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QB’s best throw spoils upset bid

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POSTED November 30, 2013 12:56 a.m.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Marcus Mariota gave Josh Huff all the credit for the 12-yard touchdown pass with 29 seconds that swung another Civil War rivalry game Oregon’s way.

“Quite frankly, it was a bad throw,” Mariota said. “Huff made a great catch. I said, ‘Thank you man, that would’ve looked bad.’“

Huff laughed.

“It was the best throw he made all year,” he grinned.

Either way, the 12th-ranked Ducks came away with a 36-35 victory over Oregon State on Friday night in the 117th edition of the in-state rivalry.

Mariota threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns — all to Huff, who had nine catches for a season-high 186 yards — and the Ducks (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) sealed their sixth straight 10-win season. It was also the team’s sixth straight victory over the Beavers.

With the Ducks holding a 24-23 lead, the Beavers scored on Sean Mannion’s 4-yard pass to Tyler Anderson to pull in front 29-24 early in the fourth quarter. But Oregon answered with Mariota’s fourth-and-11 pass to Huff for a 12-yard touchdown and the Ducks took a 30-29 lead with 7:56 left in the game.

Victor Bolden ran for a 25-yard touchdown to make it 35-30 for the Beavers with 1:38 remaining, but Oregon State’s defense couldn’t stop the Ducks on their final drive.

“I wasn’t trying to press,” Mariota said. “I knew these guys in the locker room were going to get open and give me some time.”

Mannion passed for 314 yards and two touchdowns for the Beavers (6-6, 4-5), who ended the season on a five-game losing streak, their worst since dropping six straight to conclude the 1997 season.

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