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Friday, 2 January 2015

2015 Rose Bowl: What We Learned From Oregon's Ambush of FSU

Five turnovers in 18 minutes. If there was ever a time when your favorite team was not supposed to implode, it was certainly in the Rose Bowl against arguably the best team in the country.

That is exactly what Florida State did in the 59-20 loss to Oregon on Friday night. Personally, as a fan, an alum and a sports writer, this one really hurt. When second and third string players are beating the Seminoles starters, you know things were really bad.

According to an Associated Press story, Marcus Mariota and the second-seeded Ducks (13-1) scored six straight times they touched the ball in the second half, with five of the touchdowns covering at least 21 yards and the last four coming after Florida State turnovers.

In the matchup of Heisman Trophy winners, Jameis Winston matched Mariota's numbers, but the defending national champions were no match for the Ducks in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. The Pac-12 champions will play the winner of the Allstate Sugar Bowl semifinal between Alabama and Ohio State on Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas.

The game out of hand as the Seminoles closed the gap to 25-20 in the third quarterback before Oregon showed why the offense is the third best in the country.

Third-seeded Florida State's winning streak ends at 29. In Winston's first loss as a college starter, maybe his last game in college, he threw for 348 yards.

No Heisman jinx for Mariota. He was mostly brilliant again. The junior passed for 338 yards and two touchdowns and sprinted in for a 23 yard-touchdown with 13:56 left in the fourth quarter that made it 52-20 and made the Ducks the first team to reach 50 points in Rose Bowl history.

Here is what we learned from this playoff game, according to


With Marcus Mariota's win today... Each of the last 6 Heisman Trophy winners have won the bowl game in their Heisman season, the longest streak ever for Heisman winners. 3 of those 5 previous Heisman winners won the championship that season. The last Heisman winner to lose a bowl game in his Heisman season was Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, who lost to another Heisman winner, Tim Tebow.


Florida State is the first team to commit 5 turnovers in a half during a bowl game since Middle Tennessee in the 2011 Bowl (2010 season).

Florida State had five turnovers that led to 34 points. It was the Seminoles most turnovers since they had five against Florida in 2012, which was also their last loss. For the season, Florida State allowed 127 points off turnovers, tied with Connecticut and Georgia State for the most in the FBS.


After Oregon's win and prior to the Alabama-Ohio State game, FPI gives Oregon a 53% chance to beat Alabama or a 60% chance to beat Ohio State on a neutral field. Overall chances to win the title: Oregon 56%, Alabama 27%, Ohio State 17%.

Oregon's 39-point win over Florida State is the 2nd-largest margin of victory in Rose Bowl history.  [+]

Oregon has its 41st 50-point game in the past 10 seasons... No other school has more than 30 in that span (Boise State, Oklahoma).

Oregon: 29th 50-point game since head coach Mark Helfrich began his Oregon tenure as offensive coordinator in 2009 (most in FBS over span).


The 39-point loss is Florida State's largest loss since Dec. 3, 1983 (lost 53-14 vs Florida). It's FSU's largest loss in a bowl game in school history.  The 2nd-worst loss by an AP top-5 team in a bowl game.  Trailing at the half is nothing new for Florida State -- this is the 6th game FSU has trailed at the half this season. Of course, they won the previous five.


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