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Mariota leads Oregon past South Dakota 62-13

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 31, 2014 at 2:36 am •  Published: August 31, 2014
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Marcus Mariota wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the word "Success." It was a fitting wardrobe choice after this victory.

Mariota accounted for four touchdowns in the first half of No. 3 Oregon's season-opening 62-13 win against South Dakota on Saturday night.

Mariota threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns, and then ran for one more before sitting out the final two quarters.

His 62-yard pass to Dwayne Stanford on Oregon's first series of the game gave him the Ducks' career record for touchdowns with 79 (64 pass, 14 rush and one reception), surpassing Joey Harrington.

"Marcus did what Marcus does," said running back Byron Marshall, who was Oregon's top receiver with eight catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

Freshman Royce Freeman, a five-star recruit out of Imperial, California, ran for 75 yards and two more scores for the Ducks, who won their 10th straight home opener.

Trevor Bouma ran for a 3-yard TD and Miles Bergner kicked a pair of field goals for the Missouri Valley's Coyotes, who went 4-8 last season. Kevin Earl completed 13 of 26 passes for 136 yards, but left in the third quarter with what coach Joe Glenn said was likely a fractured thumb.

Mariota, who opted to return to Oregon after flirting with an early departure for the NFL, threw for 3,665 yards and 31 touchdowns last season with just four interceptions. Considered among the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, he also rushed for 715 yards and nine scores.

With his third touchdown pass on Saturday night, he tied Darron Thomas for career passing touchdowns at Oregon with 66. He completed 14 of 20 passes.

"We scored on our first three possessions, which is always good," Mariota said. "We've had our moments, including last year, when we've started out slow. For us to come out and start fast and do what we were able to do, it sets a good foundation for the rest of the season."

The Ducks finished 11-2 last season, capped by a victory over Texas in the Alamo Bowl. Oregon's two late-season losses, to Stanford and Arizona, came after Mariota injured his left knee, effectively taking the Ducks out of the Pac-12 championship race and a bid for a national title.

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