Marcus Mariota officially the first Heisman Trophy winner in Oregon history
The Oregon quarterback takes home the award, as expected. Now we wait to see whether his vote total broke any records.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has won the Heisman Trophy, beating out Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper for the most prestigious individual award in college football. The junior quarterback is the first winner in school history and the first Hawaii native to win the award.
Mariota is the fifth straight quarterback to win and the eighth in the last nine years. It’s a cap on what has been a magnificent collegiate career for Oregon’s quarterback, expected to be one of the top picks in next year’s NFL Draft, assuming he declares.
The junior helped lead Oregon to a 12-1 season, a Pac-12 Championship, and a No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff, with a Rose Bowl trip to play 2013 winner Jameis Winston’s Florida State up next. Mariota threw for 3,783 yards and ran for 669 more, totaling 53 touchdowns against just two interceptions. He averaged 10.2 yards per pass attempt and completed 68.3 percent of his pass attempts, while also averaging 5.7 yards per rush.
Mariota never averaged worse than 7.8 yards per attempt in any game this season, and had four games with at least five total touchdowns.
Perhaps his most notable performance came against Arizona in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The Wildcats were the only team to beat Oregon in the regular season, but Mariota passed for 313 yards with five total touchdowns to lead the Ducks to a dominating 51-13 victory.
Our Oregon site
In any other year, Gordon or Cooper could have won. Both had statistically dominant years, leading their programs to successful seasons.
Gordon led the nation in rushing yards (2,336), rushing yards per game (179.69), rushing touchdowns (26) and carries (309), averaging 7.6 yards per rush. He set an FBS record with 408 rushing yards on 25 carries against what was a pretty good Nebraska rushing defense — a record that was broken by Oklahoma freshman Samaje Perine a week later. Gordon ran for at least 120 yards in every game but two, and eclipsed the 200-yard mark five different times.
Cooper led the nation in receiving yards (1,656) and receptions (115), averaging 14.4 yards per reception with 14 touchdowns. He caught at least a dozen passes in five different games, exploding against Auburn for 224 yards and three touchdowns on 13 catches in the Iron Bowl.