Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/2/12

Can a freshman win the Heisman trophy?

That may be the question on everyone’s mind after first year quarterback Marcus Mariota led the 5th ranked Oregon Ducks to a resounding 57 to 34 victory over visiting Arkansas State.

Mariota, a freshman from Hawaii, showed great poise in leading the high-powered Duck offense to 50 points in less than two quarters.  Oregon held such a commanding lead that Mariota and the first string offense were pulled from the game in the middle of the second quarter.

Still he managed to throw for 216 yards on 19 of 23 passing.  Mariota finished with three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his first ever college start. Imagine what his stats might have been if he had played the whole game.

Of course Mariota had some offensive help.  Running back Kenjon Barner scored two touchdowns and rushed for 66 yards on 9 carries. De’Anthony Thomas also had an explosive night on offense as both a rusher and receiver.  Thomas finished with 119 combined rushing and receiving yards and multiple touchdowns.

Yet it was Mariota’s performance that stole the show. Whether in the pocket or on the run, his passes were crisp and on-target. After his opening night performance it is hard to imagine that for a while there was speculation about who the Ducks starting quarterback might be, Mariota or sophomore Bryan Bennett. Saturday night’s stats should put that debate to rest.

The Ducks annihilated Arkansas State and after #4 Oklahoma’s tough 24-7 win over UTEP, Oregon could rise in the rankings. Their success this year could continue to rise on the passing shoulders of Mariota.

You’re going to want to learn his name quick. We’re going to be talking about Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks all season long. If he keeps playing like he did in his college debut, this Hawaiian could spark legitimate Heisman buzz.



GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Spurs, Clippers among teams interested in Andre Iguodala

Vanderbilt players shot while trying to get teammate’s phone back from thief

Would adding George, Hayward make Celtics a super-team?

Kevin Durant congratulates Russell Westbrook for earning MVP honors

Colts QB coach: Andrew Luck should not be double-digit INT guy

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Kelly praises Sean McDermott, throws shade at Rex Ryan

Did John Paxson just admit the Bulls are tanking?

Report: Carmelo may be open to trade to Wizards, Sixers

Report: Roadblock to Kirk Cousins-Redskins deal isn't money

Taco Charlton finally lands taco endorsement deal

Serena Williams told John McEnroe to back off after he said she’d be No. 700 in the men’s rankings

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker