Thanks to throwing for 313 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 33 yards on ten carries and three rushing touchdowns in a 51-13 rout of seventh-ranked Arizona in the PAC-12 Championship Game, Mariota—in this writer’s opinion—elevated himself above fellow Heisman contenders in Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon and Alabama Crimson Tide wideout Amari Cooper.
With the unfortunate ankle injury to Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett and the off-the-field actions of reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston, Mariota has a chance to bring the first-ever Heisman back to Nike University.
The case for Mariota is simple, he is the best dual-threat quarterback in college football, accurate, mobile and has shown the knack for making big plays. Mariota, not only clinched Oregon’s spot in the inaugural College Football Playoffs, but the 2014 Heisman Trophy as well.
For the year, Mariota has passed for 3,783 yards, 38 touchdowns and two interceptions for an FBS-best passer rating of 186.3 On the ground, Mariota is just as deadly in rushing for 669 yards and 14 touchdowns along with one receiving, for a total of a PAC-12 conference record 53 total touchdowns in 2014, as well as the conference’s new all-time leader in touchdowns responsible for, surpassing USC’s Matt Barkley.
With today’s college football game being filled with zone-reads, pistol offenses and spread-shotgun hybrids, Mariota stood out over all quarterbacks in having the best total QBR of 92.8
It is these intangibles on offense, that makes Mariota stand out above the others, and why it wouldn’t shock this writer if he is named the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner.
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