College Football Playoff: Oregon 18, Florida State 13 at halftime – Los Angeles Times
Another reminder why Florida State is so good late in a close game:
After an interception gave the Seminoles the ball near midfield, Florida State completed two passes and then tried a field goal from the usually unheard of distance (in a college game) of 54 yards.
And Roberto Aguayo’s kick, as time expired, was long enough, too. But it hit the left upright and bounced back, allowing Oregon to keep its 18-13 lead at the break.
It was Aguayo’s fourth miss in 52 career attempts for Florida State.
Oregon 18, Florida State 13 (36 seconds left in second quarter)
Anybody who thought Florida State was going to go away in this one hasn’t been paying attention all season.
The undefeated Seminoles just gave Oregon fans a glimpse at why they don’t want the game to be close in the final minutes.
Reeling after a long Oregon scoring drive, Florida State’s veterans steadied themselves and fought back with a six-play, 71-yard march of their own.
The drive was nearly all Jameis Winston and running back Karlos Williams.
Winston connected with Williams for a pair of passes totaling 29 yards, Williams ran twice for 15 yards, and Winston ran once for five yards in addition to completing a 17-yard pass to Ermon Lane. (Florida State also picked up five yards on a penalty.)
Oregon 18, Florida State 6 (2:18 left in second quarter)
Typical Ducks scoring drive: 75 yards, 10 plays. Six passes, four runs.
And on the touchdown play, a one-yard run by Thomas Tyner, Florida State was in such a scramble that it had nine players set to defend the goal line.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has completed 17 of 24 passes for 147 yards, and the Ducks have 124 yards rushing, led by Tyner’s 55 yards in seven carries.
Oregon 11, Florida State 6 (5:18 left in second quarter)
Florida State is having less difficulty moving the ball against Oregon than the Seminoles are overcoming their own mistakes.
Florida State drove from its own 27 inside the Oregon 10, but two penalties — a false start and a delay of game — stalled the Seminoles there and they had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Roberto Aguayo.
Freshman Dalvin Cook gained 38 yards in three carries on the drive.
Oregon 11, Florida State 3 (10:12 left in second quarter)
Florida State just took a very smart timeout, and it paid off.
With Oregon having driven nearly the length of the field in 16 plays, Coach Jimbo Fisher took what might be called an “Oxygen Timeout” — giving his Seminoles a chance to catch their breath and regroup.
It worked. After the timeout, Florida State stuffed Byron Marshall on a run, then Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota threw a terrible pass that fell incomplete, and the Ducks had to settle for a 28-yard field goal by Aidan Schneider.
Oregon drove from its own one to the Florida State 11 on 13 runs and three passes before stalling.
Oregon just disspelled any notion that it was a “soft” football team.
The Ducks stuffed Florida State not once, not twice, but three times inside the 5-yard-line to preserve its lead early in the second quarter.
The first time, Florida State’s Karlos Williams was thrown for a four-yard loss but an offside penalty gave the Seminoles the ball inside the one.
From there, Williams was stuffed again, for no gain.
That made it fourth down, and Florida State went for it, with quarterback Jameis Winston trying to run it in. However, Winston fell just short, his knee touching down just before he was able to stretch the ball into the end zone.
Oregon being Oregon:
The Ducks had fourth-and-five at the Florida State 23-yard line — field-goal position for any other college team on the planet.
The Ducks went for it and failed as a Marcus Mariota pass toward Byron Marshall fell incomplete after Marshall was hit hard by Seminoles defensive back Ronald Darby.
Oregon and Mariota missed an an earlier opportunity when his pass toward Dwayne Stanford, who was wide open around the 10-yard line, sailed high.
Florida State takes over at its own 23 with 4:10 left in the first quarter.
Oregon has seized the momentum, stuffing Florida State deep in its own territory in the wake of the Ducks’ touchdown.
After a 27-yard punt by Cason Beatty, Oregon will take over at the Florida State 40 with 5:19 left in the first quarter.
