Ever since Jay Berwanger first hoisted the hardware back in 1935, the Heisman Trophy has become college football’s most coveted award. Once this trophy is within a player’s grasp, he has lifted the highest honor that any college football player can receive.
On Saturday night, University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota became the 80th player to achieve that honor. Mariota beat out Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper with a total of 2,534 points.
During the 2014 regular season, Mariota threw for 3,783-yards, 38 touchdown passes, and just two interceptions. He also ran for 669-yards and 14 touchdowns while leading the Ducks to the Pac-12 title and a spot in the National Championship tournament.
Gordon, who ran for 2,336-yards and 26 touchdowns, finished second in the balloting. However, his 1,250 points did not even reach the halfway point of Mariota’s total. Cooper, who caught 115 passes for 1,656-yards and 14 touchdowns, finished with 1,023 points.
Mariota became the first University of Oregon player to win the Heisman. The 2014 voting also saw the second-highest margin of victory in NCAA history. Former USC running back O.J. Simpson holds the record for the highest margin when he won the award back in 1968.
For the fifth year in a row, a quarterback won the Heisman Trophy. The previous four winners included Cam Newton of Auburn, Robert Griffin III of Baylor, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, and Jameis Winston of Florida State.
To no one’s surprise, Marcus Mariota was the overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman before the presentation started. However, individual awards are not important to him, team awards are, and he will be competing for one when New Year’s Day arrives.