Oregon's Mariota wins Heisman Trophy

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Marcus Mariota became the first Oregon player to win the Heisman Trophy.

The Ducks quarterback was announced as the recipient of college football's most prestigious individual honor during Saturday's ceremony in New York.

The redshirt junior also won the Davey O'Brien, Walter Camp and Maxwell Awards on Thursday night.

Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper were also finalists for the Heisman Trophy, but the vote wasn't close.

Mariota received 788 first-place votes and a total of 2,534 points. Gordon finished second with 37 first-place votes and 1,250 points and Cooper had 49 first-place votes, but came in third with 1,023 points.

Mariota had the second-highest percentage of possible points (90.9) in Heisman history, behind only Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith's (91.6) victory for the 2006 season.

The most prolific quarterback in Oregon history has led the Pac-12 champion Ducks (12-1) to 35 wins in his three seasons as the starter. He needs two more victories to cement his legacy at Oregon.

The Ducks ended the season No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings and will face Florida State in the national semifinals at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

The other semifinal will pit Alabama against Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day.

The winners of those games will play for the national championship on Jan. 12.

So far this season, Mariota has passed for 3,773 yards and 38 touchdowns with 669 yards rushing and another 14 scores. He completed 68.3 percent of his 372 passes with just two interceptions on the season and accounted for 346 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-13 win over Arizona in the Pac-12 title game.

"This award belongs to my teammates," Mariota said during his acceptance speech Saturday. "The amount of hard work and sacrifice that each of them has made has not gone unnoticed."

He has thrown for 10,115 yards and 101 touchdowns with just 12 interceptions in his college career with another 2,136 yards and 28 touchdowns rushing.

Mariota was emotional at times during his Heisman speech, especially when speaking about his accomplishment as the first Hawaii native to win the award.

"To the Polynesian community, I hope and pray this is only the beginning," he said. "Young Poly athletes everywhere, you should take this as motivation and dream big and strive for greatness."

Gordon rushed for a then-FBS record 408 yards against Nebraska last month and ended the season with an FBS-leading 2,336 yards rushing, the fourth-best total all-time.

Cooper, a junior, had an SEC-record 115 catches for a national-best 1,656 yards and 14 touchdowns in 13 games this season. He had an Iron Bowl-record 224 yards receiving in Alabama's 55-44 win over rival Auburn on Nov. 29.

Mariota was the third Ducks player to be named a finalist for the Heisman following quarterback Joey Harrington, who finished fourth in the voting in 2001, and running back LaMichael James, who placed third behind Cam Newton and Andrew Luck in 2010.

A quarterback has won 13 of the past 15 Heisman Trophies, with the other two going to running backs Reggie Bush for the 2005 season and Mark Ingram in 2009. (Bush's Heisman was later vacated.)

TCU QB Trevone Boykin received eight first-place votes and 218 points to finish fourth behind the finalists. Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett (78) and last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston (51) of Florida State, ended fifth and sixth. Winston got four first-place votes.

Finishing 7-10 in the voting were Indiana running back Tevin Coleman, Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III and Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty. Wright was the only one of that bunch not to get a first-place vote.