No. 2 Oregon 59, No. 3 Florida State 20

Top performance: Darren Carrington’s third quarter powered the Ducks to a 19-point lead that would be insurmountable. Carrington, a redshirt freshman, caught touchdowns of 56 and 30 yards off pinpoint passes by quarterback Marcus Mariota, each time juking one Florida State defender before scoring. His touchdowns broke the dam of Oregon’s second-half onslaught.

Key contributors: Oregon’s defense was tremendous, forcing five turnovers, but the Ducks were equally adept at converting them into 34 points. … Senior safety Erick Dargan forced a fumble and intercepted his team-leading seventh pass during a momentous third quarter for the Ducks. Lineman DeForest Buckner tipped the ball at the line of scrimmage on the play. … Senior linebacker Derrick Malone stripped the ball from FSU running back Dalvin Cook on the Seminoles’ first drive of the third quarter, a play that turned into seven points at the other end when Oregon converted. … After catching four passes all season, tight end Evan Baylis caught six passes for 73 yards, including a 30-yard reception in the third quarter that set up a UO touchdown to take a 25-13 lead. … The entire secondary contributed to limiting FSU record-holder Rashad Greene to two catches and four yards in the first half, though senior corner Troy Hill drew the most assignments. Though Greene would catch four second-half passes, he was a non-factor.

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, an Oregon fan raises a banner in support of her team before the Rose Bowl NCAA college football playoff semifinal against Florida State, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif. 

Key play: Just important as Carrington’s third-quarter plays was how they were set up — fumbles by FSU true freshman running back Dalvin Cook. The first was stripped by linebacker Derrick Malone, the second safety Erick Dargan. Each resulting Oregon drive ended with the Ducks flying into the end zone.

It was over when: With 1:50 left in the third quarter, FSU quarterback Jameis Winston cocked back to throw, slipped … and fumbled the ball right into outside linebacker Tony Washington’s hands, as if a basketball bounce pass. Washington returned the fumble 58 yards for a touchdown and a 45-20 Ducks lead.

Tweet of the game: “If any NFL front office folks are watching this thinking, ‘Mariota doesn’t really fit our offense’ … there is a problem with your offense.” — Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke (@chrisburke_SI)

 

Milestone: Marcus Mariota became the first Oregon quarterback to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a single season. He threw for 338 yards to finish with 4,121 on the season. He also rushed for a 23-yard touchdown to give Oregon a 52-20 lead.

Of note: Oregon freshman receiver Devon Allen did not return after injuring himself on the opening kickoff. He left the field in a wheelchair midway through the first quarter, with a heavy wrap around his right knee. Byron Marshall and Charles Nelson took over as kick returners in his absence. … Sophomore safety Reggie Daniels was helped to the locker room in the second quarter after making a tackle in Oregon’s red zone but later returned and played. … All-American center Hroniss Grasu started after missing Oregon’s last three games with a foot or ankle injury. … Sophomore running back Thomas Tyner eclipsed 100 yards for the second time in his career, rushing for 124. 

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