AP Sports Writer
POSTED: 02:19 p.m. HST, Sep 15, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. >> Marcus Mariota threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns before No. 4 Oregon pulled its starters in a 63-14 victory over Tennessee Tech today.
Multitalented De’Anthony Thomas had 222 all-purpose yards on 10 touches. He ran for a 59-yard touchdown and caught a 16-yard scoring pass from Mariota.
The Ducks (3-0) were playing their final nonconference game before hosting Arizona next Saturday. They had 652 yards in total offense, compared to 177 yards for Tennessee Tech. Oregon did have its issues, however, with 12 penalties for 105 yards.
The Golden Eagles (2-1) have never defeated an FBS-level team in 28 tries. The game against the Ducks was the Ohio Valley Conference team’s first against a Pac-12 opponent.
Da’Rick Rogers, who transferred to Tennessee Tech from Tennessee right before the season started, had three catches for 38 yards and the first touchdown of the game. He took a short pass from Tre Lamb and ran for a 23-yard TD.
Rogers was suspended indefinitely by Tennessee on Aug. 23. He told reporters it was because of failed drug tests.
He was a first-team all-SEC receiver in 2011, with 67 receptions for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns for the Volunteers. He faced Oregon when the Ducks visited Knoxville in 2010, finishing with a carry for 21 yards in Oregon’s 48-13 victory.
Last week, Rogers had five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown in Tech’s 42-14 victory against North Greenville. The week before he was named Ohio Valley Conference newcomer of the week after three receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown in a win against Hampton.
The Ducks quickly answered Rogers’ TD with Kenjon Barner’s 1-yard scoring run and Thomas’ 59-yard touchdown sprint.
On Oregon’s next series, Thomas had a 49-yard run that appeared to be an easy touchdown, but he was caught from behind by Tennessee Tech’s DaJuan Brown and fumbled. Ducks right tackle Jake Fisher pounced on it for the 1-yard touchdown to make it 21-7.
Oregon further padded the lead with Mariota’s 4-yard scoring pass to tight end Colt Lyerla, but Rob Beard’s attempt at a 25-yard field goal was blocked.
Thomas pulled down a 16-yard scoring pass from Mariota as the first half ended to give the Ducks a 35-7 lead.
Mariota, a former St. Louis School quarterback from Hawaii, found Keanon Lowe with a 3-yard touchdown early in the third quarter before Oregon subbed out many of its starters. Backup Bryan Bennett had a 4-yard run to make it 49-7.
Tennessee Tech scored on Darian Stone’s 6-yard pass to Doug Page but Bennett added a 6-yard keeper to make it 56-14 at the end of the third quarter.
Freshman Byron Marshall ran for a 4-yard score in the final quarter. Marshall finished with 125 yards rushing in the game.
The victory capped a difficult week for the Ducks, who were hit by the loss of two of its senior leaders, free safety John Boyett and guard Carson York.
Boyett told his hometown newspaper that he needed surgery to repair patellar tendons in both knees. The injury will end his career with the Ducks unless Oregon successfully petitions the NCAA for an additional year of eligibility.
York hurt his right kneecap during Oregon’s 42-25 win over Fresno State last weekend. He announced to reporters that he also required surgery and his season was done.
Junior receiver Josh Huff, who went down with what appeared to be a left knee injury on a first-half kickoff return last week against Fresno State, was in uniform but did not play.