Mighty Ducks clobber Huskies 45-24
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE — In five previous outings this season, Marcus Mariota was wearing a baseball cap and sending in signals from the Oregon sideline by the time the fourth quarter rolled around.
When the Ducks were finally pushed on Saturday, Mariota and his teammates gave an emphatic response that added another notch to a decade of dominance over their rivals to the north.
Mariota threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns, added another 88 yards and one TD rushing, and the second-ranked Ducks beat No. 16 Washington 45-24 to extend their winning streak in the series to 10.
“Guys were able to battle. I definitely think we’re a four-quarter type team, we just haven’t had a reason to play four quarters,” Oregon running back Byron Marshall said. “So the fact we got the first one under our belt to answer everyone’s questions is good.”
Mariota’s passing was nearly spotless, he used his legs to make the Huskies pay when throwing options were covered, and he was easily the best player on the field. Mariota completed 24 of 31 passes, and ran another 13 times. He threw touchdowns of 4 and 3 yards to Bralon Addison and a 65-yarder to Josh Huff on Oregon’s first possession of the second half. Huff had to be carted to the locker room with an apparent right leg injury in the first half, only to come back after halftime and burn the Huskies secondary.
Most impressive, Mariota answered every challenge Washington made. Twice in the second half the Huskies pulled within a touchdown. Both times, Mariota responded by leading the Ducks (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) to touchdowns of their own. Mariota topped 300 yards passing for the sixth time in his college career.
“He was awesome. I haven’t seen the stats but he played really well,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. “He played really smart and very productive. A bunch of guys made a bunch of plays for him too.”
Marshall added 106 yards rushing and two touchdowns and while Oregon’s streak of scoring at least 55 points ended at five games, the Ducks passed their first test of the season.
De’Anthony Thomas suited up for the Ducks but it was just decoration. Sidelined with a sprained ankle the past two games, Thomas went through pregame warm-ups but never left the Oregon sideline. Turns out they didn’t need him.
The Ducks rolled up 631 total yards and averaged 7.8 yards per touch against a Washington defense that came into Saturday third best in the country allowing just 3.9 yards per play and third in pass efficiency defense.
Yet Mariota gladly exposed the gap that remains between the Ducks and Huskies. Mariota hit on 13 of his first 15 passes and now has 25 combined touchdowns and zero turnovers this season.
“Marcus was huge again for us today. He was taking care of the tempo and just leaving everything on the field for us,” Huff said. “We stayed with him and were able to come away with the victory.”
Bishop Sankey ran for 167 yards and touchdowns of 60 and 25 yards for Washington, but the Huskies (4-2, 1-2) defense that stood stout against Stanford last week was exposed. The Huskies gave up 633 total yards. Washington was third in the country giving up 3.9 yards per offensive play, but the Ducks averaged 7.9.
Sankey was responsible for a major first-half swing that left the Huskies playing from behind. Tied at 7-7 and driving, Sankey fumbled for the first time this season on a third-down run at the Oregon 31. The fumble was forced by cornerback Troy Hill and recovered by Torrondney Prevot. Mariota went to work, and connected with Addison for a 4-yard TD and a 14-7 lead.
Washington went three-and-out on its next series holding possession for barely one minute. Oregon followed with a seven-play drive, with three plays of 15 yards or more. Marshall capped the drive with a 15-yard sprint and a 21-7 Ducks lead. Washington’s Keith Price also threw an interception late in the second quarter deep in Oregon’s end. Price finished 19 of 32 for 182 yards and one TD.
“I thought both of our turnovers occurred in their territory and took potential points off the board for us and gave them possessions,” Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said.
The Huskies closed to 21-14 on the first drive of the second half when Sankey burst 60 yards on fourth-and-1, but Mariota answered by dropping his long TD pass to Huff. Washington got within 31-24 on Sankey’s 25-yard TD run in the final minute of the third quarter. The Ducks answered in less than 90 seconds with Mariota scoring on a 5-yard run and he added a 3-yard TD pass to Addison for the final margin. Addison finished with eight catches for 157 yards.
“Toward the third quarter when the defense was able to get a couple of stops and we were able to go down and score I think pushed the momentum our way,” Mariota said.
Also around the country Saturday: Texas snapped its losing streak in the Red River Rivalry and Missouri got its first signature win in the Southeastern Conference.
The Longhorns and Tigers pulled off upsets in their big conference games Saturday, with Texas beating No. 12 Oklahoma 36-20, and No. 25 Missouri knocking off No. 7 Georgia 41-26.
At the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, the Longhorns (4-2, 3-0 Big 12) ended Oklahoma’s three-game winning streak in the rivalry to give coach Mack brown at least a temporary reprieve from all the gloomy talk about his future with the Longhorns.
