Mariota Wins Heisman Trophy in Landslide Vote
By MauiNow Staff
Hawaii’s Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday in New York by a landslide over co-finalists Melvin Gordon and Amari Cooper.
College football’s top honor punctuates the Oregon junior quarterback’s list of 2014 accolades, which include the Walter Camp, Davey O’Brien, Maxwell and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm awards. Mariota’s banner season included 3,783 passing yards and 38 touchdown passes against two interceptions. The dual-threat quarterback also racked up 669 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground.
Mariota’s victory was lopsided. He received 90.9 percent of all available votes, which is the second-largest margin of victory, behind only only Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith’s 91.6 in 2006.
Mariota’s 2,534 points were nearly twice as many as those of second-place finisher Gordon (1,250). Cooper finished closely behind Gordon with 1,023 points.
“It’s such a blessing. I’m lost for words, to be honest,” an emotional Mariota said after accepting the 25-pound trophy.
In an acceptance speech full of appreciation and thank-yous, Mariota added: “This award belongs to my teammates. The amount of hard work and sacrifice each of them has made has not been unnoticed.”
Mariota is the first Oregon player and first Hawaii native to win the Heisman.
“I have so many questions. I’m just honored to be standing up here with all you guys,” Mariota said when asked by ESPN about past Heisman winners, many of whom stood behind the QB on the stage.
“I’m humbled to be standing here today and honored by this award.”
He said he hoped the honor would inspire other players in Hawaii “to reach for greatness.”
In the inaugural College Football Playoff, Mariota and the No. 2 Ducks will take on 2013 Heisman winner Jameis Winston and No. 3 Florida State in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual on Jan. 1, at Noon HST on ESPN. It will be the fourth meeting between players who already had won Heismans, and first since Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford in the 2009 BCS Championship Game.
Gordon, the Wisconsin redshirt junior running back, put together just the 10th 2,000-yard rushing season in FBS history, and his total of 2,336 yards is the fourth-highest ever. Gordon, who announced earlier this week that he will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft, averaged 7.6 yards per carry and amassed 29 total touchdowns.
Cooper, a junior receiver for Alabama, led the FBS in catches (115) and receiving yards (1,656) and tied for second in receiving touchdowns (14). His No. 1 Alabama team squares off with No. 4 Ohio State in the other CFP semifinal — the Allstate Sugar Bowl at 3:30 p.m. HST on New Year’s Day on ESPN.