SEATTLE — Marcus Mariota was finally required to take a fourth-quarter snap for Oregon. He was just as worthy as he was in the first three.
Mariota tossed for 366 yards and three touchdowns, added an additional 88 yards and one TD rushing, and the second-ranked Ducks won their 10th straight over their foes to the north with a 45-24 victory over No. 16 Washington on Saturday.
Mariota’s passing was practically impeccable, he used his legs to make the Huskies pay when throwing options were covered and was without difficulty the preeminent player on the field. Mariota completed 24 of 31passes, and ran another 13 times. He flung 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 drawn to the locker room with an apparent right leg injury in the first half, only to come back after halftime and scorch the Huskies secondary.
Most notable, Mariota countered every test Washington prepared. Twice in the second half the Huskies pulled within a touchdown. Both times, Mariota answered back by leading the Ducks (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) to touchdowns of their own. Mariota surpassed 300 yards passing for the sixth time in his college career.
Byron Marshall added 106 yards rushing and two touchdowns and even though 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 ornamentation. Put on the back burner with a sprained ankle the past two games, Thomas went through pregame warm-ups but then never left the Oregon sideline. Turns out they didn’t need him.
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 firm against Stanford last week was exposed by Mariota and the Ducks. The Huskies allowed 633 total yards. Washington was third in the nation giving up just 3.9 yards per offensive play, but the Ducks averaged 7.9 per touch.
Sankey was liable for a major first-half swing that left the Huskies fruitlessly 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 instantaneously, striking Addison for 38 yards and seven plays later the two connected again on a 4-yard TD and a 14-7 lead.
Washington went three-and-out on its next series holding possession for scarcely one minute. Oregon shadowed with a seven-play drive, with three plays of 15 yards or more. Marshall capped the drive with a 15-yard dash unscathed and a 21-7 Ducks lead.
The Huskies closed to 21-14 on the first drive of the second half when Sankey erupted for 60 yards on fourth-and-1, however Mariota responded by dropping his long TD pass to Huff. The only other time Washington got within one score, came on Sankey’s 25-yard TD run in the final minute of the third quarter to scratch the lead to 31-24. Just as they had done previously, the Ducks answered. It took less than 90 seconds for Mariota to discover the end zone on a 5-yard run and he added a 3-yard TD pass to Addison later in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
Addison ended with eight catches for 157 yards.
Washington quarterback Keith Price was assaulted for the second straight week. His gutty work last Saturday in a 31-28 loss at No. 5 Stanford gave credence that this would be the Huskies best chance to stop their losing streak to the Ducks. But Price’s receivers struggled to get separation and he was sacked four times and ran 11 others. Price finished 19 of 32 for 182.