Quack attack: Ducks gash Seminoles in record-setting Rose Bowl win
PASADENA, Calif. – Florida State ran out of magic Thursday in the 101st Rose Bowl Game, and it was the razzle-dazzle Oregon Ducks who stole the show.
The first half was punctuated by sporadic touchdowns and long drives that resulted in field goals, and the teams headed into the tunnel with the Ducks ahead, 18-13.
But immediately after Marcus Mariota's second touchdown toss to Darren Carrington in the third quarter, the Seminoles' sideline froze in place. It soon began to feel like Florida State wasn't going to pull another rabbit out of its hat as it had nearly all season. FSU's season went up in smoke, and Oregon punched its ticket to the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship.
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Oregon went full speed ahead after the Carrington touchdown. Florida State's following drive ended with an unforced fumble from Jameis Winston, returned for a touchdown by the Ducks' Tony Washington. Jameis and Jimbo argued, and the head coach threatened to bench his Heisman-winning quarterback.
On the other side of the field there was another Heisman Trophy winner, and his pervasive coolness was in stark contrast to Florida State's chaos. Marcus Mariota finished with 338 yards passing and added 68 yards on the ground in his three-touchdown performance.
The Ducks exposed Florida State's illusion in historic fashion. They set the all-time scoring record for the Rose Bowl, and did it against a team that was undefeated in its last 29 contests.
"It's surreal," said Oregon wide receiver Johnathan Loyd. "I'm at a loss for words. To do it how we did it, to break records, it's just unreal."
Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost echoed Loyd.
"To play that well against a team of that caliber, I think shows the size of our kids' hearts."
Yet there was no Gatorade shower for Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich. As spectacular as their Rose Bowl pasting of Florida State was, the Ducks know there's work to be done. When the clock struck zero at the Rose Bowl on Thursday night, Oregon's fairy tale ending may have only just begun.