In a blink of an eye, Marcus Mariota and Oregon turned a tight game into another blowout that could have the Ducks in position to move into the top spot in the country.
Mariota threw the third of his school record-tying six touchdown passes on the first play after an interception to break open what had been a close game and help Oregon make its case for the top ranking in the country by beating California 59-17 on Saturday night.
While the final score was lopsided, the game was tight until midway through the third quarter when Boseko Lokombo intercepted a screen pass from Allan Bridgford. Mariota threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Josh Huff on the next play to give the Ducks (10-0, 7-0 Pac-12) a 31-17 lead.
''That kind of got things going again,'' Mariota said. ''It flipped the momentum. It's really a momentum game. That helped us out.''
The Ducks, No. 3 in the BCS standings, withstood injuries to its entire starting defensive line and brief absences by Mariota and star running b...