Marcus Mariota runs away from the competition in nabbing the freshman offensive player of the year. (Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE)

Pac-12 Awards: Mariota Claims Best Offensive Freshman, 5 Players Make First-Team


Without much surprise, Marcus Mariota claimed the top freshman offensive player of the year in the Pac-12 and earned a spot on the all-Pac 12 first-team offense for the 2012 season.

The quarterback from Honolulu, Hawai’i, finished the regular season with a 69.9 percent completion rate. 2,511 yards were gained in the air for 30 touchdowns and just six interceptions. In Mariota’s final six games, he had a 15 touchdown to one interception ratio, that lone pick coming in the loss against Stanford.

Not only known as the “Hawaiian Hurler,” Mariota fit in perfectly with the running attack adding a third threat and actually finishing second (ahead of De’Anthony Thomas) in rushing with 690 yards and four touchdowns on 98 attempts.

In comparison, Heisman candidate Johnny Manziel had 3,419 passing yards and 1,181 rushing yards. Mariota didn’t pass him in total numbers but did have a better QB rating, proving to be more efficient passing the ball. Since Mariota didn’t play as often as Manziel did this season, “Johnny Football” had 88 more throws and 86 more rushing attempts.

Mariota received high praise from our staff on being most impressed by him in Oregon’s 2012 season. Also, the Ducks tied Stanford with five players on the all Pac-12 first-team.

Other award winners were Kenjon Barner and offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu on the first-team offense. Barner actually finished second in total yards but had the most touchdowns (21) and best yards per touch (6.55). Seniors Dion Jordan and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu also, not surprisingly, made the first-team defense. Linebackers Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay made the second-team defense.

Honorable mentions go to Jake Fisher, Taylor Hart, Josh Huff, Wade Keliikippi, Colt Lyerla, Terrance Mitchell, Isaac Remington, and De’Anthony Thomas.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo. See his banter with other FanSided writers and love for his favorite west coast professional teams by following him on Twitter.

Tags: Dion Jordan Featured Football Ifo Ekpre-Olomu Kenjon Barner Marcus Mariota Oregon Ducks Pac-12 Awards Popular