Heisman Watch: Week 15

posted December 9, 2014 in CommRadio, Sports by Tyler Zulli

Front Runner

Marcus Mariota, Junior QB, Oregon

Week 15 Stats: 25-38, 313 yards, 2 TD, 10 carries, 33 yards, 3 TD
Season Stats: 254-372, 3783 yards, 38 TD, 2 INT, 117 carries, 669 yards, 14 TD

By all accounts, the 2014 Heisman race is, at least in my opinion, officially over.

Marcus Mariota wrapped up a terrific 2014 campaign with an absolute drubbing over the Arizona Wildcats in the Pac 12 Championship, the team that, just two short months ago, handed the Oregon Ducks their only loss of the season. The 51-13 final wasn’t even as lopsided as the game itself was. The Ducks called off the dogs in the fourth quarter, as backup Jeff Lockie, seemingly the country’s most used backup, played the majority of the fourth quarter once again for the Ducks.

Before his early departure, Mariota was absolutely electric. The junior quarterback completed 25 of his 38 passes on the day, looking particularly sharp on some of his deeper throws. He finished the day throwing for over 300 yards as well, giving him nearly 3800 yards on the season. That’s good for fifth in the country, just shy of 600 yards of the leader, Brandon Doughty of Western Kentucky.

The Ducks’ leader also threw for two touchdowns on the day, hooking up with Darren Carrington and Devon Allen each in the end zone. On the day, he connected with six different receivers, finding Carrington and Charles Nelson seven times each. The two touchdowns on the day gave Mariota 38 passing touchdowns on the year. That number is good for second most in college football, behind, once again, Brandon Doughty. Doughty, however, seems to be somewhat of an outlier due to the air-it-out style of offense the Hilltoppers run.

Of course, what would Mariota be without the threat of his legs. The mobile quarterback rushed the ball ten times for just 33 yards on the day, but found the back of the end zone three times. The three touchdowns give him 14 rushing touchdowns on the season, good for second in the nation behind just Navy’s Keenan Reynolds.

Mariota has been absolutely terrific this season, and now will have a chance to prove that he is the best player in the nation when he and his Ducks get a crack at the first ever College Football Playoff. The Ducks have been ranked No. 2 in the country and will take on the defending national champions in Florida State. It will be a terrific matchup of two very talented teams. And, if my prediction is correct, it will be a matchup of two Heisman winning quarterbacks, as Jameis Winston, last year’s winner, looks to prove that his ‘Noles are as good as they say they are, and better than what experts believe. Look for Mariota to shine once again in this matchup.

Honorable Mention (Other Heisman Finalists): 

Melvin Gordon, Junior RB, Wisconsin

Amari Cooper, Junior WR, Alabama

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Tyler Zulli is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email Tzull34@gmail.com.