Oct 5, 2013; Boulder, CO, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) prepares to pass in the first quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

WSU Football: Cougs Face Heisman Front-Runner In Oregon's Mariota

Oct 12, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) looks for an open receiver during the 1st half against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon Ducks are going through an injury prone time, but they are one of the few teams that could sustain the amount of injuries they’ve incurred and continue to roll the way they are. The 2nd ranked team from Eugene just keeps tick-tocking along, led by their fearless quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Mariota doesn’t have particularly impressive numbers in the percentage department (coming in 3 percentage points behind Connor Halliday), but he has ninja-star-like accuracy. The Heisman front-runner has thrown a whopping 17 touchdowns without an interception. He’s only one of three quarterbacks nationally to have thrown the ball at least 90 times and avoided a single interception.

The other two are Connor Shaw of South Carolina and Cody Fajardo of Nevada. Only four QB’s have better overall ratings; Bryce Petty (Baylor), Jameis Winston (FSU), Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville) and Zach Mettenburger (LSU).

Perhaps the most impressive stat though, is that he has played in exactly one 4th quarter all season.

There’s no doubt as long as the Ducks continue on undefeated that Mariota will be headed to New York as a Heisman finalist. We are a ways away from that, but WSU gets their first person perspective on how difficult he can be this weekend.

With a secondary that has been exposed at times this season, it seems like a mismatch. The Cougs will have to bring their A+ game to Eugene to give themselves a viable chance at staying close.

Tags: Football Marcus Mariota Oregon Ducks Washington State Cougars

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