Brown insisted the victory was special for what it was — finally a win for this senior group over Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1), a 3-0 start in Big 12 play and the possibility of a conference title and BCS game still in their future.
In Athens, Ga., the Tigers (6-0, 2-0 SEC) held off a late rally by Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs (4-2, 3-1), who were playing without a half-dozen key injured players.
Missouri closed with two late touchdowns after quarterback James Franklin left with a shoulder injury that will keep him out at least next week at home against Florida.
No. 1 ALABAMA 48
LEXINGTON, Ky. — T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake each ran for two touchdowns to help top-ranked Alabama blowout Kentucky.
After a scoreless first quarter thanks to fumbles by the running backs and dropped passes in Kentucky territory, the Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) scored on their last eight possessions and outgained the Wildcats (1-5, 0-3) 668-170.
AJ McCarron shook off the handful of drops to throw for a career-high 359 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown to Kevin Norwood.
Yeldon scored from 24 and 3 yards and finished with 124 on 16 carries; Drake added 106 yards and a pair of 1-yard TDs on 14 attempts. Altee Tenpenny added a late 7-yard TD run and Cade Foster kicked field goals of 25 and 20 yards.
Alabama’s defense rang up four sacks, though it did allow its first TD in four games.
No. 3 CLEMSON 24
BOSTON COLLEGE 14
CLEMSON, S.C. — Tajh Boyd ran for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter and defensive end Vic Beasley followed with a 13-yard fumble recovery score to keep Clemson undefeated and on track for next week’s Atlantic Coast Conference showdown with Florida State.
The Tigers (6-0, 4-0 ACC) were out of synch offensively most of the game and trailed 14-10 entering the final period. That’s when Boyd led the 48-yard drive that ended with his 6-yard rush into the end zone to put Clemson on top.
When Boston College got the ball back, Chase Rettig fumbled when sacked by linebacker Tony Steward and Beasley was there to scoop up the ball and put the Tigers up 24-14 over the Eagles (3-3, 1-2).
Boyd also had a touchdown pass and finished with 334 yards passing to become the school’s all-time leader in passing yards.
No. 5 STANFORD 21
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s defense made a goal-line stand in the final minute and Dres Anderson scored twice, helping the Utes to their biggest upset at home.
This marked the first time in school history the Utes (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) have knocked off a top-five program at Rice-Eccles Stadium. They beat No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl following the 2008 season.
Kevin Hogan marched the Cardinal down to the 6, but on fourth down, amid heavy pressure, he overthrew his intended target. The Utes took a knee to end the game and the 13-game winning streak of Stanford (5-1, 3-1).
No. 25 MISSOURI 41
No. 7 GEORGIA 26
ATHENS, Ga. — Receiver Bud Sasser threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to L’Damian Washington in the fourth quarter after quarterback James Franklin left with a shoulder injury and Missouri held off Georgia.
Missouri led by 18 points in the first half before Georgia cut the lead to 28-26 in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers answered the challenge with two late touchdowns despite losing Franklin to a shoulder injury.
After Franklin was taken to the locker room, freshman backup Maty Mauk threw a lateral to Sasser, who stopped and tossed a deep to the end zone for Washington. Washington, who outfought cornerback Damian Swann for the catch, had 115 yards and two touchdowns.
James Ponder’s interception of Aaron Murray’s pass with 4:25 remaining set up Henry Josey’s 7-yard touchdown run to end Georgia’s hopes.
Murray threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns.
No. 10 LSU 17
No. 17 FLORIDA 6
BATON ROUGE, La. — Jeremy Hill rushed for 121 yards, Zach Mettenberger passed for 152, and LSU’s defense did the rest to give the 10th-ranked Tigers a 17-6 victory over No. 17 Florida on Saturday.
LSU, which came in averaging 45.5 points, had a much harder time finding the end zone against a Florida defense rated among the nation’s best, but 1-yard touchdown runs by fullback J.C. Copeland and freshman reserve quarterback Anthony Jennings were enough for the Tigers (6-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference).
After yielding 44 points in its only loss of the season at Georgia two weeks ago, the LSU defense kept an opponent out of the end zone for the first time this season.
Tyler Murphy passed for 115 yards for the Gators (4-2, 3-1), who led 3-0 early, but managed only another field goal after that.
No. 12 OKLAHOMA 20
DALLAS — Case McCoy threw two touchdowns, defensive tackle Chris Whaley returned an interception 31 yards for a score and Texas beat 12th-ranked Oklahoma.
It was the first win for McCoy and these Texas seniors over the Sooners.
Texas never trailed after Whaley’s impressive touchdown play in the first quarter.
