and Byron Marshall had six catches for 131 yards and a score.
It was Oregon’s seventh straight win overall and seventh in the series against the Beavers (5-7, 2-7), who lost six of their last seven games and failed to become bowl eligible.
Oregon State’s Sean Mannion ends his college career as the Pac-12’s all-time leader in passing yards with 13,600 and the school record holder with 83 touchdown passes.
Mannion threw for 162 yards and a 20-yard touchdown to Hunter Jarmon in the third quarter.
Afterward, Mannion embraced Mariota.
“I’ve played against him for a number of years and gotten to know him as a person, he’s someone I consider a friend,” Mannion said. “He’s a great, great player.”
Arizona (10-2, 7-2) clinched a spot in the championship game on Friday, when UCLA fell to Stanford and the Wildcats (10-2, 7-2) defeated Arizona State 42-35. Oregon’s lone loss this season came to Arizona at Autzen Stadium back on Oct. 2.
Should the Ducks get revenge on Arizona on Friday, they’ll be one of the four teams headed to the first college football playoffs.
“We talked a little bit about preparing to give somebody our best shot. I would have said it about whoever was next,” Helfrich said. “But certainly our guys know the ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’ of some of that night. And a lot of that night is Arizona is really good.”
The six-TD night also all but assures that Mariota will be one of the Heisman Trophy finalists announced on Dec. 8. Mariota has thrown for 36 TDs this season, run for 11 scores and caught another.
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