Top Performers: Oregon's Mariota, Ohio State's Bennett, Oklahoma State's Hill
Oregon’s Marcus Mariota was all smiles Friday night after dismantling Arizona State 51-13 in the Pac-12 title game -- the taste of revenge is sweet. The Wildcats who handed Oregon its only loss, had no answer for Mariota who accounted for five touchdowns and more than 300 total yards in the contest. The Ducks also outgained Arizona 627-224. Oregon, which is set to face Florida State in the Rose Bowl, will need a similar performance from their quarterback against a stout Seminoles' defense.
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Donned in No. 53 to honor his fallen teammate Kosta Karageorge, Michael Bennett gave an inspired performance anchoring a Buckeye defensive which surrendered only 76 rushing yards to Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon. Gordon, the nation’s leading rusher, had averaged 188.3 yards entering the contest. The 6-foot-2, 288-pound Bennett was disruptive forcing two fumbles and four tackles-for-loss in the Big Ten Championship game. Ohio State’s 59-0 rout of the Badgers was enough to secure a College Football Playoff spot and a meeting against No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Down a touchdown with less than a minute to play in the fourth quarter against rival Oklahoma, Oklahoma State’s Tyreek Hill fielded a punt and jetted 92 yards to the house sending the game into overtime. The Cowboys would win the game in extra time on a field goal from Ben Grogan. The Sooners had won nine of the past 10 meetings against the Cowboys. The score helped Oklahoma State become bowl eligible as the Cowboys will now face Washington in the Cactus Bowl in Tempe, Arizona on Jan. 2.