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Mariota, Oregon bury Tennessee 59-14

The SportsXchange

EUGENE, Ore. -- Chip Kelly's offense hasn't missed a beat so far without him.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota led the second-ranked Ducks to a 59-14 victory over Tennessee on Saturday with a career-high 456 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Mariota, who was 23 of 33, threw for the third-most yards in school history and was the first Oregon quarterback to top 400 yards in a game since Kellen Clemens in 2005. He also ran for a score.

One of his favorite targets was Johnny Mundt, who had five receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Huff had six catches for 125 yards and a TD.

"(Mariota's) performance is one for the ages, especially with him being young and finally getting his first 400-yard game," Huff said. "We talked about it all week to get him going early. He's probably one of the best quarterbacks in the nation."

The high-octane Ducks rolled up 687 yards of offense compared with the Vols' 316.

After Tennessee (2-1) jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Oregon (3-0) scored 59 consecutive points. The Ducks led 38-7 at halftime.

The Volunteers opened the scoring with quarterback Justin Worley's 5-yard touchdown run that capped a six-play, 80-yard drive after a missed Oregon field goal attempt.

Oregon got on the scoreboard with a 38-yard field goal by Matt Wogan and then took the lead for good near the end of the first quarter when Mariota and Mundt hooked up on a 16-yard touchdown pass.

"Of course, when you look up, you don't want to be behind, but at the end of the game it was obviously different," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. "If that's our big moment of adversity, we're going to have a good year."

Mariota followed with a 9-yard touchdown run and then came back with a 54-yard scoring pass to Huff. The sophomore quarterback again found the end zone on a 45-yard run before De'Anthony Thomas capped the first-half scoring with a 28-yard touchdown run.

The second half opened with Mariota finding Mundt again for a 17-yard touchdown strike. Oregon's Byron Marshall scored on an 11-yard run and freshman Thomas Tyner scored from 2 yards in the third quarter.

Mundt, a freshman, started in place of ailing Colt Lyeria.

"Johnny Mundt is another great guy, he had a great practice and really really happy for him," Helfrich said. "He's just one of those guys you can't help but like. Just works really hard, the team was going crazy for how well he played. Again, another young guy, a true freshman who has a bright future."

Tennessee's fourth-quarter touchdown came on an 8-yard run by Alden Hill.

"I think they are very deserving of where they're ranked," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. "I think they're very well deserving of all the accolades that they've received. They have tremendous, tremendous skill.

"Anytime you have a quarterback who can throw the ball and run the football, you're always a gap short, you're always a man short. I think Mark has done a tremendous, tremendous job. They've done a great job of really taking this program to the next level."

Worley completed 13 of 25 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown for Tennessee.

"We came out and struck first," Worley said. "We felt like we had a lot of momentum at the beginning of the game, but we couldn"t sustain our drives."

Oregon fans mocked the Vols and chanted "We want 'Bama" late in the first half after the Ducks had taken a commanding lead.

"It's unacceptable whether you lose by two or you lose by what we lost by," Jones said. "We're here to win. It better hurt."

NOTES: Kelly left Oregon for the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this year and Helfrich, Kelly's offensive coordinator for four years, took over as head coach. ... Oregon handed Tennessee its last non-conference loss in a regular-season game three years ago when the Ducks won 48-13 in Knoxville after trailing 13-3. ... Tennessee defensive lineman Maurice Couch did not play after he was ruled ineligible by the school for the game this week. The university is investigating a Yahoo! Sports report that Couch was one of five Southeastern Conference football players who received money from a former Alabama player acting as an intermediary between the players and agents or financial advisers. ... Tennessee's loss was its worst since falling 48-0 to Mississippi State in 1910. ... The Vols' next five opponents are No. 18 Florida, No. 9 Gerogia, No. 13 South Carolina and No. 1 Alabama.
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