- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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You already knew that Oregon's Marcus Mariota was an elite quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate and that he put up big-time numbers against Tennessee. But ESPN Stats & Information is probably even more impressed than you.
In the Ducks' 59-14 victory over the Vols, Mariota and the Ducks offense produced eight touchdowns on nine drives from the end of the first quarter until the end of the third quarter, when coach Mark Helfrich sat his starters. The Ducks finished with 687 total yards and were turnover-free for the third time in as many games this season.
From ESPN Stats & Info:
The Ducks finished with an offensive EPA of +39.4, meaning their offense contributed nearly 40 net points toward the 45-point victory. That’s their third-highest single-game Off EPA since 2004 but not even their highest in three games this season – they had a +42.3 in Week 1 vs Nicholls State. Their average offensive EPA of +33.4 per game is the third-highest among any FBS team through the first three games of the year in the last 10 seasons.
The highest EPA through three games over the past decade was Texas Tech in 2005 (+40.7).
As for Mariota, he accounted for 483 total yards (12.4 yards per play) and five touchdowns against the Vols. He has finished with a Total Quarterback Rating of 96 or higher in all three games this season. His 97.4 Total QBR through his team’s first three games is the second-highest by any player (minimum 50 action plays) in the last 10 seasons, trailing only Russell Wilson’s 98.6 through Wisconsin’s first three games in 2011.
It's fair to say Mariota's Heisman candidacy has officially arrived, if it hadn't before.
21hChantel Jennings and Ted Miller