Oklahoma had won three in a row in the series, the last two by at least 38 points.
Daje Johnson had an 85-yard punt return for a TD for Texas. Johnathan Gray had 123 yards rushing and Malcolm Brown had 120.
McCoy completed 13 of 21 passes for 190 yards with an interception, which defensive lineman Geneo Grissom returned 54 yards for a score in the fourth quarter for OU.
Blake Bell completed 12 of 26 passes for 133 yards with two interceptions for Oklahoma.
No. 14 SO. CAROLINA 52
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Connor Shaw threw for 219 yards and accounted for four touchdowns as South Carolina dominated.
Mike Davis added 128 yards rushing on 19 carries for the Gamecocks (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference), who won their fourth straight game after a loss to Georgia on Sept. 7.
All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney returned after missing last week’s game against Kentucky and had one tackle for South Carolina, which outgained the Razorbacks 537-248.
The loss was the fourth straight for Arkansas (3-4, 0-3), matching first-year coach Bret Bielema’s longest losing streak of his career.
It was also his most-lopsided loss as a coach. The Razorbacks are 0-3 in the SEC for the first time since 2007.
No. 15 BAYLOR 35
KANSAS STATE 25
MANHATTAN, Kan. — Bryce Petty threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns, Ahmad Dixon made a critical interception late in the fourth quarter and Baylor held on to win.
Tevin Reese had five catches for 184 yards and two scores, and Antwan Goodley had five catches for 139 yards and another touchdown for the Bears (5-0, 2-0 Big 12), who ran their winning streak to nine games dating to their win over Kansas State last season.
The Wildcats (2-4, 0-3), behind 199 yards and three rushing TDs by quarterback Daniel Sams, took a 25-21 lead in the third quarter. But they missed a tying field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter and then Sams threw an interception on their ensuing possession that allowed the Bears to escape.
PENN STATE 43
No. 18 MICHIGAN 40, 4OT
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Bill Belton ran for a 2-yard touchdown in the fourth overtime to lift Penn State to maybe its biggest win in coach Bill O’Brien’s two seasons.
Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg was sensational in regulation on the tying drive, completing passes of 29 yards to Brandon Felder and 33 yards to Allen Robinson to bring the ball to the 1 with 29 seconds left.
The freshman quarterback sneaked in for the first rushing TD against Michigan this season, tying the game at 34-all.
Brendan Gibbons kicked two field goals and missed two — one was blocked — in OT for the Wolverines (5-1, 1-1). Sam Ficken kicked two, and didn’t need to attempt a fourth, thanks to fourth-and-1 conversion from the 16 by Penn State (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten).
No. 19 NORTHWESTERN 6
MADISON, Wis. — Melvin Gordon ran for a 71-yard touchdown and Chris Borland led a fierce defense that figured out Northwestern’s high-octane offense.
The Badgers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) had seven sacks before a raucous homecoming weekend crowd. Jared Abbrederis burned the secondary for a 63-yard touchdown reception before leaving with a head injury.
Northwestern (4-2, 0-2) the league’s peskiest defense, forced three more turnovers to increase its season total to 17.
Gordon had 22 carries for 172 yards and the long run that gave Wisconsin a three-possession lead before halftime.
No. 20 TEXAS TECH 42
IOWA STATE 35
LUBBOCK, Texas — Backup quarterback Davis Webb threw for three touchdowns and 415 yards in place of the injured Baker Mayfield to lead Texas Tech.
Webb was 35 for 56 with an interception and Kenny Williams, DeAndre Washington and Sadale Foster each ran for a score for Texas Tech (6-0, 3-0 Big 12). The Red Raiders are bowl eligible at the earliest date since 2008 in their first season under coach Kliff Kingsbury.
The Cyclones (1-4, 0-2) got a 95-yard kickoff return and 38-yard punt return from Jarvis West, and 12 points off three turnovers by the Red Raiders.
No. 24 VIRGINIA TECH 19
BLACKSBURG, Va. — Logan Thomas threw an early touchdown pass, Cody Journell kicked four field goals and Virginia Tech sacked Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage eight times.
The Hokies (6-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their sixth straight game and ended a four-game losing streak against the Panthers, avenging a 35-17 loss a year ago that sent Virginia Tech into a long skid.
This time, they proved just as inhospitable hosts to the ACC newcomer Panthers (3-2, 2-2).
Savage, who tied an ACC record with six touchdown passes three weeks ago in a 58-55 victory against Duke, never had much of a chance to get wide receivers Devin Street and Tyler Boyd into the game.
Savage’s sacks totaled minus-49 yards, and he has been sacked 15 times in his past two appearances.
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