Another Civil War, another win in the books. For the seventh straight year Oregon defeated Oregon State, this time in a beat down with a final score of 47-19. Marcus Mariota owned the day, throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns and added two rushing touchdowns as well. With the regular season over, it's almost time to look forward to Friday's rematch with Arizona in the Pac-12 Championship game. But first. let's look back and savor a little bit of this win at Corvallis.
Marcus Mariota 14-yard pass to Byron Marshall
After a false start penalty to open their third drive of the game, Oregon started a bit in the hole with a 1st and 15. Luckily for Oregon, picking up 14 yards on first down is pretty standard stuff.
On this play, Oregon State brings a blitz from the left edge. As with most blitzes, the Beavers are playing man-to-man coverage behind the blitz, with a few defenders dropping into middle zones.
But before the snap, Oregon motions Marshall towards the left - an action we see very often in the Duck's offense. This action is subtle, but is the most important part of this play. Once Marshall passes Freeman in the backfield, the linebacker's coverage responsibilities flip. The left linebacker becomes responsible for Marshall instead of Freeman.
The beauty in this play is in the design. Oregon uses this type of motion almost like the arena football rule where wide recievers can get a head start running upfield. By the time the ball is snapped, Marshall already has a three or four step lead on the linebacker tasked with guarding him.
Mariota hits Marshall in stride, allowing him to easily pick up 14 yards before he is touched.
Marcus Mariota 12-yard touchdown pass to Royce Freeman
The same drive as the play above ended in a touchdown featuring a little deception.
On this play Oregon runs two different plays at the same time. On the left side of the play, the Ducks are setting up a middle screen to Marshall, and on the right side a delay halfback screen to Freeman.
Mariota does a good job letting both plays develop with pressure barreling down on him. The defenders in the middle of the field freeze for a second, trying to decipher what exactly is going on. That second is all the Ducks need, as Mariota lofts a pass out to Freeman who makes a nice catch and walks into the endzone.
Marcus Mariota 77-yard touchdown pass to Byron Marshall
You better get used to this last play we're taking a look at, because you will most likely be seeing a lot of it come April 30th during the NFL draft.
If you ever hear anyone crazy enough to say that Mariota is a "system quarterback" or that "his game won't translate to the NFL game," just show them this play.
Oregon State shuffles their coverage as the ball is snapped, with a safety rushing up to spy Mariota. This leaves the Beavers playing man-to-man across the field with one deep safety.
Byron Marshall is running a double move fly route on this play, right into the zone the safety should be in. However, Mariota looks off the safety by going through his reads from left to right. This makes the safety cheat a few steps to the left, opening up a window for Mariota to hit Marshall.
As if this wasn't impressive enough already, go back and watch Mariota's footwork in the pocket during this play. He steps up as the edges start to collapse in on him and throws an absolute strike to Marshall, hitting him in stride.
Oh, and I guess Byron Marshall was pretty impressive on this play too.
Awesome Royce Freeman Run of the Day