Oregon 8, Florida State 3 (6:55 left in first quarter)
Florida State’s lead lasted a little more than two minutes.
Oregon and quarterback Marcus Mariota got rolling with some quick-hitting passes as the Ducks drove 73 yards in nine plays.
Royce Freeman ran for the touchdown from one yard out, and the Ducks tacked on a two-point conversion on a pass from Taylor Alie to Torrodney Prevot.
Mariota completed all four of his passes for 50 yards on the drive.
Florida State 3, Oregon 0 (9:06 left in first quarter)
A 28-yard field goal by Roberto Aguayo has the Seminoles in the lead.
Aguayo also converted on a 43-yard kick on the drive, but a personal foul penalty on Oregon for hands to the face gave Florida State a second shot at a touchdown.
The penalty moved the ball to the Oregon 12-yard line, but quarterback Jameis Winston was stuffed on a run, and then was sacked by outside linebacker Torrodney Prevot for a seven-yard loss to stall the drive.
A quick three and out for Oregon on its first possession.
On third-and-eight, quarterback Marcus Mariota overthrew a wide-open EWvan Baylis in the middle of the field.
Florida State won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.
Oregon will receive.
The temperature was 57 degrees at kickoff — the 17th time in 101 Rose Bowls it has been colder than 60 degrees.
What kind of a factor is that?
Apparently not much.
Six out of the last eight times it’s happened, the team from the warmer weather state has won.
It’s 20 minutes before game time, and it’s clear that Oregon has the crowd advantage today at the Rose Bowl.
Ducks green and gold looks as if it controls about 70% of the stadium.
And Oregon scores even higher when it comes to the opinions of Los Angeles Times sportswriters and columnists covering today’s game.
Columnist Bill Plaschke: Oregon, 42-20.
Columnist Bill Dwyre: Oregon, 45-21.
National college football reporter Chris Dufresne: Oregon, 48-35.
Reporter David Wharton: Oregon, 52-38.
Deputy Sports Editor Mike Hiserman: Florida State, 41-38.
(There’s always a contrarian.)
A Seminole just stuck a tomahawk or a spear into the Rose Bowl turf.
Where’s Sam Handler when you need him?
Today’s Rose Bowl marks only the fourth time two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks will be competing on the same college football field.
Marcus Mariota of Oregon, this season’s winner, vs. Florida State’s Jameis Winston, last season’s winner.
A tale of the tape, comparing this season’s statistics:
Advantage Mariota, 68.3% to 65.4%.
Advantage Mariota, 3,783 to 3,559.
Advantage Mariota, 38 to 24.
Advantage Mariota, who has had two passes picked, to 17.
Advantage Mariota, 186.3 to 147.0.
Advantage Mariota, 669 to 82.
Advantage Winston, 13-0 to 12-1.
Days like this at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena remind me why there are so many Midwesterners who live in Southern California.
I gotta believe half of them were students at Big Ten Conference schools who came out to watch their team play on Jan. 1 and swore then that somebody they’d be back.
Not a cloud in the sky. Majestic mountains as the backdrop… And, oh yeah, a pretty great college football matchup now less than two hours from kickoff.
Florida State comes in with a record of 13-0, Oregon at 12-1. The combined 25-1 record is the second-best ever between teams competing in a Rose Bowl game, surpassed only by USC and Texas, who both came into the 2006 game with records of 12-0.
Since the start of the 2010 season, Oregon has the best record in major-college football, 59-7. Florida State is second best at 58-10.
And then there’s this: dueling Heisman Trophy winners.
Marcus Mariota, this season’s winner from Oregon, will be trying to become the 15th player to win the Heisman and play on a national championship-winning team. Jameis Winston, last season’s winner from Florida State, did it last year.
Yes, a pretty good matchup, on a pretty spectacular day.
We’ll be with you from start to finish on latimes.com.
Follow me on Twitter @MikeHiserman
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