Oregon’s MarcusMariota clinches Heisman


Quarterback Marcus Mariota led Oregon to crushing victory over Arizona on Saturday, giving the Ducks their fourth Pac-12 title in the past six seasons.

Mariota threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for 33 yards and three scores. He has likely locked up the Heisman Trophy with this performance.

Conference Championship Weekend was a mixed bag for Heisman hopefuls.

Quarterback Trevone Boykin of TCU threw for 460 yards and four touchdowns, and also added a sweet touchdown reception. The Horned Frogs pounded Iowa State, and should have a spot in the college football playoff. Boykin has made TCU relevant after they won just four games last season, but his passing numbers pale in comparison to those of Mariota. Boykin finishes with 26 passing touchdowns versus eight interceptions, while Mariota threw for 38 scores against just two picks.

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Wide receiver Amari Cooper of Alabama had a game-high 12 catches in a rout over Missouri, but totaled just 83 yards. Alabama ran the ball 49 times, as they were in control for most of the game, which depressed Cooper’s yardage numbers. His 1573 receiving yards are second in the nation, and 103 catches are good enough for fourth among Division I receivers. Yet, in an offense built around running backs T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry, Cooper doesn’t have as great an impact as Mariota.

Running back Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin ran for 76 yards on 26 carries, and his Badgers were destroyed by Ohio State. This output breaks a streak of 10 straight 100-yard rushing games for Gordon. He is still the leading rusher in the nation, but this performance along with Wisconsin’s record will put the Heisman out of reach for Gordon.

The success of Oregon and the gaudy numbers put up by Mariota should propel him to Heisman Trophy honors. He has dominated through the air and on the ground this season, and clearly deserves to be called the best player in the country.

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