After a painful 42-20 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Oregon Ducks must return to Eugene still without a national title.
“It’s unfortunate and a little bit insulting in a lot of ways that whoever loses this game, the word failure comes up as a descriptive for the season,” said coach Mark Helfrich. “As I told the guys in the locker room, that will never exist in these guys’ vocabulary. Every player to a T has just battled and gutted this out.”
Although the Ducks trailed at halftime 21-10, few fans were concerned. Three out of four times this season, the Ducks managed to come back from a trailing score in the third and fourth quarters.
Ohio secured their lead however, when in the fourth quarter, running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed in from two yards to score his third touchdown — making the score 35-20.
“I’m just sorry we came up a little short,” said Marcus Mariota.
The game was a milestone to Mariota, as he became the first Pac-12 player to lead his offense over 5,000 yards in one season. Other accomplishments by Mariota include throwing touchdown passes in every game of his 41 game career and becoming the first Oregon Duck in history to win a Heisman Trophy.
The Ducks, led by Helfrich — who has an impressive 24-4 record for the Ducks in his two year career with them — are proud of their season. The nationally #2 ranked team finished their season with a 13-2 record. Their only other loss was to Arizona.
“Wanting to put the right finishing touch on it and that not happening is gutting to me, for them,” said Helfrich. “But yeah, this was an unbelievable journey.”