Mariota, Ducks click for 62-13 win
EUGENE Oregon tuned up for its marquee matchup with Michigan State as Marcus Mariota threw three touchdown passes and ran for another becoming UO's all-time touchdown maker in the Ducks' 62-13 pasting Saturday of South Dakota at Autzen Stadium.
The Coyotes offered some resistance in the first half, continually making plays on offense, led by QB Kevin Earl, en route to two field goals and a short touchdown run by Trevor Douma. And South Dakota continued to move the ball in the third quarter.
But the UO offense was too much for the visiting Football Championship Series team to handle.
Even Byron Marshall's embarrassing intentional drop of the football on a 53-yard run to the Coyote 1-yard-line just short of reaching the end zone for a 54-yard TD run and the result of a touchback failed to hurt the Ducks.
Oregon had 466 yards offense on 40 plays in the first half to lead 41-13.
Marshall, playing mostly a receiver role, caught two of Mariota's TD passes (41 and 11 yards), and ballyhooed freshman running back Royce Freeman made his debut with TD runs of 1 and 26 yards.
Mariota hit Dwayne Stanford on a 62-yard TD pass early in the first quarter, breaking his tie with Joey Harrington (78) for career total touchdowns.
By the end of the first half, Mariota had raised the school record number to 82, which included his Darron Thomas school record-tying 66th TD pass.
It appeared that Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu suffered an injury to his foot in the first half. He stood on the sideline in the second half.
South Dakota had 215 yards offense and 11 first downs in the first half, and Douma concluded a six-play, 75-yard drive with his 3-yard TD run.
Jeff Lockie replaced Mariota at the start of the third quarter, and he had a TD pass among two scoring drives.
Mariota finished 14 of 20 passing for 267 yards and rushed six times for 43 yards.
True freshman Charles Nelson had a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second half for Oregon.
It gets much tougher for the Ducks at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, when Rose Bowl champion Michigan State visits Autzen Stadium. ESPN's College GameDay will be on campus.
Saturday's announced attendance was 57,388, the 97th consecutive sellout at Autzen.
SOUTH DAKOTA 3 10 0 0 13
OREGON 21 20 7 14 62
OREGON Dwayne Stanford 62 pass from Marcus Mariota (Taylor Alie run), 13:26
SOUTH DAKOTA Miles Bergner 47 FG, 9:02
OREGON Byron Marshall 41 pass from Mariota (pass failed), 7:58
OREGON Royce Freeman 1 run (Aidan Schneider kick), 3:11
SOUTH DAKOTA Bergner 25 FG, 9:26
OREGON Freeman 26 run (Schneider kick), 7:41
OREGON Marshall 11 pass from Mariota (Schneider kick), 3:57
SOUTH DAKOTA Trevor Bouma 3 run (Bergner kick), 1:36
OREGON Mariota 1 run (kick blocked), 0:14
OREGON Charles Nelson 50 punt return (Schneider kick), 7:58
OREGON Pharaoh Brown 4 pass from Jeff Lockie (Schneider kick), 14:31
OREGON Kenny Bassett 9 run (Schneider kick), 9:21