It’s worth arguing that Oregon have been the best team in the nation for the last few years only rarely getting the opportunity to show it. Their Pac-12 Championship game win over Arizona, which packed style with revenge as Marcus Mariota showed everyone why he’s going to win the Heisman trophy, finally puts them in a position to win it all by making it into the College Football Playoff.
Arizona beat Oregon this season, partially thanks to a controversial call for excessive celebration. As the two teams met in Santa Clara, there was no doubt who was the more worthy conference champion; which team deserved to be part of the college football final four, playing for the national championship.
After Oregon had to settle for only two field goals in the first quarter, Marcus Mariota kicked things into a higher gear and ran for two touchdowns as both teams entered the locker rooms with the Ducks leading 23-0. They were up by 30 points before Arizona scored their first points, but that didn’t stop from Oregon to keep on pushing, ending the one-sided affair with a 51-13 victory, that might help push them to number one in the nation, although the word ‘on the street’ is that the committee will do anything to make it an Oregon – Alabama final, and sort the rankings out accordingly.
Mariota threw two touchdown passes to Darren Carrington and Devon Allen while running for three himself. The Arizona defense that sacked him into oblivion the first time around wasn’t there to do the same again, not enjoying the injuries Oregon had on their offensive line in what seems like almost a season ago. The Arizona offense crumbled, completing just 9-of-26 passes (Anu Solomon and Jesse Scroggins) for 113 yards. For most of the game, there was no Arizona offense.
Oregon outgained Arizona by 403 yards, their largest yard differential over a Pac-12 rival in the last 12 years. They’re going into the playoff with their first Pac-12 Championship since 2011 and maybe as the hottest team in the nation with the hottest player in the nation, winning their last eight games, scoring at least 40 points in each of them, winning by an average of 26 points and trailing for only five offensive plays that entire time.