It’s true,…in the grand scheme of college football, the Oregon Ducks aren’t at the top of the list when it comes to national awards.
Which is why Saturday’s performance was so valuable for Oregon sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Mariota had a career day Saturday throwing for 456 yards and 4 touchdowns against a respectable Tennessee team out of the SEC.
On national television, Mariota’s winning performance certainly turns up the volume when college football analysts and pundits continue to have their discussions for the 2013 Heisman Trophy.
After speaking with several respectable nationally recognized college football journalists on Saturday, all agree it’s an uphill battle for Oregon’s young QB to be considered as one of the nations best players.
In three games, Mariota has tossed 7 touchdowns and thrown for 889 yards. He also improved his average to just under 300 yards per game and raised his pass completion percentage from 53% to 59%.
In total, Mariota is responsible for 11 scores on the ground and through the air.
The most important stat of all however is ‘wins’.
Mariota has led the Ducks to 15 wins in 16 games dating back to last year – his first year as a starter.
“Marcus is a stud,…I wouldn’t trade that dude for anybody” said Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich after the Tennessee win.
“We thought Marcus was outstanding when he showed up at high school camp,…we went wow, this guy could be special. He’s developed in a lot of ways off the field as a leader,…has always been an unbelievably high character kid and our guys will play for that guy.”
For Mariota himself, he consistently deflects the personal accolades off of himself an directs them to his team.
He simply wants to win and doesn’t seem to care what the college football universe thinks of his chances to win the games most respected award.
“That’s outside noise to me and I’m not paying attention to it,” Mariota said recently.
It may be outside noise to him, but to us and those who watch him, he’s elevated his game which currently stands among the best in college football.
Watch Marcus Mariota’s press briefing by clicking the arrow on the video box above.