Oregon Ducks Football: Moments That Matter: Mariota Fakes Out the Vols

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Part three of a "weekly" series about the moments that matter. We take a look at UT coming to town to face down the Ducks and the moment that broke the game wide open.

Many considered Oregon's matchup with Tennessee to be their first major test of the season. They came in with a big, strong offensive line who was set to push the Ducks around all day long.

The Volunteer faithful filled up two full sections and were extremely loud during the first few minutes of the game as Oregon was unable to execute their offense. Untimely penalties, incompletions and missed field goals kept the Ducks off the scoreboard in the first two possessions.

Tennessee was getting everything they wanted through the first nine minutes and that's when Oregon took control of the game.

The Moment

This moment occurs at the 0:48 mark of the video

Most Duck fans will remember this game as the day when Johnny Mundt broke into the starting line up and for the most part made them all forget about Colt Lyerla.

He had 5 receptions and 121 yards receiving along with a pair of scoring catches. The first one was spectacular, but not because of what he did. It was because of Marcus Mariota.

Mariota rolled out to the left and found a Tennessee defender bearing down on him. Ever the cool customer, Mariota fed a fake to the defender and before LaDarrell NcNeil could realize what just happened to him OMB was playing Mighty Oregon.

The score gave Oregon a lead they would never relinquish as they went on to roll the Volunteers 59-14.

Why It Mattered

The Vols were playing with a confidence and swagger usually not present to a visitor in Autzen Stadium. They led the Ducks for a total of 11 minutes and their defense was stifling Oregon's prolific attack.

Oregon had already had a touchdown wiped off the board due to penalty and were in desperate need of a touchdown drive. The offense wasn't clicking but was showing signs that the sleeping giant was about to awaken.

What Mariota's fake did was show the Volunteer defense that even if you do everything right, Oregon is still going to score on you.

Momentum shifted firmly into the Oregon camp as they would score 28 more points in the second and then 21 in the third and the Tennessee faithful didn't have much to cheer about for the remainder of the game as Oregon ran away with the game.

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