Published September 14, 2013
| Sports Network
Eugene, OR – Marcus Mariota threw for a career-high 456 yards and coupled four touchdown passes with a score on the ground to lead No. 2 Oregon past Tennessee, 59-14.
After giving up an early touchdown, Oregon (3-0) responded with 59 straight points. They went ahead, 10-7, after Bralon Addison 40-yard punt return set up the Oregon offense at Tennessee's 37 yard line. Mariota faked a Tennessee defender while scrambling and tossed a 16-yard pass to Johnny Mundt for the touchdown.
"It was surreal. It was amazing. Nothing else felt like that. Just hearing the crowd roar and having my team picking me up behind me . It's a great feeling," said Mundt on his first career touchdown.
Mundt had two touchdown catches for Oregon with 121 yards receiving, while Josh Huff had 125 receiving yards on six receptions with a touchdown. De'Anthony Thomas powered the ground game with 13 carries for 86 yards and a score.
"I think they are very deserving of where they're ranked. I think they're very well deserving of all the accolades that they've received. They have tremendous, tremendous skill. Anytime you have a quarterback who can throw the ball and run the football, you're always a gap short, you're always a man short. I think Mark has done a tremendous, tremendous job," said Tennessee head coach Butch Jones.
The Tennessee (2-1) defense allowed 687 yards. Justin Worley completed 13- of-25 passes for 126 yards in the Vols' first loss of the season. Tennessee's ground game accounted for 178 yards, with Marlin Lane as team's leading rusher with 63 yards on 13 carries.
Raijon Neal fumbled on Tennessee's second play of the game, then Alejandro Maldonado missed a 37-yard field goal attempt for Oregon. Tennessee would go on the board first. Josh Smith caught a 51-yard pass to put the Vols in Oregon territory. Jason Croom brought in a touchdown from four yards out.
Addison hauled in a 38-yard catch along the sidelines before the Ducks went for it on fourth and goal. De'Anthony Thomas appeared to score a touchdown, but pass interference on Addison brought in Matt Wogan to kick a 38-yard field goal.
Following his go-ahead touchdown, Mundt contributed another big play, this time a 57-yard reception to put the Ducks at Tennessee's nine before Mariota ran it in to give the Ducks a 17-7 edge.
Two huge plays resulted in 14 more points for Oregon. Mariota found Huff for 54-yard touchdown pass and Daryle Hawkins for 45 yards out to extend the lead before Thomas shook off a tackle at Tennessee's 10 for a 28-yard rushing touchdown to put the Ducks up 38-7 with 1:19 left in the half.
After Tennessee went three and out to start the second half, Mundt capped off an efficient 73-yard drive with another touchdown catch, this time from 17 yards out.
Byron Marshall caught a pass for 36 yards to push the Ducks into Tennessee territory. Two plays later, he carried the ball 11 yards for the touchdown with 5:40 to go in the third quarter.
Jeff Lockie entered the game at quarterback, and freshman Thomas Tyner capped off five straight touches with a 2-yard dive into the end zone for a 59-7 lead.
Tennessee finally put more points on the board with 7:14 to go in the fourth. Alden Hill rushed from eight yards out to account for the final score.
Oregon won its 22nd straight home game against an unranked opponent ... The Ducks won the only previous meeting between the two programs 48-13 on Sept. 11, 2010 ... The Vols have not won on the West Coast since 1997 when Peyton Manning led the team against UCLA 30-24.