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                === Oregon cruises in rout of Arkansas State ===
 
 Eugene,  OR (Sports  Network) - Marcus Mariota was the first freshman starting
 quarterback at Oregon in more than two decades.
 
 What a debut.
 
 No.  5 Oregon scored  a touchdown on all seven possessions with Mariota at the
 helm  in the first  half Saturday on the way to a 57-34 rout of Arkansas State
 that wasn't as close as the final score.
 
 Mariota,  who beat out sophomore Bryan Bennett for the starting job, threw for
 200 yards and three touchdowns.
 
 "Marcus  showed a great deal of poise out there," said Ducks coach Chip Kelly.
 "It was really fun to watch him play tonight."
 
 Oregon (1-0) led 50-3 when Mariota came out midway through the second quarter.
 Bennett  finished  the game,  passing for  108 yards and  a touchdown with one
 interception.
 
 De'Anthony  Thomas  had two  touchdown catches  and one  rushing TD and Kenjon
 Barner ran for a pair of scores.
 
 Ryan  Aplin  passed for  304 yards,  three touchdowns  and an interception for
 Arkansas  State (0-1).  Julian Jones had a 72-yard touchdown catch for the Red
 Wolves of the Sun Belt Conference and Aplin added a score on the ground.
 
 Rob Beard missed a 35-yard field goal try with under four minutes to go in the
 first half and Bennett was intercepted on the next Oregon possession.
 
 Before  that,  all seven  drives  ended  in  a  touchdown with  one  two-point
 conversion.
 
 In fact, the Ducks had a 22-0 lead with barely seven minutes gone in the game.
 
 Mariota  and Barner led  a 73-yard drive to open the quarter and Barner scored
 the  first touchdown on  a 4-yard run. Mariota was 3-for-3 on the drive for 56
 yards.
 
 "Marcus  is a great  quarterback. He led the team down the field on that first
 drive  like it was nothing, like he had been there before," said Barner. "It's
 what we've come to expect of him. That's how he carries himself in practice.
 
 "Him doing that? It wasn't a surprise to any of us."
 
 Thomas  caught a tipped  12-yard pass in between two defenders in the front of
 the  end zone and  Mariota found Josh Huff for a 4-yard touchdown pass after a
 Red Wolves fumble to make it 22-0.
 
 Barner  had  a 17-yard  touchdown run  to make it  29-0 before  the end of the
 first quarter.
 
 "It was a  tough  first quarter,  no  doubt," said  Arkansas  State coach  Gus
 Malzahn.
 
 Mariota  and Thomas hooked  up for a 12-yard score after a 43-yard Brian Davis
 field goal for Arkansas State, giving the Ducks a 36-3 advantage.
 
 After  Aplin was picked  off by John Boyett, Thomas rushed for a 33-yard score
 and Byron Marshall added a 3-yard rushing score for Oregon's 50-3 lead.
 
 Aplin  and Jones  connected on the game's longest scoring play, a 72-yard pass
 that got Arkansas State within 50-10 at halftime.
 
 Aplin  later threw TD  passes of six yards to Josh Jarboe in the third quarter
 and  38 yards to  Carlos McCants in the fourth. He also ran for a 1-yard score
 in the final quarter.
 
 Bennett's touchdown pass was for seven yards to Rahsaan Vaughn in the fourth.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Oregon went 12-2 last season and beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl ... The Ducks
 outgained  the Red Wolves 605-530 yards but that included advantages of 201-85
 yards in the first quarter and 417-228 in the first half.
 
 
 09/02 04:04:46 ET