The outcome was a formality. Even as Colorado recovered a surprise onside kick to open the game, the outcome wasn't in doubt. The Ducks won 44-10, which gets them one step closer to a playoff berth. But this game wasn't really about that, either.
It was about one last day at Autzen with the greatest Duck of all-time.
Yeah, I feel more than comfortable saying that. I watched Joey Harrington lead comeback after comeback. I watched LaMichael James coast through defenses. I watched Dennis Dixon work sweet voodoo magic. I watched Haloti Ngata destroy entire offensive lines.
I've never seen anyone do the improbable as consistently as Mariota does.
He started his day with this:
He ended it with a rousing standing ovation and a send-off that only Marcus could deserve. In between, he completed 24-32 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 73 yards and a touchdown, and broke the Pac-12 single season touchdown record with 41.
In the meantime, Royce Freeman rushed for 105 yards and two scores, and the Oregon defense held Colorado to a season low ten points and 227 yards.
There are two games left, a Civil War in Corvallis, and a Pac-12 Championship Game for Mariota to pad his Heisman resume. But in my mind, it's all over. He's the best player in college football, and the best Duck that ever played, and the privilege has truly been ours.
We won't see him on the Autzen turf again. But there's a game to be played in Corvallis next week, and a seventh straight Civil War victory sounds oh so sweet.